Best Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
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    Ghirardelli Layered Chocolate Cheesecake With Ganache Glaze

      Servings:   16
      Time:  Refer to recipe


      3 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (from 1 1/4 [9-oz.] pkg.)
      ½ cup (8 oz.) salted butter, melted
      3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
      Cooking spray

      5 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
      1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
      3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
      5 large eggs
      2 large egg yolks
      1 tsp. vanilla extract
      4 oz. (2/3 cup) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips
      1 Tbsp. coffee liqueur (such as Kahlúa)
      1 tsp. instant espresso granules

      ¾ cup heavy cream
      1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
      6 oz. (1 cup) Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips
      Seasonal fruit for garnish, such as sugared cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and mint sprigs


    1. Prepare the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar in a medium bowl until well blended. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Cool crust completely in pan on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. 
    2.  Prepare the Cheesecake: Beat cream cheese with a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and flour, beating until smooth. Add eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating on low speed just until yellow disappears after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Divide batter into 2 equal portions in separate medium bowls. Pour 1 batter portion into prepared crust; spread evenly.
    3. Place Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50% power) until melted and smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. 
    4. Stir together coffee liqueur and espresso granules in a small bowl until espresso dissolves; stir mixture into remaining bowl of cheesecake batter. Stir melted bittersweet chocolate into coffee batter until blended. Gently pour over plain cheesecake batter in prepared crust, and spread evenly. (Pan will be very full.) Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. 
    5. Bake at 325°F until center is almost set but center still jiggles slightly when pan is touched, 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 2 hours.
    6. Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil, and chill 8 to 12 hours. Gently run a knife or offset spatula around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. Remove sides of pan. 
    7. Prepare the Ganache Glaze Topping: About 1 hour before serving, bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium. Place Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips in a small heatproof bowl; pour cream-and-syrup mixture over chocolate chips. Let stand 1 minute. Whisk gently until smooth. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Pour chocolate mixture over top of cheesecake, and gently spread to edge of crust. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. Garnish if desired. 

    NOTE: This method produces slightly uneven layers. If cleaner, more even layers are desired, freeze the plain layer for 2 hours; then top with chocolate layer and bake as directed.

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