Best Chocolate Cheesecake Ever!

by Mollianne on November 4, 2018

So, I did this thing.

In the 20+ years I’ve been keeping company with  the RocketMan, he has repeatedly waxed eloquent over the Chocolate Cheesecake from Grisanti’s restaurant in Memphis.  This was THE dessert of his youth.  And no matter how many Chocolate Cheesecake recipes I tried (and they were all pretty good), they just didn’t live up to his taste bud memories.

Recently, as he was once again telling me yet again about how amazing the Chocolate Cheesecake from Grisanti’s was, an idea popped into my head.  I used my Google Powers and Googled something like “john grisanti chocolate cheesecake best ever in the history of the entire world Memphis Tennessee”.  Among other things, a review of a cookbook popped up.  I went to Amazon, found a used copy of the cookbook and purchased it.

Lo and behold, there WAS a Chocolate Cheesecake recipe in it.  Vivian’s Chocolate Cheesecake.  So I went for broke. And by golly, he says it is exactly what he remembered.  Google, Amazon and Molli for the WIN!!

Pretty sure there is a heart attack in every bite, but oh my friends!  What a way to die!

So, with the disclaimer that I am NOT responsible for the death of anyone who might completely clog their arteries by overeating, I am going to share the recipe.



Vivian’s Chocolate Cheesecake-from Wining & Dining With John Grisanti, 1984


1 cup butter

3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate piece

2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 tablespoon cocoa

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups sour cream

1 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon sugar

Remove cream cheese from refrigerator about 2 hours before mixing cake.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Add cracker crumbs and stir until crumbs are moistened, then press crumbs onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.  (add more butter if mixture is too crumbly.) Chill.

Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over simmering water.  Remove from heat.  Place softened cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with mixer set at medium speed, until cheese is smooth. with mixer still on medium, beat in sugar gradually, then add cocoa, beating until well combined and smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla, then stir in sour cream and pour into chilled crust.

Bake in a 90 degree oven for 90 minutes.  Cool at room temperature, then chill at least 5 hours before serving. (HINT: don’t start mid-afternoon if you are making this for supper…it won’t be ready to eat!)  The cooked cake will be slightly runny, but will become firm as it chills.

Whip cream with 1 teaspoon of sugar until very thick. Spoon into a pastry bag and decorate cake.  Garnish with grated chocolate or pecans and maraschino cherries.  Slice thinly.

NOTE: This cake freezes well.

And look…here I am.  Just like that, I blogged again.


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