- 150g plain chocolate biscuits (such as Arnotts Ripple)
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- pinch of salt
- 170g dark chocolate, melted and cooled a little
- 500g cream cheese (room temperature)
- 100g sour cream (room temperature)
- 135g caster sugar
- 2 tsps cornflour or custard powder
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 2 egg yolks (room temperature)
- 3 Tbl cherry syrup* or cherry jam
- About 1 cup of cherries**
- 200ml water (or juice from a jar of morello cherries)***
- 1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
- 120g sugar
- 500g cherries, pitted (frozen, fresh or drained morello cherries)
- Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly butter a 20cm non-stick springform pan. Wrap the bottom of the tin well with at least 2 layers of aluminium foil if you’re using a standard springform tin.
- In a food processor, blitz the biscuits, butter and salt until clumpy then press into the tin so that it’s level-ish and compact. Refrigerate until required then put a full kettle on boil.
- Beat the cream cheese and sour cream in a food processor until smooth and free of lumps. Blitz in the sugar and cornflour then the eggs. Mix through the melted chocolate and cherry syrup and leave batter to rest for about 20-30 minutes to release any air bubbles.
- Scatter the cherries over the biscuit base then pour in the cheesecake batter over the top. Place the pan inside a deep roasting tray then transfer to the oven. Carefully pour in the boiled water until it comes halfway up the tin.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the sides and top is just set but it’s wobbly and jiggly underneath. Switch off the heat then carefully remove from oven. Lift the pan out of the water, remove the foil then place on another tray.
- With a thin offset spatula, gently run it around the cheesecake to loosen the sides from the tin (cheesecakes contracts as it cools so this will prevent it from splitting in the middle). Return the cheesecake to the oven with the door ajar to cool down completely then chill in the fridge overnight.
- Combine water/cherry juice, lemon juice and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until it has reduced to a light syrup.
- Lower the heat and add the cherries and cook until the fruit has just softened a little but not broken down). Cool the compote completely then store in a clean glass jar in the fridge. This makes just over 500ml of compote (you can use the leftover for other recipes or as a topping with yoghurt, ice cream or cake. The syrup itself is excellent for cocktails).
*From cherry compote recipe
**Feel free to use either fresh halved and pitted cherries, drained morello sour cherries (from the jar) or drained cherries from the cherry compote (recipe at the bottom)
***I made this using jarred morello cherries (replacing the water for the cherry juice from the jar) but you can use fresh or frozen sour cherries instead.