Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Chocolate and Berry Cream Cheesecake with Mixed Berry Sauce

Alas, I have no picture of this, either. This is due to the fact that, again, with company, it disappeared pretty fast, plus I undercooked it and the middle was sloppy, which makes for unappealing pictures. Oh, vanity!

This was its test run, though, and I jotted down the amounts I used so I could make it again, whenever I've got a good enough excuse with company coming. It has a chocolate crumb crust, a layer of vanilla cheesecake laced with grated chocolate on the bottom, and a layer of vanilla cheesecake laced with strawberry jam on the top, drizzled with mixed berry sauce before serving.

About 3 cups crushed chocolate crumbs (out of thriftiness, I use generic oreos from Aldi, but chocolate graham cracker crumbs might work better, and, if you aren't stingy, add some finely chopped almonds, too.)

If using generic oreos, stir in about 1/3 cup melted butter, enough to help the mixture stick together. If using chocolate graham cracker crumbs, stir in 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter.

Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake for five minutes in a 350 degree oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

4 packages cream cheese, softened
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup strawberry or raspberry jam (I doled out some of my mom's wild strawberry jam for the occasion. I know. Lucky me.)
@ 1/3 cup grated semisweet chocolate

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in flour. Add eggs one at a time, and beat on low speed just until combined. Do not overbeat. Beat in vanilla just until blended. Divide the cheesecake filling into two bowls. Fold the grated chocolate into one bowl and the strawberry jam into the other.

Pour the filling with grated chocolate into the crust, and then gently pour and smooth the strawberry filling on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 55 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust. Cool for one more hour and then refrigerate overnight to let the flavors ripen.

Before serving, prepare a mixed berry sauce with about 1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds of berries, sugar (to taste, about 1/2 cup), a few tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1/2 cup water. I used a blend of frozen blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. In a small saucepan, mix the water, cornstarch, and sugar and heat through until dissolved. Add berries and gently stir over medium heat until sufficiently thickened. Pour over each slice of cheesecake before serving.

Place foil or a cookie sheet under the cheesecake because many springform pans leak, and a houseful of burnt butter's smell and sting isn't pleasant.

Dip a knife in warm water before cutting the cheesecake, and wipe and dip again in warm water before making each cut in order to make clean cuts.

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