Preparation / Directions:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 F. Remove the side from a 10-by-3-inch springform pan. Trim a 10-inch cardboard cake circle so it fits snugly within the curved lip of the bottom of the springform pan. Cover the top of the cardboard-lined springform bottom with a piece of aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang all the way around the edge. Carefully attach the side of the springform so as not to tear the foil. Wrap the foil overhang halfway up the side of the springform pan. (Lining the bottom of the pan in this way will give the cheesecake an even flat base making it easy to remove from the pan.)
Generously butter the bottom and side of the prepared springform pan. Gently crush 1/4 cup of the almonds in the palm of your hand and press onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the prepared pan while preparing the cheesecake batter.
Melt the milk, white and dark chocolates separately using gentle heat and stirring constantly so as not to scorch the chocolate and diminish its flavor. In the 4-1/2 quart bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the Neuchatel cheese for 3 to 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Beat in the sugar. Reduce the speed to medium and one at a time beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Beat in the cream until well combined.
Measure and remove a scant 2-1/3 cups of the cheesecake batter into a medium bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the milk chocolate just until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Divide the remaining batter in half and using a rubber spatula fold the white chocolate into one half of the batter and gently scrape on top of the milk chocolate batter. Fold the dark chocolate into the remaining cheesecake batter and scrape it on top of the white chocolate batter.
Place the cheesecake in a roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan so that the water comes halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, or until set. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door closed for an additional hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight or for at least 5 hours, until firm.
To make the glaze, place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a gentle boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Scrape the topping mixture onto the center of the cheesecake. Using a small offset metal spatula, spread the topping evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
Refrigerate the cheesecake for 10 minutes to set the topping.
Run a thin-blade knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the side of the springform pan. Remove the side of the springform pan. Press the remaining almonds evenly on the side of the cake. Slide two metal spatulas underneath the cheesecake and transfer it to a serving platter. Cut the cheesecake with a sharp, thin-blade knife, dipping the blade in hot water and wiping it dry between each slice. Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired