Dec 26, 201112:35 PMOne More Bite
Recipe: Chocolate Crusted Lemon Cheesecake w/ Berry Merlot Topping
(Part 3 of 4 - Planning the Perfect Christmas or New Year Party)
To this point we have discussed what is needed to host a successful holiday event. We have also prepared two outstanding appetizers in Brie Crostini and Shrimp Fritters with Sweet/ Sour Chili Sauce. Skipping the entree ( a recipe we will discuss next week) and heading straight for desert, today's feature of Chocolate Crusted Lemon Cheesecake with Berry Merlot Topping is a decedent finish befitting of any special occasion.
Start with a base of chocolate crust, fill with velvety smooth lemon cheesecake mixture and top with a mixed berry medley consisting of blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. Throw in a simple syrup with Merlot wine and you have a desirable recipe with picture perfect presentation.
Competing for your attention the sumptuous blackberries, juicy blueberries and plump California strawberries provide a "smack-down of flavor in your mouth". Savor every bite with a cup of tea, hearty espresso or a glass of Merlot. You didn't open it just for baking.
From our home to yours, Merry Christmas!
Ingredients: There are three components to this recipe: (1) Crust, (2) Cheese filling and (3) Topping.
CRUST - 1 package Chocolate graham crackers, 1/2 C. sugar, 1 stick of butter.
FILLING - 4 packages (2 lbs.) of Philadelphia cream cheese, 1 C. sugar, 1/3 C. All Purpose flour, 1 lemon - zested, 1 C. sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 3 eggs.
TOPPING - 1/2 C. sugar, 1 C. Cavit Merlot wine, 1 pint EACH of blackberries, blueberries, strawberries.
Directions: - Create crust first. In a large spring form pan, line with parchment paper and spray with PAM. In bottom of pan crumble chocolate graham crackers.In a small bowl melt butter in microwave and add sugar. Mix well and pat down into crackers creating a firm bottom. Next, place all filling ingredients into a mixing bowl but eggs. Add eggs one at a time. Mix thoroughly to create a smooth cheese filling and add into crust. Place into 325 degrees pre-heated oven for 50-60 minutes. Turn oven off BUT leave in oven for an additional 60 minutes. Before serving remove parchment paper. Place cake onto a serving plate. Refrigerate and chill overnight. Prepare berry topping just before serving. In a small sauce pan combine wine and sugar, reducing down to a syrup. Slice strawberries lengthwise and combine all berries with the syrup. Spoon atop cheesecake and serve. To complete presentation, line rim of serving plate with blackberries.
Recipe by Tammy LaFavor-Plowman. Food styling and Photography by David Plowman, personal chef / owner Catering By Grace. They can be contacted at email@example.com