I was looking for a dessert to bring to my friend's Mexican-themed party, so I decided to spice up a basic chocolate cheesecake recipe, and it was a hit! Garnish however you like - I used dried jalapenos.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare one 9 inch round springform pan with 3-inch sides by lining the bottom with a parchment paper circle.
Crush or grind the whole cookies, including the cream filling, to make crumbs. Mix with the cinnamon, chipotle powder, and butter, and pour the mixture into the springform pan. Using the bottom of a flat measuring cup or drinking glass, press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom of the pan.
Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool. When completely cooled, wrap bottom and sides of pan in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil to prepare for the water bath.
Reduce oven to 325 degrees F.
In top of a double boiler over hot water, melt the semisweet chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, chipotle powder, cayenne pepper, and instant espresso powder (if using); mix on medium low speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly and there are no lumps.
Add the vanilla and flour; beat until mixed. Add the melted chocolate; continue beating on medium low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.
Add the eggs, 2 at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl between additions.
Tip: Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Blend the ingredients quickly to add as few air bubbles as possible. The ingredients must be well blended, but excessive beating creates too many air pockets which can cause the cheesecake to puff up too much during baking, and then crack during the cooling process.
Let the filling rest about 5 minutes, or lightly tap on the counter, to allow air bubbles to rise to the surface.
Brush the melted butter around the sides of the cooled springform pan, and pour the cheesecake filling into the cookie crust.
Set the foil-wrapped springform pan in a larger pan or roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Carefully pour HOT water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan, and close the oven door.
Bake 65 to 70 minutes.
Tip: The cheesecake is done when the edges are set but the center 2 to 3 inches are still a pool of liquid batter. The cake should look as though it has puffed a little and just barely beginning to brown. The center will still be soft and jiggly when the pan is lightly jarred or tapped with a spoon.
Remove from oven, place springform pan on a wire cooling rack to cool.
When the cheesecake is completely cooled, remove the sides of the pan, cover the cheesecake, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours before serving.
In a medium heavy-bottom pan, combine the chocolate, whipping cream, and sugar. Heat and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and topping is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool about 20 minutes or until starting to cool and thicken like pudding.
Pour over center of cheesecake; use a small offset spatula to spread the chocolate to the edges, letting some of the topping drip down the sides of the cheesecake.
Refrigerate the cheesecake until the topping is set, 20 to 30 minutes.
When ready to serve, garnish with chocolate shavings, dried jalapeno peppers, or whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers.