Baked Chocolate Cheesecake—Prototype 20 (7-Way Chocolate):
This one is an update from the loaded Prototype 17. A particular feature is a new approach to using chocolate syrup (with the hope that the swirl pattern does not sink too deeply into the batter's top surface).
3-Cheese Blend (1CT-1NC-4YG):
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 8 ounces of whipped, lowfat cottage cheese and 8 ounces of softened Neufchatel cheese ("light cream 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
3/8 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
8 oz. (1 cup) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 oz. finely ground All-Bran

Place the resulting mixture in the greased pan and pre-bake without tub at 300 degrees for 5-10 minutes, depending on the mixture's thickness (closer to 10 minutes if thin enough to be fully distributed across the pan's bottom by gentle shaking, closer to 5 minutes if thick enough to require spreading out this mixture by pressing on it with a utensil and/or fingers), then cool enough to comfortably touch at least the pan's upper sidewall.

Chocolate Batter:
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/8 cup cocoa powder
40 oz. (5 cups) 3-cheese blend (see above)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (5 tablespoons altogether) arrowroot
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 eggs

Double-chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Newman's Own), about 2 dozen

Dark Decoration Batter (thoroughly blend these two ingredients together):
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup (such as Trader Joe's Organic Midnight Moo)
2 tablespoons chocolate batter (see above)

Expect more than 7 cups of the resulting chocolate batter (and reserve 2 tablespoons of this for the dark decoration batter), but do not add this to the pan all at once (otherwise, the cookies, which are also added here, may end up floating and/or sinking too much to a single level, due to density differences). Rather, this needs to be done in five 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 four installments, gently scoop about 1 1/2 cups of batter into the pan. Add about 6 cookies (don't bother breaking them up—keeping them whole is fine and, in fact, recommended), ensuring that they are fully coated and—as much as possible—immersed.

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.

For the fifth (and final) installment, gently add the remaining batter to the pan, but do not add any more cookies. Instead, add the dark decoration batter on the top surface. From a beaker, pour thick, parallel stripes of this decorative batter throughout the top surface in the pan. Then pull a knife in perpendicular directions through these dark stripes in the lighter-colored batter (just deeply enough for the uppermost installment's surface) in order to produce a wavy, swirl pattern (see photo below). Do all this as neatly as possible (try to avoid cutting into the lower installments underneath).

After the fifth installment (including the dark decoration batter) is in place, 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 65 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. Now, for the final chocolate touch, add a border of chocolate chips, semi-sweet and white, around the edge of this cheesecake (see photo below). 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 20

For some reason, the cheesecake's middle decorative swirl "line" seemed to somehow run too deep into batter, ultimately leading to a crack. I would simply have to remember in the future to take additional precautions when transferring a cheesecake like this from one surface to another.

I brought this one to my annual family reunion in July of 2016 at my cousin Robin's place, where it ended up being a great success. About 5/8 of it got taken before I brought the rest back home.

I should also mention here that this cheesecake was the very first one that I made after having heart surgery, in which my mitral valve was successfully repaired. It was only about two weeks after this surgery that I made this dessert. What a speedy recovery!

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