Spooktacular Cheesecake

Spooktacular Cheesecake
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Prep: 20 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour


1/2cup slivered almonds
2cups ground chocolate wafer cookies
1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2cup sugar
1teaspoon lemon juice
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4teaspoon almond extract
3large eggs, at room temperature
1cup sour cream
1tablespoon sugar
1/4cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Make the crust: Using a food processor, finely grind the almonds. Add the cookies, sugar, and melted butter and pulse until thoroughly combined. Firmly press the cookie mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, continuing to form the crust halfway up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
  3. Make the filling: Combine the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla and almond extracts in a food processor. When well blended, add the eggs and process until thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the prepared pan with the crust and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, start the topping: Combine the sour cream and sugar in a small bowl.
  5. When the cake has just begun to crack, remove it from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 350F. Spread the topping evenly over the cake and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the topping is set. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 1 hour before decorating.
  6. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips and butter together, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and allow the chocolate to cool before placing it in a plastic resealable bag. Cut a small corner off one side. Twist the top of the bag slightly and gently squeeze out the chocolate onto a piece of wax paper. Practice making a small circle.
  7. Starting in the center of the cake, make a circle. Continue making concentric circles around the first circle until you’ve covered the entire cake with circles. Next, slowly drag a toothpick from the center of the cake to the outside edge moving in a straight line the entire way. Move your way around the cake, dragging the toothpick to the outer edge 8 to 10 times. Refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Rebecca Miller Ffrench’s Sweet Home (Kyle Books).