Ah the good old black forest gateau. It may be kitsch, passée even but by George it's a tasty devil, with almost sickly sweet cherry filling, rich cream and of course a generous hit of chocolate. Here's my cheeky homage to this retro classic, with all the familiar ingredients stuffed into a 'cheats' cheesecake, so called as I have used (shock and horror!) tinned, that's right, tinned cherries in syrup. I won't lie, I only created this one as I was given said tinned cherries and had only deemed them good enough for experimentation. But what an experiment it turned out to be. I can only conclude by imploring you to indulge in a little wanton vulgarity and trying it out for yourself!
Prep time: 25 Mins (Plus cooling and chilling time)
Baking time: 60 Mins (Plus 10 mins for the base)
200g Digestive Biscuits
115g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
600g Full-Fat Cream Cheese (Such as Philadelphia)
1 Large Egg, plus 2 Yolks
300ml Thick Single Cream
150g Caster Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
410g Tin of Black Cherry Filling
75g Dark Chocolate (Cold)
Time to bake! Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas
5 and completely line a 23cm springform tin with baking paper. In a large bowl pulverise the digestives to crumbs, then add the melted butter and mix. Tip into your prepared tin, press evenly and firmly to the edges and bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and set to one side for half an hour to cool.
Preheat the oven again to 190C/375F/Gas
5. In a fresh large bowl beat the cheese until creamy, then add the sugar, cream and vanilla extract and whisk until evenly combined. Tip the cherry filling into a dish, then using a toothpick or small fork carefully remove each individual cherry and place evenly spaced out onto the biscuit base. Don't worry too much if some of the syrup comes with them. Tip over the cheesecake mixture, then finish by drizzling over the leftover cherry syrup with a spoon. You can use as little or as much of the filling as you see fit. Place in the centre of the oven for around 60 minutes, until the cheesecake has a light wobble in the middle and just browning at the edges. You can cover with foil for the final ten minutes if it is darkening too much on top.
When you are happy the cheesecake is baked remove it from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, before covering completely (or placing in a sealed container) and leaving in the fridge for at least a few hours (ideally overnight) to set.
Once the cheesecake has set take it from the fridge and very carefully remove from the tin, peeling off the baking paper. Grate over the cold chocolate and boombangabangarang, your work is complete.