My love for chocolate-covered cherries inspired this fun and fancy cheesecake that's perfect for Christmas.
- 2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (about 32 wafers)
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 4 ounces white baking chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained, rinsed and quartered
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons shortening, divided
- 1/2 ounce white baking chocolate
- In a small bowl, combine chocolate crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla. Gently fold in cherries and pecans. Pour into crust.
- Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
- In a microwave, melt the semisweet chocolate, butter and 1 teaspoon shortening; stir until smooth. Cool for 2 minutes; pour over cheesecake. Spread over the top and let it run down the sides. Cool.
- In a small saucepan, melt white chocolate and remaining shortening. Drizzle over the top. Cool. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2000, p40
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