2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten slightly
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 (1 ounce) bottles red food coloring
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional garnishes: mint, strawberries, raspberries
Crust: After processing chocolate graham crackers in food processor, add brown sugar and process. Add melted butter through top and process until crumb mixture holds together. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes; cool slightly.
Filling: In a large bowl combine cream cheese and su gar and beat with a mixer until combined. Add eggs and continue to beat. Add cocoa, sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar and red food coloring and continue to beat until filling is completely mixed. Pour batter into prepared crust and bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cheesecake looks almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool in pan. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.
Topping: Beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of spring-form pan and garnish if desired with mint leaves and fresh strawberries or raspberries.
Yields 8 to 10 servings.