- 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside of pod and reserved
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces melted semisweet chocolate, cooled slightly
- Fresh strawberries, for garnish
- Whipped cream, for garnish
- Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if using a silver springform pan, or 325 degrees F if using a dark nonstick springform pan).
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and the butter and mix well. Press onto the bottom of springform pan. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the crust is just set and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, remaining cup of sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and beat until light and creamy. Add the flour to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and sour cream and mix well. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the center is almost set. Run a sharp knife around the rim of the pan and allow cake to cool on a wire rack before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Cheesecake may be made up to 2 days in advance before serving and will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Serve the cheesecake garnished with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and mint sprigs.
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