Tunnel of Fudge Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups Oreo or Hydrox cookie crumbs
(about 22 cookies)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Sweetened whipped cream
To make the Cookies ‘n’ Cream Crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pie pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and butter. Turn mixture into the prepared pan with the back of a large spoon, pressing firmly and evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes; let cool to room temperature. Raise the heat to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the flour, salt, and cream. Place 2 cups of the cheese mixture in a medium bowl. Stirring constantly, gradually add the melted chocolate, blending until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips; set aside. Stir the vanilla extract into the remaining cheese mixture.
Pour all but 1 1/2 cups light cheese mixture into the prepared crust. Spoon the chocolate-cheese filling in a 2-inch-wide ring onto the light cheese mixture, 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the pan. Do not get any in the center of the light mixture. Using the back of a spoon, press the chocolate mixture down into the light mixture until the top is level. Spoon the reserved light cheese mixture evenly over all and smooth the top. Place the cheesecake in the center of the middle oven rack.
Position a 13 x 9-inch baking pan filled halfway with hot water on a lower shelf. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees F; bake an additional 50 minutes.
Turn the oven off. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour with the oven door open 1 to 3 inches. Remove cheesecake from the oven to a rack; let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, run a thin knife around the inside edge of the pan; remove the side of the pan. Use a thin knife to loosen the crust from the bottom of the pan. With two large metal spatulas, carefully slide the cheesecake off the pan bottom and onto a serving plate. Spread the whipped cream over the top. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.