Amazing chocolate & cherry cheesecake!
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 1h 30 min
- butter - 6 tbsp, well chilled, 1/2
- chocolate wafer cookies - 8.5 oz
- whipping cream - 1 1/2 cup
- semisweet chocolate - 12 oz, coarsely chopped
- cream cheese, softened - 16 oz
- sugar - 3/4 cup
- eggs - 4, room temp
- vanilla - 1 tsp
- heavy whipping cream - 1 cup, chilled
- sugar - 2 tbsp
- Favorite Cherry brandy - 1 tbsp
- frozen unsweetened cherries - 1 lb, thawed
- Favorite Cherry brandy - 1/4 cup
- morello cherry syrup - 1/4 cup, to your liking
- Soak undrained cherries and cherry brandy in small bowl 6 hours.
- Thoroughly drain cherries in strainer set over medium bowl, shaking occasionally, at least two hours. Reserve liquid.
- Add enough Morello cherry syrup to cherry liquid to measure 1 cup.
- Pour 6 tablespoons into heavy 8-inch skillet (reserve remaining liquid for filling).
- Halve cherries and add to skillet. Boil until syrup is thickened and mixture resembles preserves, about 6 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Chill.)
- Generously butter 9-inch springform pan. Finely crush cookies in processor, using on/off turns. Cut in butter until mixture begins to gather together, using on/off turns.
- Press crumbs into bottom of pan and up sides to 3/4 inch from top; there should be no cracks.
- Refrigerate crust for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat 1 1/2 cups cream with chocolate in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Cool 10 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time until just combined. Beat in chocolate mixture, then 10 tablespoons of remaining cherry liquid and vanilla. Pour into crust.
- Bake until outer 2 inches of cake are firm but center still moves slightly, about 1 1/4 hours (top may crack). Cool completely on rack.
- Top pan with paper towels and cover tightly with foil. Refrigerate 1 to 2 days.
- Remove foil, paper towels and pan sides from cake.
- Spread cherry topping over cake. Beat remaining 1 cup cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and cherry brandy to peaks. Spoon into center of cake. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead and refrigerated.)
- Top with chocolate curls if desired. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.