|Photo: Pillsbury (I usually leave off the chocolate on top)|
About the crust. Sometimes I bake it first, and sometimes I don't. It won't matter in this recipe, but I like it to be a bit more crunchy for texture, so I posted with baking it before adding filling.
CHOCOLATE CHERRY CHEESECAKE
Chocolate Cookie Crust
About 40 chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers-2 cups crumbs)
6 tablespoons sweet butter, melted and slightly cooled
Pinch of salt
1. Process cookies in food processor until finely ground.
2. Transfer crumbs to mixing bowl & combine crumbs, butter, salt. Stir until crumbs are moistened.
3. Press mixture evenly across bottom of 10-inch springform pan and all the way up sides of pan. Pack tightly so crust is even.
4. Bake in 350° oven for 6-8 minutes or until crisp.
5. Let cool completely before filling. You can put it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling (I love Chukar's Sour Cherry Pie Filling!)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup (or about 6 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped
1. Heat oven to 325°F.
In medium bowl, combine crust ingredients; mix well. Press in bottom and 1 inch up sides of ungreased 10-inch springform pan and bake (as above)
2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sugar and almond extract until smooth. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream; blend well.
3. Spoon 3 1/2 cups cream cheese mixture into crust-lined pan, spreading evenly. Carefully spoon 1 cup pie filling evenly over cream cheese layer (reserve remaining pie filling for topping). Spoon remaining cream cheese mixture evenly over pie filling.
4. Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack 1 hour.
Optional: I don't think you need to add this, but if you want more chocolate!
5. In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup whipping cream to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped chocolate until melted.
6. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Remove side of pan. Place cheesecake on paper-lined cookie sheet. Spread glaze over cooled cheesecake, allowing some to flow down side. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve topped with remaining pie filling.