This chocolate cheesecake is decadent, delicious & perfect for a Valentine’s Day treat!
DARK CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE WITH BOURBON CHERRIES
2 cups chocolate graham cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 ounces high-quality 70% bittersweet chocolate (chopped, about 2 cups)
24 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces high-quality 70% bittersweet chocolate (chopped, about 1 cup)
2 cups cherries (frozen & thawed)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean (split and beans scraped)
1/2 lemon (juice)
1/4 cup water
For the Crust: preheat your oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, add the graham cookie crumbs, butter and salt and mix to combine. Pour into a spring form pan, pressing the crumbs into the bottom and 1” up the sides. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from the oven to cool.
For the Filling: over a double boiler, melt the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl until completely smooth while stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, pinch of salt and melted chocolate and mix to combine. Pour batter into the crust, smoothing the top and place in the oven. Place a shallow pan of hot water on the lowest rack of the oven under the cheesecake to prevent from cracking. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until set, but slightly jiggly in the center.
In the meantime make the sauce. In a saucepot over medium heat add the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, bourbon, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, lemon juice and water. Bring to a gentle boil then simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the cherries are bursting and the sauce is thickened. Remove from the heat to cool.
For the Ganache: in a medium saucepot add the cream and sugar and heat over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a gentle simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate then stir to melt until smooth.
When the cheesecake comes out of the oven, cool to room temperature then refrigerate. After the cheesecake has cooled and set, pour the ganache over the top and smooth to the edges. Refrigerate until set.
Run a knife under warm water before slicing the cheesecake. Slice into 12 pieces with a hot knife and top with the cherries.
Tip: to prevent a cracked cake, let the cheesecake cool down in the water bath in the oven.