Hot Fudge Cheesecake
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
6 sq. (1 oz. each) semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Hot Fudge Sauce:
1 pkg. (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
walnut halves for garnish
Combine first 4 ingredients; stir well. Firmly press onto bottom and 2-1/2 inches up sides of a lightly greased 7-in. springform pan. Bake at 350ºF for 8 minutes. Remove to a wire rack; let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300ºF.
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 let 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 300ºF for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake cool in oven 30 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack; let cool to room temperature. Remove sides of pan. Serve cheesecake with Hot Fudge Sauce. Garnish, if desired.
Hot Fudge Sauce: Combine chocolate morsels and half-and-half in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Serve warm. Yield: 2 cups