La Belle Cuisine
Since this is one of our favorite recipes (how can you go wrong
and chocolate???), we were shocked to find that we
had not yet featured it
LBC for our devout cheesecake lovers.
An oversight easily remedied...
For chocolate-almond crust
3/4 cup blanched whole almonds,
20 thin chocolate wafer cookies
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter,
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
For cherry topping
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon water
3 cups pitted picked-over fresh tart
cherries (about 2 pints)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
For cheese filling
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese,
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
An 8-ounce container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup cherry juice reserved from
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor pulse almonds until ground. Add chocolate wafer cookies and
grind fine. Add butter, sugar, almond extract, and salt and pulse until combined
well. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch springform pan
and press evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up side. Bake crust in middle
of oven 10 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool. Crust may be made
3 days ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.
In a very small bowl sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand about 1 minute to
soften. In a heavy saucepan bring cherries, sugar, and lemon juice to a boil,
stirring. Remove pan from heat and reserve 1/2 cup juice
for filling. To mixture remaining in pan add gelatin mixture and almond
extract and stir until gelatin is dissolved.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat cream cheese with sugar until
smooth. Beat in flour and add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Beat in sour cream, vanilla, and reserved cherry juice until combined well.
Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 50 minutes. (Cake
will not be set in center but will set as it cools.) Transfer cake in pan
to a rack to cool completely. Chill cake, loosely covered, 1 hour.*
Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. Spread topping
evenly over cake. Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 2 hours and
up to 3 days.
Editor's Note: We recommend making cheesecakes 24 hours in advance
in order to allow the flavor to ripen. Click
here for more tips for serving