Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL CHEESECAKE

1 1/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/4 cup melted butter
3 blocks (8-oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
chocolate curls for garnish
large stemmed maraschino cherry for garnish
whipped cream for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl combine the vanilla wafer crumbs, powdered sugar, and the 1/3 cup cocoa.  Add the melted butter and mix together well.  Press over the bottom an 1/2-inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl combine the cream cheese, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, sour cream, and vanilla extract.  Beat at medium speed until smooth.  Add the flour and eggs; mix together well.  Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Decrease oven temperature to 250 degrees but do not open the oven!  Bake another 30 minutes.  Note: The cheesecake may not appear set in the center.  Turn off the oven.  Let cheesecake stand in the oven for 30 minutes before opening oven.

Remove cheesecake from oven and loosen from side of the pan.  Cool on a wire rack.  When cooled, refrigerate, covered, to chill.

To serve cheesecake; Remove side of the pan.  Garnish with chocolate curls in the center with the maraschino cherry at the direct center.  Dollop each wedge with whipped cream, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings

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