Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easy Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake!

Photo: Pillsbury (I leave off the chocolate on top)
In celebration of National Cherry Cheesecake Day, I thought I'd repost an easy delicious recipe for Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake adapted from Pillsbury. Of course I make my own tried and true Chocolate Cookie Crust!

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 Tbsp sweet butter, melted and slightly cooled
Pinch of salt

Directions
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.

Filling 
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
20 ounces cherry pie filling  (I use Chukars Sour Cherry Pie Filling!)

(Optional) Glaze 
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup (or about 6 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped

Directions
1.  Make crust as above.
2.  In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sugar and vanilla 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.
Serve topped with remaining cherry pie filling.

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. Before adding the extra cherry pie filling-- Spread chocolate glaze over cooled cheesecake, allowing some to flow down side. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.


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