3 packages(8-ounces each)(681g)cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 ½cups(171g)powdered sugar
1 ½cups(255g)bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature (see note)
For the crust, combine the chocolate graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together in a small bowl until the mixture looks sandy and wet. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides, about an inch, of a 9-inch springform pan or into a 9.5-inch pie plate. Refrigerate while making the filling.
For the filling, in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer (or in an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat again for a minute or so until combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix.
Add the melted chocolate (make sure it is cool to room temperature!) and whip for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is extremely light and fluffy (this step is key to a creamy, light cheesecake filling).
Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or up to 12 hours) until chilled and set.
For clean slices, run a long thin knife under really hot water and wipe dry with a towel before slicing (repeat the hot water trick between each slice).
Cream Cheese: I tried this cheesecake with light (neufchâtel) cream cheese and...it doesn't compare to using regular cream cheese. The texture was way softer and the taste was almost a bit too tangy and not quite as rich. Experiment at your own risk.Chocolate: I use bittersweet chocolate in this recipe but semisweet could be used also. You might consider knocking the powdered sugar down just a notch if you do since semisweet chocolate is sweeter than bittersweet.Pie Plate: I think there's a bit too much crust/filling for a regular 9-inch pie plate unless you reserve some of each and make a couple small, individual sized cheesecakes in little bowls or ramekins. But again, I haven't tried it that way so feel free to experiment.