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Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
Food & Drink
2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 Tbsp butter, melted
Cherry Pie Filling:
1/2 cup water
1/2 Tbsp cherry juice (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp almond extract
Few drops of red food coloring
2 1/2 cups sour cherries, pitted (if using sweet, change cherry juice to lemon juice)
32 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325F.
For the crust: In a medium bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom and 1 inch up the side of an ungreased 10-inch springform pan and place onto a cookie sheet.
For the cherry pie fililng: In a large saucepan, combine water, juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract and food coloring. Stir in pitted cherries. Cool while you finish prepping the cheesecake.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after adding each one. Add sugar and almond extract; beat until smooth. It is critical that you beat the batter for a few minutes to break up any lumps because they will not disappear during baking. Add whipping cream and beat for another minute.
Spoon 3 1/2 cups cream cheese batter into the springform pan, spreading evenly. Reserve 1/2 cup of cherry pie filling for topping.
Spoon the rest on top of the cream cheese batter, spreading evenly. Spoon remaining batter on top of cherry filling. Spread evenly and smooth out the top.
Bake for 65-75 minutes or until the center is almost set. This means the cheesecake will still wiggle when shaken, but the top is firm when you touch it. Cool in its pan on a wire rack for an hour.
For the ganache: In a small saucepan, bring the whipping cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until melted.
After the cheesecake has cooled for an hour, carefully remove the pan side. Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place the cheesecake on top of the paper. Pour the ganache all over the top and sides of the cheesecake and spread it around. Refrigerate overnight. When serving, top with the reserved pie filling.