This cheesecake is as beautiful as it is delicious. Sweet vanilla balances out the dark chocolate in every bite of a perfect Valentine's Day dessert.
This luscious dessert is the ultimate homage to cream cheese. Chocolate and vanilla batters are swirled together for a delicious contrast of flavor and texture. You'll want to make it at least 1 day ahead to let the flavors develop.
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all crust ingredients in medium bowl. Press into bottom and 1 1/4 inches up sides of 8-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
2. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Heat chocolate and 6 tablespoons water in medium heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch almost simmering water (bowl should not touch water). Stir frequently until almost melted. Remove from heat; stir until melted.
3. Beat cream cheese in large bowl at medium speed 30 seconds or just until smooth. Beat in 2/3 cup sugar and salt until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time just until blended. Measure 2 cups of the batter; stir into melted chocolate. Stir vanilla into remaining plain batter.
4. Place springform pan on baking sheet. Pour 1 1/4 cups of the chocolate batter into crust. Pour 1 1/4 cups of the vanilla batter over chocolate batter. Reserve 1/4 cup of the chocolate batter; spread remaining batter over vanilla layer. Spoon remaining vanilla batter in small dollops over chocolate batter. Spoon reserved chocolate batter in center of each dollop. Marble batters with small knife (do not overblend).
5. Bake cake on baking sheet at 325°F. for 40 to 50 minutes or until edges are puffed and top is dry to the touch. Center should move slightly when pan is tapped but should not ripple as if liquid. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate overnight. (Cake can be made 2 days ahead.) Store in refrigerator.
TIP *Crush chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate sandwich cookies in food processor or in plastic bag with rolling pin.