Baked Chocolate Cheesecake—Prototype 16:
This repeats Prototype 15, but with a couple of changes that I made to the chocolate crust, as reflected in Prototype 8 of my cookies+creme cheesecake. And for the batter, I boldly decided to try a new trick—some really cool, dark stripes and swirls, using chocolate syrup. I felt that this would give the cheesecake a more tantalizing look.
2-to-1 Blend of Yogurt Cheese and Cottage Cheese:
Prepare ahead of time 32 ounces of yogurt cheese, derived from two 32-ounce containers (that's 64 ounces altogether) of nonfat yogurt. If the resulting yogurt cheese falls below 32 ounces, add back enough of the whey (that was strained out from the yogurt) to make up the difference. To this yogurt cheese combine one 16-ounce container of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese.

Grease a 9 1/2" (or 9") pan, but do not wrap foil around it until just before the batter is added (spreading the crust in an already wrapped pan can result in greater disturbance to the foil, thus increasing leakage risks).

Chocolate Crust:
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
8 oz. (1 cup) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
3/8 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. finely ground Bran Buds

Place resulting mixture in 9 1/2" (or 9") pan.

Chocolate Batter:
4 tablespoons melted/softened butter
3/8 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons arrowroot
1/2 teaspoon salt
40 ounces (5 cups) 2-to-1 blend of yogurt cheese and cottage cheese (see above)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs

Chocolate syrup (Trader Joe's Organic Midnight Moo recommended), about 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) altogether

Expect more than 7 cups of the resulting batter, but do not add this to the pan all at once (otherwise, the syrup, which is also added here, may end up floating—or perhaps sinking—too much to a single level, due to density differences). Rather, this needs to be done in four installments. Wrap the pan in foil just before adding the first installment. Minimize the foil's disturbance in order to minimize its leakage risk.

For each of the first three installments, scoop about 1 3/4 to 2 cups of batter into the pan. Then add about 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup (close to 1 1/3 ounces by weight if using the TJ's brand recommended above). The best way to do this is to squirt some thick, parallel stripes of it throughout the pan (the TJ's syrup, as of this writing, comes in a squeezable bottle with a squirt nozzle). Then pull a knife in perpendicular directions through these stripes in the batter (just deeply enough for the installment being added) in order to produce a wavy, swirl pattern (see photo below for an example).

Chocolate Cheesecake—Prototype 16 (top view)
(Top view of finished cheesecake, with a suggested pattern)

Use extra care in the later installments when adding batter (i.e., gently scoop it) into the pan. After adding an installment, bake the pan with its contents at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, in a tub filled with at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch of boiling water. To reduce spillage risks, do not fill the tub all the way at this point, because the whole tub-and-pan assembly is going to need to be removed from the oven (in order to comfortably add contents to the pan) between installments.

After all this is done, there should be about 1 3/4 to 2 cups of batter remaining, with 45 minutes of baking time reached at this point (15 minutes for each of the first three installments). Now comes the fourth installment—add the batter and syrup in the same way as with the earlier three installments. But try to place (and swirl) the syrup as neatly as possible on top, because this is what is going to end up being exposed. So appearance is particularly important for this final installment. Next, return the entire pan-and-tub assembly to the oven. At this point, fill up the tub generously with boiling water. Resume baking, but with the oven temperature lowered to 300 degrees, for about another 75 minutes (based upon usage of a 9 1/2" pan).

Afterward, shut the oven off, and leave its door slightly ajar, with the cheesecake still inside—and in the tub—for an hour. Next, remove the cheesecake from the oven and tub, and—if desired—add a border of chocolate chips around the edge of this cheesecake. Continue to cool it down at room temperature for another two hours. After doing so, remove the cheesecake from pan and refrigerate.

Chocolate Cheesecake—Prototype 16 Chocolate Cheesecake—Prototype 16 (sliced)

This cheesecake fared well at Living Hope Church and was gone probably within 45 minutes (almost all of it within 30), amidst a very modest selection of snacks.

However, I was rather surprised that the chocolate syrup hardly made distinct appearances
inside the batter. Maybe it somehow got too easily dissolved. But the cottage cheese's curds didn't. What happened was that I took a chance on a mixer, rather than a blender, to accomplish this, but the mixer was not thorough enough. Some white specks could still be seen in the batter and crust. Nevertheless, I found the taste of this chocolate prototype to be irresistible. For the sake of inner appearance, I have given thought to using more chocolate syrup, in the form of thicker, unswirled stripes for the inner installments—and a blender for the cottage cheese—next time.

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