Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
Get ready for the “wow factor” when you bring out this beautiful dessert. Looks like it took hours to make, but you can be busy with other things while it’s baking and chilling.I bake a lot and my husband said this was the best cheesecake he every ate.
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (or use Oreo’s premade)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling (reserve 1/4 for topping)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1/4 reserved cherry pie filling for topping garnish
Heat oven to 325°F. In medium bowl, combine crust ingredients; mix well. Press in bottom and 1 inch up sides of ungreased 10-inch springform pan.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sugar and almond extract until smooth. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream; blend well.
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.
Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack 1 hour.
In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup whipping cream to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted.
Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Remove side of pan. Place cheesecake on paper-lined cookie sheet. Spread glaze over cooled cheesecake, allowing some to flow down side. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve topped with remaining pie filling.
Look for chocolate cookie crumbs in the grocery store’s baking aisle. Or purchase chocolate wafers and process them in a food processor to form coarse crumbs. Wafers may also be crushed in a food storage plastic bag—crush them with a rolling pin. If you use chocolate graham crackers, more butter is necessary.
To make ahead, bake the cheesecake; cool and glaze. Freeze it until the glaze is set. Wrap tightly and freeze it for up to 1 month. Before serving, unwrap and thaw it in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.