- 1 1/2 cups honey or chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 2/3 cups (10-ounce package) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Morsels
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- Fresh berries and powdered sugar for garnish (optional)
PLACE oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 325° F.
COMBINE graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in medium bowl. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes.
PLACE morsels in medium, microwave-safe dish. Microwave on HIGH (100%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until smooth.
BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl for about 3 minutes or until completely smooth and creamy (be sure to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula). On low speed, beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to continue to scrape down sides of bowl. Fold in melted chocolate and continue folding until mixture is uniform in color. Pour filling over crust and smooth down top.
BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes or until edge is set but center still jiggles. Remove from oven; place on cooling rack and immediately run knife around inside perimeter of pan to loosen from side (this will help prevent the top from cracking). Cool to room temperature; refrigerate for 3 hours. Cover loosely; refrigerate overnight.
TO SERVE: Run a thin knife under warm water, wipe it dry, and cut the cheesecake into slices, cleaning and wiping the knife after each slice. Garnish with fresh berries and powdered sugar. Store any remaining cheesecake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
TO FREEZE: Place unmolded, cooled cheesecake on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer. Once firm, wrap the cheesecake in two layers of plastic wrap and one layer of foil. Cheesecake can be frozen for 1 month. To serve, thaw overnight in refrigerator.