There’s just something about chocolate and cheesecake. This recipe is the love child of two of my heaviest hitters. I combined fudgy chocolate truffle cake with smooth, creamy, and tangy cheesecake.

And the best part? You don’t have to live at altitude to make this recipe, and you also can enjoy it as part of a gluten-free diet!

The two layers could also be baked individually. Sometimes I will bake the chocolate truffle cake in a 9 x 13 pan and serve it as super decadent brownies. On other occasions I will bake it in a circular cake pan and cut it into thin wedges, accompanied with some blood orange or coffee gelato.

At the restaurant, I used to bake the cheesecake without a crust and served crunchy walnut tuiles on the side for some textural contrast.

It’s up to you, but this one is a keeper. Custards and cheesecakes can be baked successfully at altitude, as long as they are given a little extra time to bake low and slow. The chocolate truffle cake has no chemical leaveners and instead relies on the eggs to give it some lift.

On another note, my parents and younger brother arrive in Vail tomorrow. Benny and I are eagerly anticipating this visit and there will certainly be some baking involved. We are going to experiment with web videos. Definitely stay tuned!

Chocolate Truffle Cake (adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather)
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 F. In an oven-safe bowl, combine the cubed butter and chocolate pieces. Place in the oven and allow to melt until smooth, stirring every 2-3 minutes to prevent it from burning.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt, until homogenous. You don’t want any little globs of egg whites still visible. Stream the melted butter and chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.

Pour the batter into a greased and parchment-lined 10-inch springform pan. Bake at 300 F until the edges are firm and the center is almost set (you want it to be a little fudgy). At altitude, this takes about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and proceed with cheesecake.

Cheesecake

16 oz. cream cheese
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 oz sugar
2 eggs
1 cup creme fraiche, sour cream, or Greek yogurt
*This recipe is also fantastic with the addition of lemon or orange zest. It will pair beautifully with the chocolate truffle cake too.

In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar. Pulse until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, pulsing well after each addition. Add the creme fraiche and blend until the cheesecake batter is even and smooth.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the chocolate truffle cake (it’s okay if the cake is still warm) and return to the oven. Bake until the cheesecake is nearly set, 45-60 minutes. It will still be a bit jiggly, but it will firm up as it cools. Make sure your oven is still set at 300 F.

Cool the cheesecake to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Garnish with fudge sauce, cocoa powder, or savor plain.

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