Saturday, May 28, 2011

Black Forest Cheesecake

I work with a woman who requests this on her birthday, I haven't made it for her in a few years, but I did this year! There really aren't many people I would spend this amount of time on, but she deserves it.

Happy Birthday Monica!

Monica "made" me have a very, very small slice, and laughed and said it was hardly even worth cutting because it was so small. She then enjoyed it throughout the day, stashed it in her mini fridge and then hauled it home after work. 

It's fun to make things people enjoy so much.

Unfortunately now my family wants one, but they will probably opt for a regular lemony cheesecake with shortbread crust instead of graham cracker.

I have been making this cheesecake recipe for over 25 years!

Give it a try, it really is rich and stunning.

First, you use chocolate, lot's of it!


~ 1985 favorite retro-dessert (Bon Appetit)

Cherry Topping:

1 lb. (thawed) frozen unsweetened cherries
1/4 cup kirsh
1/4 cup Morello cherry syrup (or sour cherry syrup)

Chocolate Crust:

8 12 oz. chocolate wafer cookies
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) well-chilled butter, cut into 12-in. pieces

Chocolate Filling:

1 1/2 cups whipping cream
12 oz. coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate

16 oz. (room temperature) cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
4 (room temperature) eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chilled whipping cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. kirsch

Chocolate curls

For topping: Soak undrained cherries and kirsch in small bowl 6 hours.Thoroughly drain cherries in strainer set over medium bow, shaking occasionally, at least 2 hours. Reserve liquid. Add enoughMorello cherry syrup to cherry liquid to measure 1 cup. Pour 6 Tbsp. into heavy 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 prepare 2 days ahead and chill).

For crust: Generously butter 9-in. springform pan. Finely crush cookies (on/off turns) in processor. Cut in butter (on/off turns) until mixture begins to gather together. Press crumbs into bottom of pan and up sides to 3/4 in. from top (should be no cracks). Refrigerate crust for at least 30 minutes.

For filling: Preheat oven to 325ยบ. 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 with 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at at time until combined. Beat in chocolate mixture, then remaining 10 tablespoons 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 1-2 days.

Remove foil, discard paper towel and pan sides of cake. Spread cherry topping over cake. Beat remaining 1 cup cream with 2 Tbsp. sugar and kirsh to peaks. Spoon onto center of cake. Top with chocolate curls. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead and refrigerated.). Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. (12-14 servings)

Here is the cheesecake without the topping.