This is a recipe from Bon Appetit, June 1994. They called it Graduation Day Cheesecake and it is spectacular.
Cheesecake Photo from the magazine
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces) lightly toasted, coarsely ground
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
20 whole almonds – lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 350. Butter 10 inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 inch high sides. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add flour, almonds and sugar; mix until well incorporated and small moist clumps form. Press dough evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake until edges start to brown and crust is set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
Combine chocolate, 2 tablespoons butter and water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted. Spread 2/3 of mixture over crust. Reserve remaining chocolate mixture.
Using electric mixture beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla in large bowl until smooth. (Be sure to scrape the bowl). Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Spoon filling over crust. Bake until cheesecake puffs, sides are set and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 65 minutes (cake may crack). Transfer to rack; cool 5 minutes while perparing topping. Maintain oven temperature.
Rewarm reserved chocolate mixture over low heat. Mix sour cream and sugar in small bowl until smooth. Spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon chocolate mixture decoratively over topping (I use a knife to lightly swirl in the chocolate); reserve remaining chocolate mixture. Return cheesecake to oven; bake 3 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool one hour.
Reheat remaining chocolate mixture over very low heat until melted. Dip each almond halfway into chocolate; arrange around top edge of cake. Cover; chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)