Black Forest Cheesecake #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I always feel a little more nostalgic about my German heritage at Christmas. I think it’s a remnant of Opa’s Christmas cookie packages, which were synonymous with Christmas for all of my childhood. Without even thinking about it, I end up planning some German-inspired dessert for our holiday table – like this Black Forest Cheesecake.

Black Forest Cheesecake

This is obviously not traditional, but the flavors are there – and, I’ll be honest, this is going to be easier than your traditional Black Forest Cake.

I love cheesecakes for the holidays because they can be made a few days ahead. And I love topping them off so you can cover any cracks. (Yes, a water bath will prevent the cracking, but it’s an extra step I never take!)

Black Forest Cheesecake 2

This cheesecake is decadent – rich, silky chocolate, topped off with whipped cream and cherries. It’s a showpiece dessert for your table, without putting in a ton of effort.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by holiday prep, this is a great candidate for your menu. Make it the weekend before Christmas and give yourself the gift of one less thing to worry about.

And if you’d like to scoop up a fun, #ChristmasSweetsWeek gift for yourself, make sure you’ve entered the giveaway here:  a Rafflecopter giveaway All of the sponsors for #ChristmasSweetsWeek have been super generous with the prizes they’re offering up to readers!

Black Forest Cheesecake 3

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Bourbon Salted Caramel Coffee with Whipped Cream from With Two Spoons
Chocolate Eggnog Pudding Shots from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Cookie Butter Eggnog Cocktail from My Suburban Kitchen
Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Drops from Family Around the Table
Mulled Red Wine Sangria from Platter Talk
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from Live Love Texas
Salted Caramel Affogato from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Salted Caramel Apple Cider Martini from Sweet Beginnings
Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini from The Crumby Kitchen
Salted Caramel Mocha Smoothie from An Affair from the Heart
Sugar Cookie Martini from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Breakfast:

Baked Cranberry Eggnog French Toast from The Spiffy Cookie
Maple Bourbon Old Fashion Bread Pudding from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Candies:

Pecan Butter Rum Toffee from Take Two Tapas
Christmas Grinch Bark from Blogghetti
White Christmas Sugar Cookie Dough Fudge from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Desserts:

Black Forest Cheesecake from Kate’s Recipe Box
Butter Rum Cheesecake from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Christmas Cornflake Wreaths from The Mandatory Mooch
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cookie Cups from Love and Confections
Cookie Butter Shortbread Bars from Eat Move Make
Fluffernutter Truffles from Mildly Meandering
Frozen Mint Meltaway Pie from Cooking with Carlee
Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting from The Baking Fairy
Spiced Eggnog Sugarmen from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from The Beard and The Baker
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Eggnog Butter Frosting from Lady Behind the Curtain
Slice ‘N’ Bake Grinch Cookies from Big Bear’s Wife
Snowmen Macarons from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Black Forest Cheesecake 4

Black Forest Cheesecake
(adapted from Glorious Treats)
Makes 1 9″ cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 16 cookies)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 8 oz. packages Cabot Cream Cheese
1 1/4 cups Dixie Crystals Sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Cabot Sour Cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs

Cabot Whipped Cream
1 can Cherry Pie Filling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed cookies and melted butter until thoroughly combined. Press into the bottom of a spring-form pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips at half power, in 30 second intervals, until melted. Stir after each 30 second interval. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar until fully incorporated.

Add in the salt, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Pour the slightly-cooled melted chocolate into the stand mixer and beat until fully incorporated.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, until the center just barely jiggles when the cheesecake is moved. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes, then wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool overnight.

When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and cherries.

Black Forest Cheesecake

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

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Blueberry Lemongrass Cheesecake #ImprovCookingChallenge

Another #ImprovCookingChallenge, another opportunity to get outside my comfort zone! I’ve never cooked with lemongrass before – I actually had to google a picture of it so I knew what to look for in the store – but I’m really loving the result here!

 The base is beautifully rich and fluffy and then the swirl is the perfect blend of blueberry and lemon to compliment. Right after I tasted it, I texted my mom that this was going to be my contribution for Easter dinner – it’s that good!
Blueberry Lemongrass Cheesecake.jpg
The recipe makes more of the blueberry/lemongrass filling than you need for the cheesecake. Since it comes out as almost a jam-like consistency, we used our extras as jam for toast.
You can see the other bloggers’ blueberry and lemongrass creations here:

improvchallenge
The #ImprovCookingChallenge is a monthly blogging event where two ingredients are assigned to a month. Bloggers can make any recipe they like as long as it features the two ingredients. If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please visit our Facebook page.
You can also read more about the event on our home page.  If you’d like to see previous creations, check out our Pinterest board.
Blueberry Lemongrass Cheesecake 2
Blueberry Lemongrass Cheesecake
(adapted from Taste of Home)
Makes 1 cheesecake
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 4-inch pieces lemongrass
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and lemongrass in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries begin to cook down and the sugar is dissolved. Remove the lemongrass and transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and whisk in the cornstarch. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened and almost a jam-like consistency. Set aside
Mix together the graham crackers, sugar, and butter until well combined. Press into a 9″ springform pan, going up the sides slightly. Place prepared pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, flour and vanilla. On a lower speed, add in the lightly beaten eggs and mix until just combined. Pour the filling into the crust.
Dollop 3-4 Tbsp. of the blueberry lemongrass mixture. Use a knife to swirl it along the top of the cheesecake.
Return the pan to the baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until the center of the cheesecake is nearly set. Transfer the pan to the cooling rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Cool at room temperature for another hour, then refrigerate overnight.

Blueberry Lemongrass Cheesecake

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Date for Valentine’s Day? I have the perfect one. This cheesecake.

But seriously, if you’re looking for a dessert for the holiday, this is a great option. It’s decadent and special, but easy enough that anyone could pull it off. Want to make it even easier? Swap out the ganache topping for the fruit topping of your choice – I think cherries would be especially marvelous!

TripleChocolateCheesecake

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
(from OMG Chocolate Desserts)
Serves 16

Crust:
24 Oreos, finely crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted

Cheesecake:
2 lbs. cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
4 eggs at room temperature
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Ganache topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. sugar

Additional chocolate bar to make curls.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9″ springform pan.

Combine the finely crushed Oreos and melted butter and press mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes then cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

Melt 10 oz. of bittersweet chocolate and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Mix in the cocoa powder until well combined. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined.

Pour the filling over the top of the cooled crust and smooth out.  Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the center is set and the top looks dry. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, run a thin knife around the pan to loosen the sides of the cheesecake, then refrigerate, uncovered until completely cooled – at least 8 hours.

Once completely cooled, stir together the cream, 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate and sugar together in a medium saucepan. When it is completely melted and smooth, remove to cool. Pour over cheesecake. Top with chocolate curls.