This is the recipe you choose when you want folks to swoon. A decadent and creamy chocolate cheesecake is encrusted with two kinds of buttery, chocolate crumbs and layered with cherries to make a delightful dessert for any special occasion.
Not all of my recipes have a back-story. But this one certainly does, so please indulge me for a few moments, and then plan to indulge yourself. Four women I knew were the best of friends and called themselves the Steel Magnolias. One happened to be my mother and the others ended up being the mothers I needed in different ways at different times in my life. These ladies met for lunches and dinners and threw wedding showers and baby showers for each others’ daughters. The story goes that one of their favorite lunch spots also had their favorite dessert. They raved about it, and begged the chef for his award-winning Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake recipe. He eventually gave in, and this recipe was given to the Magnolia that made every effort to fill my heart with mother-love. She made it for all the parties from then on, and the recipe got passed to me! I began to make it for my family’s parties and it wasn’t long until this is all my kids wanted for their birthdays. With three kids and three birthdays within three weeks of each other, I often made three Steel Magnolia Chocolate Cherry Cheesecakes in a row!! For 20 or so years, this has been a staple at our house. And about 6 years into writing a food blog, I share it with you.
I promise, it’s easier than you think to make this beauty, just be prepared to make it again and again once you start!
To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Using a food processor, chop 12 whole chocolate sandwich cookies (including cream filling) and one sleeve of chocolate graham crackers. This should total about 2 1/2 c. of crushed crumbs. To these, add 5 T. melted unsalted butter and pulse until mixed thoroughly. Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides about halfway in a 9″ springform pan. ( Note: I have used both a 9″ and an 8″ springform pan successfully. Please note that if you use an 8″, you may not be able to fit two entire cans of cherry pie filling.)
Add 1 can of cherry pie filling over the crust. If using an 8″ pan, use about 3/4 can of pie filling.
Simmer a few inches of water in a small saucepan and add a glass bowl to sit in the top to make a double boiler and melt 2 c. of semisweet chocolate chips. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add in 1 c. sour cream and 1 tsp. vanilla and stir to completely combine.
In a mixing bowl combine
3 – 8 oz. packages of room temperature cream cheese
and 1 c. sugar. Mix well.
Add 4 eggs, one at a time, to the cream cheese and sugar letting each incorporate before adding another.
Use a spatula to gently fold the chocolate mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Gently scoop the chocolate cheesecake mixture over the cherry pie filling and crust. Place on a baking sheet and into the oven to bake for an hour and 30 minutes to an hour and 40 minutes, watching for the center to become firmed up and no longer jiggly. It’s okay if it cracks a bit while cooking or cooling as the cherries make the whole thing look perfect.
Let cool completely and then refrigerate overnight. Set the whole cheesecake on a serving platter and slide a butter knife around all of the edges to release the cheesecake from the pan and then open the pan’s latch to set it free! Garnish with the additional can of cherries, freshly whipped cream, and chocolate shavings if desired.
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Once upon a time, there was a girl who just wanted creamy, cheesy mac and cheese. Not full of spices or fancy things, just plain ol’ gooey mac and cheese. As such, The Mac & Cheese was born. Alison's recipe has become our claim to fame—standing strong as the Most Pinned Mac & Cheese Recipe on Pinterest.
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