I finally made it! Yippee! And it's just as super wonderfully delicious as I remembered. Man, I love cheesecake!
Hot Fudge Cheesecake is rich and chocolaty, though quite small. It is served at room temperature with a creamy Hot Fudge Sauce. This cheesecake is baked in a 7-inch springform pan, which, though fun and cute, is not a very common size. If you don't have a 7-inch, I would try baking it in an 8-inch pan and reducing the baking time.
Hot Fudge Cheesecake
1 cup crushed saltine crackers (about one sleeve)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
6 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
3 tbsp. sugar
6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate (I use chocolate chips)
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Hot Fudge Sauce:
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup half-and-half (I use evaporated milk)
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine first cracker crumbs, walnuts, 6 tbsp. melted butter, and 3 tbsp. sugar; stir well. Firmly press into bottom and 2 1/2 inches up sides of a lightly greased 7-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Set aside. Here's a picture of this step, so you can see how cute and little the 7-inch pan really is. Isn't it tiny?
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Combine chocolate squares and 3/4 cup butter in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring often. Remove from heat, and cool.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 3/4 cup sugar; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake at 300 for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until almost set (Almost set means there's still some jiggle in the middle, but not too much. My oven runs slow, it took about an hour and fifteen minutes). Turn off oven. Let cheesecake cool in oven 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack; cool to room temperature.
Gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake to release sides of pan; carefully remove pan. Another size comparison - the little hand belongs to my 3-year-old. Kids just can't keep their hands off yummy food, ya know?
Prepare Hot Fudge Sauce: Combine chocolate chips and half-and-half in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla.
Serve cheesecake with warm Hot Fudge Sauce. Store leftovers of both cheesecake and sauce covered in refrigerator. Leftover sauce can be served over ice cream or pound cake. :-)
Just a little side note: If you, perchance, accidentally buy milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet, just reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup. You can also use the milk chocolate in the sauce, it will just be sweeter than usual. Still yummy. Not that I, uh, speak from experience or anything. Because of course I would never do anything like that.