And now it's time for dessert....if only I had a bagful of cerise de Provence...cherries...I have always loved cherries. Growing up we had one of the most beautiful cherry trees in our backyard. Every spring it was so full of blossoms and bees-incredible. And we would watch the little green cherries grow and turn red and darken to a deep dark red. Then we would try and pick the most perfectly formed ones before the robins devoured them. That sweet taste,the dark stain on our fingers,the red cherry juice on our lips,those were wonderful times picking those cherries. In honor of that wonderful cherry tree I give you today's dessert for my Chocoholic Friday. Triple C- Cherries,Chocolate and Cheesecake-a perfect food for the end of the day. Something that reminds me of the beauty of Provence and the sweetness of youth.
Cherry Chocolate CheesecakeAdapted from Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
Bon Appétit October 2006
by Jeanne Thiel Kelley
Yield: Makes 24 small cupcake size servings
Crust24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup blanched almonds finely chopped
1 9.7-ounce bar Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate,* chopped
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Scharffen Berger)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 ounces Scharffen Berger 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate,* chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 13oz jar of Chukar Cherries Raspberry Cherry Preserve & Topping
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with 12 cupcake lines. Blend cookies and almonds in processor until finely ground; blend in sugar. Add melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of cupcake lines. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.
Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water; cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in processor until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. This filling is very thick, I used an ice cream scoop and placed a scoop of filling into each cupcake liner. I used the scoop to flatten out the filling,it came to just about 1/4 inch of the top of the liner. Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 15-18minutes. Cool 15-30 minutes. Then chill overnight.
Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Take a teaspoon of the Chukar Cherries preserve and place on top of the cheesecake in the center. Pour the chocolate ganache carefully around the preserves so that you don't cover the cherries. Chill until topping is set, about 1 hour. Do ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.