If you thought classic cheesecake was a stunning dessert, wait until you try chocolate OMBRE cheesecake!! This beauty features 5 layers of crispy graham cracker crust, classic cheesecake batter, semi-sweet chocolate cheesecake, dark chocolate cheesecake, and a silky chocolate ganache on top. It's packed with chocolaty flavor and is most definitely impressive!
what makes this chocolate ombré cheesecake so good?
- tried and true cheesecake base to start with. Every cheesecake recipe I make is structured around my favorite classic cheesecake recipe because it's just absolutely perfect for beginners and experienced bakers alike!
- chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! There's not shortage of chocolaty goodness.
- silky and creamy. As any amazing cheesecake should be
- pretty and unique. It's definitely a stunner, and NOT something you see everyday!
picking the right chocolate
The chocolate you use for this cheesecake can easily take it from good to great! Try to buy chocolate that's labeled "Baker's" or "couverture" chocolate. They're usually sold in bars or morsels / chunks.
It's slightly pricier than other chocolates, but it's tastes a lot richer and melts much more nicely and smoothly. Avoid using plain old chocolate chips - most brands specially manufacture chocolate chips to hold their shape when heated, which can cause your chocolate to seize or end up grainy when you try to melt it.
Don't feel compelled to buy the most expensive bar on the shelf! Off brand versions of Baker's / couverture chocolate are usually really good on your wallet and melt just as nicely!
No matter what, cheesecake will almost always TASTE amazing! I mean, anything with FOUR blocks of cream cheese is bound to taste great lol
Buuuuuut if you want your cheesecake to look as great as it tastes, here are a few tips to keep in mind!
- Room temperature ingredients are a must! Not only do they whip up more smoothly and seamlessly, room temperature ingredients help ensure your cheesecake bakes up with a smooth crack-free top! Cold ingredients hitting the hot oven will shock your cheesecake, causing it to rise, expand, and shrink unpredictably.
- Don't overmix the batter! Not only is it extra work and effort, but overmixing your cheesecake batter will incorporate air into the filling. Air will then form bubbles and pop as it bakes - which again, causes cracking on top. It's especially important to watch your mixing once the eggs are added as that's when most air incorporation happens.
- Use the right chocolate. I already mentioned this above, but the right kind of chocolate can easily take your cheesecake to the next level! The wrong kind of chocolate can easily ruin a perfectly good cheesecake!
- Careful when pouring the batters over each other. The cheesecake filling is dense enough to support all the batter being stacked without them bleeding into one another. Buuuut you still need to watch when you're layering the batters - the first layer isn't going to give you any problems though. When it comes to the middle and top chocolate layers, it's always best to spoon dollops of batter evenly over top and gently spread into an even layer for more distinct ombré lines!
- Use a water bath. A steamy oven helps the cheesecake bake up evenly, gradually, and into silky, crack-free perfection!
- Cooling the cheesecake. Gradually cool the cheesecake in the oven, then on your counter to room temperature, then in the fridge until set. Gradual cooling helps keep the top from cracking! I also recommend running a thin knife along the edges of your cheesecake after about 30 minutes of cooling in the oven - if there are any bits stuck to the edges of your pan, they can rip and tear as the cheesecake cools and shrinks. Running a knife along the edges helps make sure nothing is stuck!
cheesecake water bath
You have 2 options for creating the steamy oven environment for your cheesecake! The first method involves placing your springform pan into a large roasting pan. The roasting pan is then filled with boiling water (going about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan). It's also a good idea to wrap the outside of your springform pan with aluminum foil before placing it into the water bath so you don't have any leakage!
That's a perfectly good method and it's what's most traditionally been used in the past when making cheesecakes. I personally kind of hate it and it's always a struggle getting the cheesecake out of the water bath... Sooo I prefer this second method.
The second method involves placing a baking pan on the bottom rack in your oven and filling it with about 2 inches of water. The exact size of the pan doesn't matter (I usually just use a 9 inch cake pan), but it should have sides high enough to fill with 2 inches of water. Place the cheesecake on the middle rack of your oven right above the water filled pan - and voilà! You have a perfectly good water bath!
Keep your cheesecake covered and stored in your fridge until right before you're ready to serve it. Cheesecake will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge and is best served nice and cold!
check out these other recipes!
Chocolate Ombré Cheesecake Recipe
for the graham cracker crust:
- 2 cups (210g) graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick / 115g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
for the chocolate ombré cheesecake filling:
- 4 (8 ounce) bricks cream cheese (32oz / 900g total), at room temperature *see notes
- 1 & ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (120g) plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature **see notes
- ¼ cup (30g) all-purpose flour, spoon and leveled
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 3 ounces (85g) good quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly ***see notes
- 5 ounces (140g) good quality dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 tablespoons black cocoa powder, sifted
for the ganache topping:
- ½ cup (120mL) heavy cream
- 6 ounces (170g) good quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- chocolate shavings (optional - for decorating)
make the graham cracker crust:
- Position 2 racks in your oven: one on the bottom level and another in the center of the oven. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crust ingredients until well combined. The mixture should resemble wet sand.2 cups (210g) graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar, ½ cup (1 stick / 115g) unsalted butter,
- Pour the graham cracker mixture into a 9 inch springform pan. Use the bottom of a cup and pack the mixture into the bottom and a little bit up the sides of your springform pan.
- Bake the crust in the center of your preheated 325°F oven for 8 minutes. This will help set the surface of the crust and keep it crisp, but it won't really change in appearance.
- Take the crust out of your oven (leaving the oven set to 325°F) and set aside to cool slightly while you prep the cheesecake filling.
make the chocolate ombre cheesecake filling:
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese blocks and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon by hand, cream together until you no longer see any dry sugar and you have a smooth mixture.4 (8 ounce) bricks cream cheese (32oz / 900g total),, 1 & ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
- Add your yogurt / sour cream, flour, salt, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.½ cup (120g) plain yogurt or sour cream,, ¼ cup (30g) all-purpose flour,, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Whisk your eggs into the cream cheese mixture one at a time, mixing each egg in before adding the next one. Take care not to over mix as it can cause cracks in your cheesecake! If you used an electric mixer for the first few steps, I recommend switching to mixing the eggs in by hand with a whisk - you're way less likely to accidentally over mix!4 large eggs,
- Pour about ⅓ of the cheesecake batter over your slightly cooled graham cracker crust (it's ok if it's still warm!) Spread the filling into an even layer to the edges, and set aside.
- Divide the remaining batter into 2 separate bowls. To one of the batters, whisk in unsweetened cocoa powder and melted semi-sweet chocolate until just combined. Take care not to over mix! Spoon dollops of this batter over the plain cheesecake batter in your pan. Gently spread into an even layer. Try not to disturb the bottom layer too much.1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder,, 3 ounces (85g) good quality semi-sweet chocolate,
- To the remaining ⅓ of the cheesecake batter, whisk in your melted dark chocolate and black cocoa powder until combined. Again, taking care not to over mix. Dollop this batter over your lighter chocolate batter and spread into an even layer.5 ounces (140g) good quality dark chocolate,, 2 tablespoons black cocoa powder,
- Place a large baking pan into the bottom rack of your oven and fill with about 2 inches of boiling water. Place the cheesecake on the center oven rack directly above the water filled pan. Bake the cheesecake in your preheated 325°F oven for 65 to 70 minutes, or until evenly puffed. If you shake the cheesecake, the center should still jiggle but the edges should hold in place.
- Turn the oven off and slightly crack the oven door open. Cool the cheesecake for 1 hour in the oven with the door slightly ajar. After about 30 minutes of cooling, carefully run a thin knife along the edges of the cheesecake to loosen any edges that may be stuck to the pan (this helps prevent cracks!) Then continue cooling until the 1 hour is up.
- Take the cheesecake out of the oven and cool completely to room temperature on your counter. Cover the cheesecake and place in the fridge to cool for 4 to 6 hours, or until firmed up and set.
make the chocolate ganache:
- Pour your heavy cream into a small saucepot. Place over medium heat and heat until the cream just starts to steam. Do not boil! Add your chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.½ cup (120mL) heavy cream, 6 ounces (170g) good quality semi-sweet chocolate,
- Pour the ganache into a medium bowl and let cool for about 5 minutes so it's not steaming hot.
- Unlatch the springform pan and place your cheesecake on your cake stand or serving plate. Pour the ganache over the cheesecake and spread to the edges. Sprinkle chocolate shavings along the edges of your cheesecake if you'd like for decor.chocolate shavings
- Slice and enjoy!