- 3 packages full fat cream cheese, 8 oz each
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup International Delight Sweet Cream Creamer
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup chopped cherries, fresh
- 1 & 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 5 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
TO TOP THE CHEESECAKE
- mini chocolate chips
- fresh cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Pulse the chocolate graham crackers or similar chocolate crackers/cookies in a blender or food processor until they are very fine. Measure out 1 & 1/2 cups of crumbs. Combine the crumbs with the melted butter in a small bowl and mix well until incorporated.
- Before adding the crumbs to the pan, wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in 3 layers of aluminum foil. This will help keep the water out during the water bath.
- Add the crumbs to the 8 inch pan, distribute them evenly, using a cup or the bottom of something flat to press the crumbs into the pan. If desired, you can have the crumbs go up the sides of the pan a bit.
- Place the pan in the oven, bake the crust for 8-10 minutes or until golden.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and allow it to cool to room temperature before adding the cheesecake mixture.
- Turn the oven down to 325º F.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the 3 packages of cream cheese until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the sugar and vanilla, beat again.
- Add in the International Delight creamer, beat again to combine.
- Add in the eggs, ONE at a time, beating after each one.
- Beat the mixture for 1 additional minute.
- Add in the chopped cherries, mix with spatula.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the crust. Make sure the crust and pan have cooled before doing so.
- Place the 8 inch round pan inside a 9×13 inch cake pan. Carefully fill the 9×13 inch pan with water, filling it about 1 inch below the top of the tin foil on the 8 inch pan.
- I like to place the cake pan on top of a large baking sheet, this makes moving the water bath easier.
- Place the water bath with cheesecake inside in the oven and bake at 325º F for 60 minutes.
- The cheesecake is done when the center wobbles a little when you jiggle the pan. The edges of the cheesecake should look firmer than the center.
- Once your cheesecake looks done, turn the oven off and open the oven door a little. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature inside the oven before removing – this could be 60-90 minutes.
- Once cooled, remove the cheesecake from the oven. Take the aluminum foil off carefully and place the cheesecake (still in the pan) in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, carefully unmold the cheesecake from the pan. Allow the pan to do most of the work, some of the cheesecake may stick to the pan, but the cheesecake should naturally separate from the pan.
- Place the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Once boiling, pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to sit for 1-2 minutes, melting the chocolate chips, then stir well to mix. Allow the chocolate to cool for 5-7 minutes.
- Pour/spoon the chocolate ganache on top of the cheesecake, using a spatula to spread it around.
- Add mini chocolate chips on top of the ganache, around the edge of the cheesecake.
- Add fresh cherries to the center of the cheesecake.
- Serve. Cover and refrigerator any leftovers.
Recipe source: http://thefirstyearblog