Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with 4 layers of aluminum foil.
Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until finely chopped. Add butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; pulse until incorporated, about 5 times. Transfer crumb mixture to the prepared pan and press evenly over the bottom and halfway up the sides.
Bake in the preheated oven until fragrant and starting to turn crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool while you prepare the cheesecake filling. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Combine cream cheese, mascarpone, and remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides as necessary. Add sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix on low until just incorporated. Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips.
Pour cheesecake mixture into prepared cookie crust. Top cheesecake with 1/4 cup of the remaining chocolate chips and place entire pan into a large roasting pan. Transfer to the center rack in oven and carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come up 1 inch on the sides of the springform pan, being careful to not let water get into cheesecake.
Bake until filling is set but still slightly jiggly in the center, 60 to 65 minutes. Turn oven off and prop the door open. Let cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and take cheesecake out of the roasting pan. Set aside to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Microwave heavy cream until hot but not boiling, about 1 minute. Pour over chocolate chips and let sit, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir until smooth and shiny. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
While ganache cools, run a sharp paring knife around edges of crust to loosen from pan. Remove sides of springform pan. Run knife around bottom of cheesecake to loosen. Gently shimmy, or use large spatulas, to transfer cheesecake onto a cake stand or serving plate.
Top cheesecake with chocolate ganache leaving 1-inch uncovered around the perimeter of the cheesecake. Crumble speculoos cookies; sprinkle over ganache. Place candy kisses on top of uncovered perimeter of cheesecake. Slice and serve cold or at room temperature.
Source: Read Full Article