Preparation / Directions:
2 Lb Cream Cheese -- 1 kg
1 1/2 C Sugar -- 375 g, 12 oz
5 oz Bittersweet Chocolate -- melted, 155 g
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
The last word in decadence, Hazelnuts, pecans, or your favorite nut can be used instead of almonds in the crust. I've also known to chop up 2 oz of bittersweet chocolate - that's about 60 g - to add to the filling. Now maybe that's the last word in decadence!!
In a food processor, blend the almonds and sugar to a coarse meal. Add the butter and almond extract and process until fully blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9"/23 cm springform pan, bringing it up the sides to a height of 1/4"/0.5 cm. Chill for 30 min.
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F/175 deg C/gas mark 4.
To prepare the filling, cut the cream cheese into 8 or 10 pieces and place in a mixer. Scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently, blend until smooth. Add the sugar and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each adition. When the eggs aer fully incorporated, drizzle in the chocolate, mixing to blend. Turn off the machine and scrape the bottom and sides down well.
With the machine back on, add the vanilla and blend. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake for 50 to 60 min, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cheesecake cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs.
Serve with whipped cream.