I'm a big fan of cheesecake. My wife made me a very tasty one for my birthday.
Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake from The Gourmet Cookbook
1 ½ c (about 5 oz.) finely ground chocolate graham crackers or cookies
5 T unsalted butter, melted
1/3 c sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
Butter a springform pan. Stir together all ingredients in a bowl. Press onto the bottom and up 1 inch of the sides of the buttered pan. Fill immediately or refrigerate up to 2 hours.
1 c sugar
¾ c heavy cream
8 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
½ c sour cream
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Put rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Cook sugar in a dry, heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork until melted and pale golden. Continue to cook caramel, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally, until deep golden. Immediately remove from heat and carefully add cream (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until smooth. Stir in sour cream.
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and mix in chocolate mixture. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Mix in vanilla.
Put springform pan with crust on a baking sheet with sides to catch any drips. Pour filling into crust. Bake until cake is set 3 inches from the edges but center is still slightly wobbly, about 55 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it, then cool completely on a wire rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) After the cake is cooled refrigerate, loosely covered (with a kitchen towel) at least 6 hours. Remove the sides of the pan, transfer to a cake plate, and bring to room temperature before serving.
*May be refrigerated for up to 1 week.