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Chocolate chip cheesecake is usually traditional cheesecake with chocolate chips mixed into the cream cheese filling. Sometimes the chips are only on the top or bottom of the cheesecake, and sometimes they’re scattered throughout the cake. The result is a very rich dessert with surprise hints of chocolaty flavor. Many chocolate chip cheesecake variations also include a chocolate cookie crust, though others feature a more traditional graham cracker crust.
Most chocolate chip cheesecake recipes start with a relatively simple, traditional cheesecake mixture. These recipes usually include cream cheese, granulated sugar, butter, and sometimes sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and eggs. Some bakers also add vanilla to their mixtures, but this is not a requirement.
The ingredients are beaten together with an electric mixer and poured into some kind of prepared crust. For a layered chocolate chip cheesecake, the cook may line the crust with chocolate chips before adding about half of the cheesecake mixture. This may then be topped by more chocolate chips, another layer of cheesecake, and a final layer of chocolate on top. The cheesecake is then baked according to the recipe. The chocolate chips will melt a little during baking, but usually firm up again while the cake cools. Many times, the inside of each chip remains soft, like chocolate ganache, adding to the texture of the cheesecake.
Another, very simple, variation involves simply pouring a bag of chocolate chips into the batter and mixing them throughout the cheesecake. Some cooks like to melt the chips slightly to create a marbled effect during mixing, and then add whole chocolate chips to the top of the cake. Nearly every mode of adding chips to a chocolate chip cheesecake is correct. The method depends mainly on the cook’s preferences and desired presentation.
Though many chocolate chip cheesecakes feature a crushed chocolate cookie crust, some bakers enjoy taking the chocolate chips just one step further. This process can involve a chocolate chip cookie crust, which may be achieved in a couple of ways. The first method involves crumbling hard, store-bought chocolate chip cookies into the crust mixture, instead of just graham crackers. The second entails pressing chocolate chip cookie dough into a pie pan for a true cookie crust. Again, both methods are popular.
Cooks that enjoy playing with flavors may choose to use specialty chips in their chocolate chip cheesecake. Some might simply combine milk and dark chocolate, while others might enjoy mint-infused chips. A few varieties of chips even feature raspberry, orange, and white chocolate swirls, all of which can add another subtle facet of flavor to any chocolate chip cheesecake recipe.