Hurray for Cheesecake Day! I’m a big fan of cheesecake, as far as I’m concerned, it’s right up there with ice cream. And like ice cream, it lends itself to an infinite number of flavour combinations. Recently I’ve been having fun mixing dried fruit with alcohol. I find the harshness of the alcohol is mellowed by the fruit and the two complement each other well. Prunes and
This round of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day is being hosted by
I’m always so happy when one of my baking ideas actually turns into a great success as opposed to compost matter that the raccoons don’t even want to touch. My absentmindedness has frequently caused me to forget key ingredients, like yeast in bread. This time around it was the sugar that was almost forgotten. I had mixed everything in the food processor and separated the batter into two bowls so that I could add the rum and cherries to one and the chocolate to the other. I got a little bit of the batter on my fingers so I licked it off, expecting some cheesecake goodness, but what I got was most certainly not. Sugarless cheesecake is not a good thing. So I dumped everything back into the food processor and gave it a whirl with an ample amount of sugary sweetness. Crisis averted.
I only had one other slight issue with this cheesecake. It wasn’t supposed to be baked in a waterbath. I generally see a waterbath as being protection against cheesecake cracking but instead of following my instinct, I followed the recipe. The result was a cheesecake with three large cracks in the top. At first I was annoyed that I hadn’t done the cheesecake the way I thought I should. Then I decided this was just an opportunity to add more chocolate and that couldn’t possibly be a bad thing. So I filled the middle of the cheesecake with dark chocolate shavings and a ring of cherry jam. I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty impressed with myself and my creation. Although I guess I did have one other problem with it and that was that I had to give it away. I thought it over first and decided that it would be awfully difficult to convince the host of the dinner party that my mini cheesecake would feed eight people so I was forced to part with the big guy. Mini things may be cute but they’ve got no substance. After a couple bites and it was gone and I was sad.
Bri’s Chocolate Cherry & Rum Cheesecake (Adapted from Modern Classics Book 2 by Donna Hay and Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
1 ¾ cup oreo crumbs
4 T butter, melted
3 T sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 1/2 T water
330g(11 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
460g(15 oz) fresh ricotta cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
¼ cup + 3 T water
¼ cup dark rum
¼ cup cocoa
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350F. To make the base, combine oreo crumbs, sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter overtop and stir to combine well. Grease a 20cm (8-inch) spring form pan and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Press the biscuit mixture over the base and bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and set aside. To make the filling begin by combining water and chopped cherries in a small sauce pan. Place over medium heat and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat, add the rum and light it on fire! Let the flames die on their own and then pour the mixture into a bowl to cool. Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave, set aside. Mix the cornstarch with the water to make a smooth paste. Process the cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add the cornflour mixture, ricotta, eggs, sugar and vanilla and process until smooth. Pour half of the mixture into another bowl and stir in the cherries to mix. Pour this over the oreo crust. With the other half still in the food processor, add the cocoa and chocolate and process until smooth. Pour this mixture over the cherry-vanilla mixture and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set. Refrigerate until cold. Serve cut into wedges with thick double cream. Serves 8.
I also added some chopped dark chocolate and a cherry jam glaze to the top.