Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
This decadent dessert is irresistibly delicious and a perfect ending to a special meal. If you’re making this cake for Valentines Day, fresh cherries may be hard to find. Substitute raspberries or strawberries, if available, or use frozen fruit or canned pie filling. This recipe is from Party Vegan: Fabulous, Fun Food for Every Occasion by Robin Robertson © 2010, published by John Wiley & Sons.
- 1 cup vegan chocolate cookie crumbs
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
- 2 (8-ounce) containers vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup plain or vanilla nondairy milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup fruit-sweetened cherry jam
- 12 fresh ripe cherries, pitted
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 7-inch springform pan and set aside. Place the cookie crumbs in the prepared pan and drizzle in as much of the melted butter as needed to moisten the crumbs, mixing with a fork to combine. Press the crumb mixture into bottom and sides of pan, and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave and keep warm.
In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, sugar, nondairy milk, and vanilla, and blend until smooth. Add the chocolate and blend until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared crust and spread it evenly. Bake until firm, about 40 minutes.
Turn off the oven and let the cake remain in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate several hours to chill completely. The cheesecake may be made 1 to 2 days in advance if stores tightly covered in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, place the cherry jam in a small bowl and stir briskly until smooth. Spread the jam thinly over the top of the cheesecake. Arrange the fresh cherries on top around the outer edge and sprinkle the toasted almonds in the center.
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