- 3 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 can (~14oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Chocolate crumb crust (purchased or combine 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbles and 1/3 cup melted margarine)
- Preheat oven to 300F. Press crust into springform pan.
- Beat cream cheese until fluffy.
- Gradually beat in condensed milk, beat until smooth.
- Add remaining ingredients, mix well.
- Pour into pan with crust.
- Bake for 1 hour or until center is nearly set.
- Cool in pan for 30 minutes.
- Loosen sides of pan (run knife around sides to separate cheesecake from pan walls). Refrigerate.
- Try to avoid over beating the cheesecake mix. The more air that is incorporated into the mixture, the more the cheesecake will rise (possibly overflowing) and fall (causing cracking).
- A water bath is highly recommended for every cheesecake. It helps it cook evenly and prevents cracking. The best method is to wrap the springform pan in foil to prevent water from getting into it, then place it into a larger pan (like a roasting pan) and pour boiling water into it, placing the entire thing into the oven for the baking period. If you do not have a large enough second pan, the alternative is to place a pan with boiling water in it on a rack immediately below the rack that the cheesecake will bake on. You lose some of the effectiveness, but it's still better than nothing!
- Determining when a cheesecake is done baking is a bit subjective. Use an oven mitt to shake it a little. The majority of it should be set, with a slight jiggle in the middle. If the edges wiggle or the center moves a lot, it needs more time. If it's stiff, it's overdone. It will continue to cook slightly after it's been removed, so you want to take it out slightly early (hence still wanting some jiggle). If you're new to it, it'll take a little practice to learn what looks right.
- At a minimum cheesecake should be refrigerated for 4 hours before serving, but is best if allowed to chill overnight. Cheesecake is dense and the more time it has to fully set, the better.
Good luck, and happy baking!