Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake

Servings: 16
Kirsch is used in this recipe to sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake once it's baked. This is also done with a traditional black forest cake. If desired, you may omit the kirsch.

Kirsch is a clear cherry brandy that can be found at most large supermarkets in the liquor department or at most liquor stores.

For Crust:
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham cracker squares)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. (1/4 stick/2 oz./28g) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg white

For Filling:
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

For Cherry Topping:
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling
1/2 tsp. kirsch (a clear cherry brandy)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.

If using a dark non-stick springform pan, set oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C).

Spray a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

For the Crust:
Place graham crackers in food processor and process until finely ground. Place crumbs in medium size mixing bowl and add the 1/4 cup sugar, melted butter and egg white. Toss with a fork until well blended. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of prepared springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

To Prepare Filling:
Combine sour cream, sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until well blended, then add sugar, cocoa, vanilla extract and eggs. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Pour mixture into crust.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C.

Place springform pan inside a larger pan (a large roasting pan is good). Place in oven and fill roasting pan with hot water, one quarter of the way up the sides of springform pan (this is called a "water bath" and it will help prevent your cheesecake from cracking). Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until almost set (center will not be firm, but will firm up as it cools). Turn oven off and cool cheesecake in oven (in roasting pan) with the oven door ajar for 1 hour. Take cheesecake out of oven, remove from roasting pan (leave cheescake in springform pan and do not release sides yet) and let cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour. Drizzle kirsch over cheesecake, then spread cherry pie filling over the top of cheesecake. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator and release sides of springform pan. Either leave cheesecake on pan base or transfer to a serving platter. Slice into wedges and serve. Keep any remaining cheesecake stored covered in refrigerator.

Makes 16 servings.

Source: DianasDesserts.com