1 1/2 cups
chocolate wafer crumbs (190 grams) or graham cracker crumbs (140 grams)
(85 grams) melted butter
(50 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
instant espresso powder
For the filling:
1 1/2 ounces
(43 grams) milk chocolate, very finely chopped
instant espresso or coffee powder
1 1/2 tablespoons
1 1/2 pounds
(680 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
(100 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
pure vanilla extract
large eggs, at room temperature
In This Recipe
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mix the cookie crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and instant espresso powder. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and about halfway up the sides of the pan.
Prick the bottom of the crust and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is fragrant and dry. Cool on a rack before filling. Grease the sides of the pan above the crust level to prevent the filling from sticking to the pan in case it rises higher than the crust.
Lower the oven temperature to 325° F. Place the milk chocolate in a medium bowl with the coffee powder. Pour the boiling water over it and stir until smooth. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese just until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Scrape the bowl and beaters. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat just until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 egg and beat just until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and beaters. Beat in the second egg.
Stir 1 cup of the batter into the bowl of melted chocolate. Pour the remaining plain batter into the prepared crust. Pour or spoon pools or ribbons of milk chocolate batter over the plain batter, making sure to leave some plain batter showing. Jiggle the pan gently to level the batters. Marble the batters with a small spoon by gently stirring in small loopy circles until the colors are intermingled but not blended.
Place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until the edges of the cake are puffed but the center looks moist and jiggles when tapped. Remove the cake from the oven. If the filling is touching the sides of the pan, above the height of the crust, slide a thin paring knife carefully around the edges of the pan to detach the cake, but do not remove the pan sides.
Place the pan on a rack and cover the pan and the rack with a large inverted bowl or pot so that the cake cools slowly. Cover and refrigerate the cooled cake at least 5 hours, but preferably 24 hours, before serving.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).