Hello out there, my name is Lauren, and I started blogging about food and such a few months ago; Ms. Heather kindly asked me if I would be interested in participating in the great things she has going on here at ‘gottaeatsf’ and I, of course, jumped at the chance. I would like to share the recipe for my sinfully delicious Michigan Cherry Cheesecake; it’s a great option for a holiday get together, dessert party or any event you want something rich and sweet. You can replace the cherries with any sort of fruit (candied or otherwise) you desire and there are endless options for adding different types of chocolate, nuts or whatever else may strike your fancy. That said, I really felt the dark chocolate and dried cherries paired very well together in this recipe as the high cocoa percentage in the chocolate did a nice job of balancing out the sweet cake filling and candy like cherries. I also liked the way the texture turned out as the fruit was void of any additional liquids that can at times, leave you with an otherwise soggy cake and/or crust.
If you’re interesting in reading more about the story behind the cake, please stop by sometime and check it out (www.knochknoch.blogspot.com). Thanks so much for your time and attention; I hope to be back again soon!
Michigan Cherry Cheesecake recipe (modified from Joy of Baking’s New York Cheesecake recipe)
1 cup (100 grams) of graham wafer crumbs (process whole cookies in a food processor until they are crumbs)
1 cup (100 grams) of almond flour ( alternatively, toast almonds until they are fragrant then process in a food processor until they are crumbs)
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, melted
32 ounces (1 kg) (4 – 8 ounces packages) cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons (35 grams) all purpose flour
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (200 grams) diced cherries (or other dried and/or candied fruits)
1 cup (200 grams) dark chocolate chunks (more to taste)
Grease a 10 inch (23 cm) springform pan with cooking spray or butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.
For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, almond flour, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 5 minutes at 250 degrees then cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For Filling: In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Finely dice cherries and stir into batter; once incorporated fold in the dark chocolate chunks. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for about another 1 1/2 hours or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack, carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).
Let cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. This cheesecake tastes best after being refrigerated for at least a day (strongly recommend a full day as the flavors develop as it cools).
Makes one – 10 inch cheesecake.