Two-Tone Awesome Oreo Cheesecake

Allow me to share a real life moment, in case I've miraculously managed to give you the impression I'm some kind of Suzy Homemaker Supermom who has it all together.  I made this cheesecake twice this past weekend because the first time I forgot to put in any sugar.  So, I made a cheesebrick once, and then a cheesecake.  I made the former on Saturday after a full morning of errand running, because I've been making a greater effort to truly keep Sunday as a Sabbath day--a day set aside to worship Jesus with His people, rest, and spend time with my family--rather than scrambling around getting ready for Monday.  Is anyone else really terrible at resting?  I'm good at wasting time, bad at resting.  There's a difference.  Anyway, driving home from church on Sunday I was going through my mental list and cheerfully reflecting on how much I had gotten done and looking forward to a relaxing afternoon when suddenly...I had one of those cartoonish dawning realizations that made my mouth fall open and forced out a small groan.  I forgot the sugar.  Cheesecakes only have a few ingredients, and so it's easy to revisit the ingredient list.  While I was making it I had the strange feeling something was off...the consistency when I went to bake it wasn't quite right, among other things.

Sunday afternoon was spent doing some quick grocery shopping and having another go.  I'm thankful that the Lord did give me some rest in the form of a wonderful ladies' night Monday evening, when I got to sit around my kitchen table with some dear friends.  We laughed, encouraged one another, and ate cheesecake.  And then ate cheesecake again, because I forgot to serve the first round of slices with my homemade raspberry sauce.  Does absentmindedness come standard with having 3 or more children?  Is cheesecake a good memory food?  I can only hope.

Two-Tone Awesome Oreo Cheesecake  (heavily adapted from this recipe)

You will need about 1 and a half packages of chocolate sandwich cookies for this cheesecake.  I usually use store brands. 

For the crust:
1 1/2 c. Oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 c. melted butter

For the cheesecake:
3 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
3 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 c. coarsely chopped Oreos (don't need to be as finely crushed as for the crust)

For the ganache:
1 c. heavy whipping cream
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips

powdered sugar (optional, for piping)
white baking chips, melted (optional, for decorative drizzle)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Thoroughly mix butter into the Oreo crumbs to moisten them and press into a 9 1/2" springform pan, evenly covering the bottom of the pan and 1/2" up the sides.

Beat together softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.  Remove two cups of the batter and put it in a small bowl.  Whisk the 3 oz. of melted chocolate into the 2 cups of batter, and pour evenly into crust.  Stir the coarsely chopped Oreos into the remaining batter, and pour into crust over the chocolate layer.

Place a shallow baking pan with 1 cup of water in it onto the bottom rack of your oven to catch any drips that may escape the springform.  Bake the cheesecake 45 minutes-1 hour, or until center is just set, on an oven rack centered above the drip pan.  When the center is set, turn off the oven and open the door a few inches.  Allow the cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven for a half hour before removing to cool completely.  Chill for 4-6 hours.

To make the ganache, place the bittersweet chocolate in a heat safe bowl.  Bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate.  Allow it to sit for a moment, then whisk together until smooth and velvety.  Use as desired to top cheesecake.   You can also whisk powdered sugar into a portion of the ganache to make it stiff enough to pipe. Chill for several hours before serving, preferably overnight.


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