This is adapted from my grandmother's plain vanilla cheesecake recipe that she got from a magazine sometime in the 1950s. It has always received rave reviews, especially once I added chocolate and coffee to it -- although the plain original is just as wonderful in its simplicity. Don't be surprised by the fact that it is very dense and thin as it is not a traditional fluffy New York style cheesecake. The sour cream topping really makes it special. - ShannonDee —ShannonDee
Test Kitchen Notes
A dense, creamy mocha layer with a glassy, sour cream top -- this is a barely sweet, entirely grown-up cheesecake, and you won't want to share. Note: If you're planning on pressing the crust up the sides of the pan, you may want to add an extra tablespoon or so of melted butter till the crumbs cling together. - kristen miglore —Kristen Miglore
Graham cracker crust
whole chocolate graham crackers
melted butter (unsalted)
espresso, or super-finely ground coffee (optional)
For crust: finely crush graham crackers and mix with melted butter and coffee, if using. Press into a pie plate or springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to set. Let cool, and leave oven at 350.
In a blender or food processor, mix together eggs, vanilla, 3/4 c. sugar, cream cheese, and cocoa powder until smooth. Scrape down sides.
Mix instant coffee powder (dry amount for one serving) with just barely enough hot water to dissolve and make a paste. Add to blender to combine thoroughly.
Pour into crust, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top should be firm and it will not rise much, if at all. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, and leave oven on.
Mix sour cream with 3T sugar. Spread on top of cheesecake. A nice decoration is to melt the chocolate chips, drizzle on top of sour cream layer, and drag a toothpick through to make a marbled design. Bake for 10 minutes more.
Allow to cool thoroughly in refrigerator before slicing.