Chocolate Velvet: Chocolate Cake of the Month

Sunday May 14, 2017

If you love cheesecake and also love chocolate, this recipe is for you. This is one of the finest cheesecakes I have ever made and the name says it all…chocolate velvet..smooth and creamy all the way down from your lips to your tummy. It sits in a yummy pecan-enhanced graham cracker crust. Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, serving 10.

Graham Pecan Crust


  • 4 whole graham crackers
  • 1 cup raw pecan halves or pieces
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat the oven to 350º.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment.  Place the crackers, pecans, and sugar in the food processor and grind fine.  Add the melted butter; process just until clumps are formed.  Remove from the bowl and press evenly into the bottom and one inch up the sides of the pan until firmly packed.  Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling


  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs


Melt the chocolate slowly in a double boiler, remove from the heat and cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 350º.

Beat the cream cheese, heavy cream, and sugar in an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the vanilla, cocoa powder, and slightly cooled melted chocolate.  Add the eggs, mixing well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Mix just until blended, about 30 seconds; do not overbeat.

Set the pan with the prepared crust on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up to cover the bottom and sides of the pan to catch any batter that might leak.  Pour the batter into the pan and bake in the center of the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325º and bake an additional 30 minutes.

At the end of the hour, turn off the heat and with the oven door slightly ajar, leave the cake in the oven for 1 additional hour (set a timer).  Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool completely to room temperature.  Remove the foil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Remove 1 hour before serving.  Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust and carefully remove pan rim.  Decorate with rosettes of cocoa whipped cream (recipe follows) topped with a chocolate coffee bean if you are making for a party. Otherwise, you can just serve slices with a dollop of the ever so delicious cream.  Transfer to a cake platter.

Cocoa Whipped Cream

  • 1/4 cup granulated superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Place the sugar and cocoa in a bowl and aerate by stirring with a small whisk.  Add the heavy cream and stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.  Whip until firm peaks are formed and decorate immediately.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Beth Recommends: How to Melt Chocolate

Chocolate is widely used as an ingredient in sweet yeast and quick breads, as well as fillings and sauces.  The trick to melting chocolate successfully is to melt it slowly over low heat stove top or in the microwave; chocolate responds quickly to changes in temperature.  Whatever method you use, first coarsely chop the chocolate for even melting.  It burns very easily, so keep the temperature below 125°F.  If overheated, chocolate will become grainy and taste scorched.  Water causes chocolate to seize, so be sure the container in which it is melted is dry.  Different types and brands of good-quality chocolate melt at different rates and have different consistencies.  Make certain to allow for sugar in a recipe calling for unsweetened chocolate or cocoa, as it contains none.  Semisweet, bittersweet, and milk chocolates tend to hold their shape when melted and must be stirred with a whisk or rubber spatula to create a smooth consistency.

In a double boiler

Place coarsely chopped chocolate over hot, just below simmering, water.  Let stand until melted, stirring occasionally.  Because milk and white chocolates are so heat sensitive, after the water is hot, remove the double boiler from the heat and let stand until the chocolate is melted.

In a conventional oven

Place the chocolate in an ovenproof glass or other ovenproof dish in a preheated 300° to 350°F. oven.  Check every 5 minutes until melted.

In a microwave oven

Place coarsely chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe container and partially cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave at 50 percent power for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the amount, until shiny and slightly melted.  Stir at 1-minute intervals throughout the melting process until completely melted.  Milk and white chocolates take less time than dark or unsweetened.

To substitute cocoa powder for baking chocolate

Use 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter for every one-ounce square of unsweetened baking chocolate.

Recommended Brands of Chocolate

ScharffenBerger bulk chocolate and chips

Once difficult for the home baker to procure, my supermarket offers small baking bars of Valrhona Le Noir Gastronomie Bittersweet chocolate from France, Swiss Lindt Excellence, and Callebaut from Belgium, Ghiradellhi from USA, Guittard 61% or 65% Semisweet Chocolate from USA, and ScharffenBerger Extra-bittersweet (now owned by Hershey’s), but Bakers’ semisweet is easily found and has been the chocolate of choice in many tastings. Remember that different brands of chocolate, as well as the percentage of cocoa butter, will vary in taste, so experiment with different chocolates. You want bar chocolate rather than chocolate chips, which have an additive that help maintain its shape for baking and melts different than bar chocolate.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2017

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site

Your Comments

3 comments Comments Feed
  1. N..H. Nanny 03/04/2013 at 9:38 am

    I have several of your books, and was thrilled when You gave Marty “thumbs up” for her efforts to succeed w/ her “Welcome Home” page, and, I am so thankful to be a member,of such a positive group….Sincerely, Nanny (pat Milton)

  2. Beth 18/04/2013 at 7:32 am

    thanks for writing, nanny. Marty is remarkable. I am so glad I got to know her, even though the circumstances
    could have been more conducive. Please stay in touch, my best, Beth

  3. Pam 27/07/2013 at 12:21 am


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