This luscious chocolate cheesecake from chef and restaurateur Donatella Arpaia will melt Mom's heart. Just don't wait until the very last minute, as it ideally needs to be chilled in the fridge overnight before you add the topping.
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Preheat oven to 350.
Butter a 9-inch spring form pan. Place graham crackers in a blender or food processor until finely ground (you can also crush in plastic bag with rolling pin, just make sure wafers are finely ground). Transfer to a small bowl and add the sugar and melted butter. Mix well. Bake for 5-7 minutes, remove from oven and let cool.
Melt the bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or in microwave until melted. Then, let the chocolate cool.
In a bowl of a mixer, place the cream cheese, cocoa and sugar. Beat for 3-5 minutes until blended and smooth. Add egg yolk, then one egg at a time, making sure egg is well blended before adding the next egg. Mix in melted, cooled chocolate. Pour mixture into cooled crust and bake until center is set, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool, cover and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
Stir the heavy cream, chocolate and sugar in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth. Pour over the chilled cheesecake. It's a great topping and also a good way to cover up any cracks. Smooth chocolate to cover the entire top of cake.
Chill for 1 hour or until topping is set.
Garnish and decorate as desired. I love curls: With a vegetable peeler, make chocolate curls with the 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and decorate the top of cheesecake.