Black Forest Cheesecake

This chocolate and cherry cheesecake is a perfect take on classic Black Forest Gateau! Sharp cherries mixed with smooth cream cheese and Greek yoghurt, with a bourbon biscuit base and a chocolate cherry ganache.

black forest cherry cheesecake

It’s the first Tuesday of the month so that means one thing: it’s Cheesecake Tuesday. Today’s recipe is for this chocolate and cherry cheesecake.

It seems I’ve got a thing for making desserts in cheesecake form, since the only other cheesecake recipe I’ve posted was for trifle cheesecake, and now we have Black Forest cheesecake. Oh well, when you’ve got a theme you best stick with it.

To say this was unplanned is a bit of an understatement. I’d sort of got a rough idea in my head of what I wanted for my cherry cheesecake, but when I was traipsing the aisles of Morrisons (aka my spiritual home) looking for inspiration, none came. I’d wanted to use cherry flavoured Greek yoghurt in the filling but I couldn’t find any, except for low-fat cherry yoghurt, and I wasn’t sure that would be thick enough to set. (There was, however, honey Greek yoghurt, so that’s an idea for another cheesecake).

By swapping the cream for yoghurt, I was hoping to make cheesecake at least a little bit healthier. I eat an abnormal amount of sugar and butter, in every baked form possible, and it’s really starting to worry me. (I keep telling myself it’s a hazard of the job but blogging about cakes is a voluntary job I’ve assigned to myself, so that excuse doesn’t really count.)

I made a cherry puree, and then added a few chopped up cherries for good measure. The cherry flavour definitely intensifies on sitting so if you can manage it, this cheesecake is certainly better for having been left to chill overnight. (In my house, that doesn’t happen. As soon as anything is photographed, it is immediately consumed. Sometimes, things get eaten straight from the cooling rack before photos have even commenced. Seriously, if I ever post a photo of a lone biscuit, know that it’s because the rest have already been eaten.)

The result of the yoghurt is a perfectly light, airy cheesecake with a rich, smooth texture, which doesn’t feel as thick as cream based cheesecakes sometimes do. It has a cherry flavour running through it, and the base is made from bourbon biscuits (filling included) to give a crunchy base with a strong chocolate flavour. All the key elements of a Black Forest Gateau!

If you were feeling super fancy for this cherry cheesecake, pre-soak the cherries in some Kirsch. Again, I’d gone to Morrisons in the hopes of finding a bottle, but all they had was crème de cassis. (I think I need to start going to a better supermarket, but none of them get me like Morrisons does.)

To finish off this cherry cheesecake, pipe chocolate trees to create the forest effect. Absolutely essential, even if it does ‘look like Christmas’, as my sister so kindly pointed out.

* * *

cherry cheesecake

Black Forest Cheesecake

Yield: 1 7in cheesecake

Black Forest Cheesecake

This chocolate and cherry cheesecake is a perfect take on classic Black Forest Gateau! Sharp cherries mixed with smooth cream cheese and Greek yoghurt, with a bourbon biscuit base and a chocolate cherry ganache.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE BASE
  • 150g bourbon biscuits
  • 40g butter, melted
  • FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
  • 300g full-fat cream cheese
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 120g cherries
  • FOR THE CHOCOLATE CHERRY GANACHE
  • 60g cherries
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 50g dark chocolate drops
  • FOR DECORATION
  • 25g dark chocolate
  • Cherries
  • 1tsp Icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the chocolate trees for decoration. Melt the 25g dark chocolate in a microwave in short 20 second bursts, stirring well between each interval, until smooth. Pour into a small piping bag, then snip off the tip and pipe tree shapes onto a sheet of greaseproof paper. Pipe a line for the trunk, then pipe branches coming from each side. Make the trees quite thick, and remember to leave about an inch of chocolate trunk at the end free from branches so it can be stuck into the cheesecake. Leave these to harden in the fridge.
  2. Next, make the base. Crush the biscuits in a mini chopper or by bashing them with the end of a rolling pin until they resemble crumbs. Pour in the melted butter, then stir well until the biscuit crumbs are coated with butter. Tip into a 7in loose bottomed tin, with a circle of greaseproof paper on the bottom of the tin. Use the back of a spoon to press the biscuits into the edges and smooth it down. Chill in the fridge.
  3. For the cheesecake filling, add the cream cheese to a large bowl and whip with an electric whisk until fluffy. Add the yoghurt and sieve in the icing sugar, then whisk until combined. De-stone and half the cherries, then chop half of the cherries into small chunks. For the remaining half, puree them in a mini chopper for about thirty seconds. Stir this into the cheese mix along with the cherry chunks. Pour over the biscuit base, using a spatula to smooth it out. Chill in the fridge for about three hours before adding the ganache.
  4. To make the ganache, puree the cherries in a mini chopper as before. Heat the pureed mixture with the lemon juice until it just starts to bubble. Remove from the heat then pass the cherry puree through a sieve to remove the lumps. Pour the hot cherry juice over the chocolate drops and leave for five minutes, then stir together to create a smooth ganache. (If needed, pop in the microwave for 10 second intervals to help melt the chocolate). When the ganache is cooled, but still pourable, pour in over the top of the cheesecake, using a knife to spread it out to the edges. To serve, stand the chocolate trees up in the cheesecake, add some leftover cherries, and sprinkle with icing sugar. ▪

PREP 10 mins for base, 15 mins for cheesecake filling, 20 mins for ganache CHILL at least 4 hours, best overnight ▪ Will keep for 2 days in the fridge

http://winberrycrumble.com/2016/08/02/black-forest-cherry-cheesecake/

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