Cheesecakes are normally considered a type of dessert with un-ripened cheese as a primary ingredient. The most common type of cheese used is cream cheese, but ricotta cheese or cottage cheese may be used to make a savory appetizer variety. Cheesecakes can be made with any variety of flavorings or left plain. Chocolate cheesecake is a more decadent version of the dessert and a popular flavor choice. A baked chocolate cheesecake is any version made with a recipe that calls for creating a cream cheese batter flavored with chocolate and requires baking. Typically, baked chocolate cheesecake will include eggs as opposed to the no-bake variety, which does not use eggs.
In comparison to the no-bake variety, baked chocolate cheesecake will have a richer flavor due in part to the addition of eggs, as well as other ingredients that vary the flavor of the cream cheese batter. Other ingredients that are frequently called for in baked cheesecakes may include sour cream, butter, flour, and sweetened condensed milk. The addition of eggs to a cream cheese batter requires baking and the baking process results in a firmer dessert. Other factors, such as preparation methods, also affect the final texture of a cheesecake.
Baked chocolate cheesecake can be made with any basic cheesecake recipe involving eggs by simply adding chocolate to the batter. Baking chocolate is used by melting squares and subsequently adding the melted chocolate to prepared cream cheese batter. Some recipes for chocolate cheesecake call for using cocoa powder. The flavor and texture will be affected by the type of chocolate used. Some forms of chocolate include only fats derived from natural cocoa butter, but some forms may have vegetable fats added. In baking, the most common form of chocolate is bittersweet, or semi-sweet, chocolate.
In contrast to a baked chocolate cheesecake, a no-bake chocolate cheesecake is a dessert that requires no baking. There are far fewer ingredients in most no-bake cheesecakes and typically consist of cream cheese, butter, and sugar beaten together and poured into a pre-made graham cracker crust. A no-bake chocolate cheesecake simply requires the addition of melted chocolate or cocoa to the cream cheese mixture.
Whether the baked or no-bake variety, cheesecakes are best stored in the refrigerator. When preparing a baked cheesecake of any flavor, the most common bakeware needed is a springform pan. Be sure to check selected cheesecake recipes for differences in baking temperatures when using dark pans compared to lighter aluminum pans. Keep in mind that cheesecakes can be easily over-baked so follow baking instructions carefully.