I’M THINKING CHOCOLATE. It’s been some time since we’ve posted something as decadent and rich as this delicious cheesecake. Personally, I like to use dark chocolate in everything! After all, I’ve always said there are 3 food groups – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Today we focus on the darkest of chocolate and combine it with a heady sauce of cherries and Amaretto liqueur.
12 oz. dark chocolate cookie crumbs (no filling)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate
24 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temp
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Amaretto
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 can dark pitted cherries or 1 lb. fresh Bing cherries pitted.
1/2 cup Amaretto
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Sliced almonds for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°.
Process the cookies in a food processor or use a plastic food storage bag and rolling pin and crush until all crumbs are fine. Pour crumbs into a bowl and add melted butter. Mix thoroughly. Mixture will look wet. Press mixture into a 10″ springform pan, along the bottom and partially up the sides. Cover with and refrigerate.
Place unsweetened chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on 50% power at 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Stir every 30 seconds. Allow to cool slightly when finished melting. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese on medium low speed until creamy and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add sugar and beat until well blended. Add chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture slowly and continue beating until well blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the chocolate is incorporated. Add the Amaretto, vanilla and whipping cream and beat on medium speed until mixture resembles a thick chocolate mousse.
Spoon filling into prepared crust. Place the pan on a baking sheet. Place the pan in a 350° oven for 50-55 minutes or until top is raised and cracked in the center. Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
Cherry Amaretto Glaze:
Open can of cherries and set aside with juice in a small saucepan. If using fresh cherries (my personal preference), remove pits and add 1/2 cup of water. Add Amaretto and sugar and stir well. Soak cherries for several hours or overnight. Combine 2-3 TBS of cherry juice with the cornstarch and whisk until well dissolved. Add to cherries and juice in saucepan and heat on low to medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes or until mixtures bubbles and thickens and sauce coats the spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool, slightly.
Once glaze has cooled, drizzle over top of cheesecake, sprinkle with shaved almond slices and serve.