From the Culinary SOS archive: Chocolate cheesecake
Emily wrote in requesting a recipe for chocolate cheesecake:
"I am a longtime subscriber to the LA Times and I am looking for a recipe for chocolate cheesecake that I think ran in the Sunday Magazine in the 1970's. The person who wrote the article described it like a big chocolate candy bar. Do you know if there is any way for me to get a hold of it to be reprinted?"
Chocolate and cheesecake. Together. Could there be anything more divine?
Needless to say, I wasted no time combing our archive for the recipe. And while I could not find a specific recipe from the magazine in the 1970s describing a massive chocolate candy bar, I found a few that are sure to have you planning tonight's dinner around the wonderful cheesecake(s) you'll be making for dessert when you're done reading this.
The first is a winning cheesecake recipe from 1973. Dianne Crawford's Deluxe Chocolate Cheesecake was described as "creamy, smooth, very rich and strong in chocolate flavor" -- amazing enough to earn Crawford her "Champion Cheesecake Maker" title.
The next recipe is from a cheesecake bake-off sponsored by the law firm Nossaman, Krueger & Marsh, which we covered in our 1978 article "Taking Their Case to Taste Court." This chocolate cheesecake recipe adds a touch of cinnamon for a little spice.
Finally, I include a Culinary SOS, also from 1978, where the requester described wine country restaurant La Belle Helene's chocolate cheesecake as "the richest, most intensely chocolate dessert we've ever tasted." Our reply? "Jackpot!"
-- Noelle Carter
Photo: Cheesecake display at a Cheesecake Factory restaurant. Credit: Los Angeles Times.
DELUXE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
3/4 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 package chocolate or chocolate fudge pudding mix
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 square unsweetened chocolate
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Mix crumbs, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and melted butter. Grease sides of a 9-inch springform pan to within 1 inch of top. Coat sides with about 2 tablespoons crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture firmly on bottom of pan.
Combine pudding mix, 3/4 cup granulated sugar and the milk in a pan. Add chocolate and cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted and mixture comes to a full boil. Remove from heat, cover surface with waxed paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese slowly until fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well. Blend in vanilla, salt and pudding mixture. Beat egg whites until they form soft rounded peaks. Fold into cheese mixture.
Turn cheese mixture into prepared pan, place on lowest rack of oven and bake at 425 degrees 30 minutes or until center is set when lightly touched and top is golden brown. (Cake becomes firmer when cool.) Blend sour cream and confectioners’ sugar and spread on hot cheesecake. Bake at 425 degrees another 2 minutes. (Topping should not brown.) Cool or chill.
CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE (Rosalee Tillman)
1 1/2 (8 1/2-ounce) packages chocolate wafers
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 teaspoons cocoa
2 cups sour cream
1/6 cup melted butter
Finely crush cookies with a rolling pin. Add cinnamon and butter and mix well. Press mixture carefully onto sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill
Cream sugar and cheese. Add eggs one at a time and mix until very smooth. Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over hot water. Add to cheese mixture and mix well. Add vanilla, cocoa, sour cream and melted butter and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool thoroughly in pan, then chill overnight.
LA BELLE HELENE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
1 tablespoon butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
9 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
Chocolate wafer crust (below)
Melt butter over hot water. Add chocolate and melt over gentle heat. Beat cheese until creamy. Add vanilla and whipping cream. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Beat eggs with sugar (if you would like a sweet, less bitter cake, use 1 cup sugar; for a chocolaty emphasis, use 1/2 cup) and slowly beat into chocolate mixture. Turn into Chocolate Wafer Crust and bake at 350 degrees 40 to 45 minutes or until cake puffs slightly in center. Cool and chill thoroughly before unmolding. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 14 to 16 servings.
Chocolate Wafer Crust
1 (8 1/2-ounce) package chocolate wafers
2 tablespoons melted butter
Crush wafers. Add melted butter to make a crumbly dough. Press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.