A delicious chocolately, super unhealthy (but definitely worth it) baked cheesecake for any occasion.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour for the cheesecake, 10 minutes for the cherry topping (plus 12 hours cooling time).
Makes: serves 12
Ingredients For the base:
250g plain chocolate biscuits (not covered in chocolate)
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
For the filling:
900g Philadelphia cream cheese
4 eggs at room temperature
300g dark cooking chocolate, chopped (or chocolate buds)
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
For cherry topping:
600g canned cherries, juice reserved
2 tbsp caster sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp lemon juice
100g Philadelphia cream cheese
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cream
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius
To make the base:
Process biscuits in food processes until fine crumbs are formed.
Melt butter in microwave and stir into biscuit mixture together with the 1 cup of caster sugar.
Butter and line a 20cm spring-form pan.
Press crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 8 minutes to set crust.
Remove from oven and place the pan on a cooling rack.
To make the filling:
Place chocolate in a bowl (glass or metal) over a saucepan of just simmering water. Stir with metal spoon until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (stirring occasionally).
Using a hand (or stand) mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder until light and fluffy. (NOTE: This took around 3 minutes and I suggest using a bowl with high sides as the mixture is extremely thick and made a bit of a mess of my kitchen bench).
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the melted chocolate and beat until just combined.
Use spatula or metal spoon to give mixture another stir and to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Pour mixture into pan over crust and smooth with spatula or spoon.
Bake in oven for approximately an hour (the top should just barely wobble when moved and should appear dry).
Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack for 5 minutes.
Carefully release the pan and remove the paper from around the outside of the cheesecake (don't attempt to remove the paper from the bottom until the cheesecake has set).
Place in fridge uncovered overnight (or a minimum of 12 hours) to allow it time to set.
To make cherry topping:
Place drained cherries plus tbsp of the juice from the can / jar into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add 2 tbsp caster sugar and the pinch of salt and stir to combine (carefully to ensure the cherries don't break down too fast).
Bring mixture to boil (takes around 5 minutes).
Whilst waiting for the mixture to boil, combine 2 tbsp of cherry juice with 2tbsp cornflour in a small jug and whisk to combine.
Once cherry mixture is boiling, reduce temperature and add the juice / cornflour mixture.
Stir constantly until thickened (doesn't take long).
Remove from heat and add 1 tbsp lemon juice.
Leave mixture to cool for approximately an hour then place in airtight container and refrigerate until ready to decorate cheesecake.
To make cream:
Add 100g cream cheese, 1/4 cup caster sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract to mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth and combined (approx 3 minutes).
Slowly add cream and continue to mix.
Once all cream has been added, mix on high for approx 1 minute or until mixture has thickened.
Store in air tight container until ready to decorate cheesecake.
Once the cheesecake has set, remove from fridge and carefully peel paper from the bottom of the cake.
Use a piping bag to pipe the cream mixture onto the cake as desired (use the cream as a border to hold the cherry mixture in place).
Add cherry mixture to top of cheesecake and decorate with more cream if desired.
If desired, melt a small amount of chocolate in the microwave and use a teaspoon to drizzle the chocolate over the cherry mix and cream