Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (and road-testing a Profiline Pushpan)
Ok so it’s a little strange to post another cheesecake recipe so soon after this one but I just bought myself one of those nifty Profiline Pushpan cake tins and I really wanted to test it out. For those that aren’t sure what I’m talking about, it’s a loose-bottomed cake tin with a water-tight silicone seal around the base making it perfect for baking in a waterbath. Usually with the normal springform tins, you’d had to wrap it in layers and layers of foil like a crazy woman to stop any water getting into the tin. But of course this was always a pain in the arse because water, that sneaky bastard, will always find a way through and ruin those precious crusts. And in this chocolate cherry cheesecake, a ruined crust is the last thing you want!
I went against all nagging thoughts to think of the cheesecake and wrap the Pushpan, just in case, but I pressed on and chucked it straight into the water bath naked. And I was prepared to be faced with a soggy mess. I guess you could already tell from the photos that it worked and I didn’t end up cranky. Though when I did have a peek down the sides, I saw drops of water around the crust and thought uh-oh. So instead of chilling the cake in the tin, I carefully unmolded it. And yes, there was a tiny bit of moisture but it was nothing to cry about and after drying off the beads of water and a stint in the fridge, the crust firmed up and it didn’t turn out soggy at all.
But enough rattling, get to the bloody cake I hear you say. Nigella Lawson is and always will be, the queen of cheesecakes; so no surprises that I turned to another one of her recipes happily. Chocolate, always a crowd pleaser, but with the extra punch of sour cherries? Oh yes, make mine a double please. Because ’tis the season to get festive and campy, I simply had to dress it up with sugared cherries. But really, you don’t need any extras or flourishes with this cake. Its rich, smooth and creamy texture is more than enough to satisfy. And unlike the last cheesecake outing, I definitely made this one more for me than anybody else.
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And finally, a reminder for my Aussie readers, today is the last day to enter the Electrolux giveaway! Competition closes tonight at 11:59pm AEDT so head on over to this post for all the details.
Adapted from a recipe by Nigella Lawson
Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
150g plain chocolate biscuits (such as Arnotts Ripple)
50g unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
170g dark chocolate, melted and cooled a little
500g cream cheese (room temperature)
100g sour cream (room temperature)
135g caster sugar
2 tsps cornflour or custard powder
3 eggs (room temperature)
2 egg yolks (room temperature)
3 Tbl cherry syrup* or cherry jam
About 1 cup of cherries**
***200ml water (or juice from a jar of morello cherries)
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
500g cherries, pitted (frozen, fresh or drained morello cherries)
Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly butter a 20cm non-stick springform pan. Wrap the bottom of the tin well with at least 2 layers of aluminium foil if you’re using a standard springform tin.
In a food processor, blitz the biscuits, butter and salt until clumpy then press into the tin so that it’s level-ish and compact. Refrigerate until required then put a full kettle on boil.
Beat the cream cheese and sour cream in a food processor until smooth and free of lumps. Blitz in the sugar and cornflour then the eggs. Mix through the melted chocolate and cherry syrup and leave batter to rest for about 20-30 minutes to release any air bubbles.
Scatter the cherries over the biscuit base then pour in the cheesecake batter over the top. Place the pan inside a deep roasting tray then transfer to the oven. Carefully pour in the boiled water until it comes halfway up the tin.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the sides and top is just set but it’s wobbly and jiggly underneath. Switch off the heat then carefully remove from oven. Lift the pan out of the water, remove the foil then place on another tray.
With a thin offset spatula, gently run it around the cheesecake to loosen the sides from the tin (cheesecakes contracts as it cools so this will prevent it from splitting in the middle). Return the cheesecake to the oven with the door ajar to cool down completely then chill in the fridge overnight.
Combine water/cherry juice, lemon juice and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until it has reduced to a light syrup.
Lower the heat and add the cherries and cook until the fruit has just softened a little but not broken down). Cool the compote completely then store in a clean glass jar in the fridge. This makes just over 500ml of compote (you can use the leftover for other recipes or as a topping with yoghurt, ice cream or cake. The syrup itself is excellent for cocktails).
*From cherry compote recipe
**Feel free to use either fresh halved and pitted cherries, drained morello sour cherries (from the jar) or drained cherries from the cherry compote (recipe at the bottom)
***I made this using jarred morello cherries (replacing the water for the cherry juice from the jar) but you can use fresh or frozen sour cherries instead.
Citrus and Candy http://www.citrusandcandy.com/