My love affair with cheesecake probably began from the moment I started eating solid food as a baby and was given my first bite of my grandma’s cheesecake. This was the real thing – hand crushed and pressed graham cracker crust, baked filling, baked sour cream top layer, and absolutely no fruit topping, that would have been sacrilegious. We all loved this delicacy so much that it didn’t matter that it wasn’t your traditional birthday cake it was still the celebratory dessert of choice.
With that said, I’m not posting the recipe. That’s a family secret. But, grandma’s cheesecake launched a lifetime of exploring more creative versions such as Grasshopper, Chocolate, Pumpkin, and Turtle. Here’s a version I make often since it’s practically “no-fail” and I love chocolate anything.
Crust: crush 1 package of graham crackers (I believe there are about 8-10 crackers in each package). Stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar and ¾ cube of melted butter or margarine. Press the mixture into the bottom of a cheesecake pan (these pans have a round flat bottom and a spring loaded band that can be removed after cooking).
Filling: beat 2 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese (works best if softened), ¾ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of baking cocoa, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 2 eggs until smooth.
Bake: Pour filling over the graham cracker crust and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Baking times vary with oven, so make sure the center is set, but not overdone. Refrigerate. I think it’s best to it make the night before needed and refrigerate overnight.
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