Here’s decadent and delicious dessert for Valentine’s Day. My “Classic Cheesecake” is is rich — but then it is Valentine’s Day and this cheesecake very much worth it!. I think my recipe is just as good as any traditional New York style cheesecake. And I added a chocolate Oreo crumb crust and served it with a cherry sauce. Yum.
Every cook needs a good, down-to-earth recipe for cheesecake. My cheesecake is a traditional one and it is just right in flavor and texture. The recipe yields a cheesecake that is not too, too large but also not too small. It can be varied with different types of crusts, toppings and favor extracts. I love lemon cheesecake and cappuccino cheesecake is pretty good, too. So, surprise someone special and whip this up for Valentine’s Day.
Making a cheesecake really isn’t difficult at all. It uses just a few ingredients. After making a couple of cheesecakes, I decided on proportions of ingredients to yield a cheesecake that has a good flavor and is not quite as dense as many cheesecakes. It is made with cream cheese, sugar, eggs and just a bit of flour. Vanilla extract really brings out the flavor. Plus, I added just a small amount of sour cream. This helped “lighten” the texture of the cake.
To make the cheesecake, soften the cream cheese at room temperature for a couple hours. Then beat all the ingredients–except the sour cream — together using an electric mixer until light and airy. It really helps to let the cream cheese soften. I can’t stress that step enough. Lastly, mix in the sour cream. Pour over the prepared chocolate crumb crust.
I baked this one a little longer. Perhaps, just a bit longer than needed. But it was still okay. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake “rest” in the oven for an hour. It will “deflate” over the hour. Don’t forget about it. Then run a knife around the edges, remove the sides of the spring-form pan and chill the cheesecake further in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Oreo Crumb Crust
I love chocolate. So for the crust, rather than using a traditional graham cracker crust, I decided to make a chocolate cookie crust. Oreo cookies are easy to find in grocery stores. Scrape off the center filling and crush up the cookies. I use a zip-lock bag for this step.Add butter to the crushed crumbs and press into the bottom and part way up the sides of the spring-form pan. Bake for 10 minutes in 350 degree oven. Two cups of crushed cookies (which is 30 whole cookies) may seem like alot but this makes a generous crust. And I like chocolate.
A fruit sauce adds a flavorful dimension to a cheesecake. Make this ahead of time (even the prior day) and let it chill in the refrigerator until thickened. I made a cherry topping for this special event using canned red, tart pitted cherries with the juice, sugar and lemon juice. Cornstarch was the thickener.
Dissolve the cornstarch in water. Add the drained cherry juice and lemon juice. Cook and stir in a medium-sized pot on the stove until the sauce thickens and bubbles. Then add the cherries and cook for an additional minute.
Remove from the stove and transfer to a non-metallic container. Let the sauce chill and thicken for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Before serving, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and pour on the cherry sauce. Cut and serve.
Classic Cheesecake with Oreo Crumb Crust and Cherry Topping
Ingredients for the crust:
- 30 original Oreo chocolate cookies
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- Ingredients for cheesecake:
- 3 (8-oz) cartons of cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/3 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
Ingredients for the cherry sauce:
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 (27 oz) can red, tart pitted cherries with juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Method and Steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil the bottom and sides of 9″ spring-form pan.
- For Crust: Scrap the filling from centers of Oreo cookies and discard filling or save for another use.
- Place the cookies in a zip-lock bag and crush with rolling pin.
- Melt the butter in small bowl in microwave (heat for about 30 seconds). Add the butter to the crushed cookies in the zip-lock back. Moisten the cookies with the butter.
- Place the moistened crushed cookies in the prepared spring-form pan. Press into the bottom and about 1″ up sides of pan.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool on kitchen counter for about 30 minutes.
- Reduce temperature of oven to 325 degrees.
- For cheesecake filling: Add softened cream cheese to medium-sized bowl of electric mixer and beat on medium speed until creamy. Scrape sides of bowl down occasionally with spatula.
- Gradually add sugar, flour and vanilla extract, beating until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth.
- On low speed of mixer, add sour cream and beat until just mixed.
- Pour over baked and cooled crust in spring-form pan
- Bake at 325 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes until cheesecake is set and does not “jiggle” in the center.
- Turn oven off and let cake set in oven for 1 additional hour.
- Remove from oven and continue to cool on counter. When cool enough to handle, run knife around edges of spring-form pan and remove sides.
- Chill cheesecake in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- To make cherry sauce: Dissolve cornstarch in 1/2 cup water. Add to medium-sized saucepan.
- Drain cherries and reserve. Add cherry juice to cornstarch and water in the saucepan. Add lemon juice
- Heat the sauce over low heat on stove until it thickens and bubbles, stirring constantly.
- Add the reserved cherries. Cook and stir for one minute longer.
- Remove from stove and chill in refrigerator. The sauce with continue to thicken.
- When ready to serve, place cheesecake on cake platter, top with cherry sauce.