Berry season is upon us! I recently purchased a bunch of blackberries and have since been trying different recipes with them (some better than others). The one which “took the cake” – haha – was the Blackberry Chocolate Cheesecake.
I learned something very new and interesting with this recipe which I know you are going to file away for future reference. The original recipe was pretty poorly written, so when I saw that it called for cornstarch to be incorporated into the cream cheese, I was seriously skeptical. It certainly wasn’t a type-o, but sounded weird. So, I Googled it. Sure enough, adding cornstarch into a cheesecake recipe does not affect the taste but it will prevent the top from cracking – basically the cornstarch prevents the egg proteins from “over coagulating” and everything stays nice and smooth. Huh. I never heard of that before, but I gave it a shot. Sure enough, my cheesecake had not a single crack on the top. (And no I did not use a water bath in the oven either. I find that to be too tedious.) Picture below to prove it! This is one of the first, if not perhaps the VERY first time that I had an absolutely picture perfect cheesecake top. Granted, I normally don’t care – I put some pretty sauce on top and nobody knows there are cracks underneath (and I encourage you all to adopt this attitude) and it still tastes awesome. But, to have such a great result was pretty fun and, as you can see by this post, brag-worthy.
Needless to say, I’ll probably put cornstarch in all of my cheesecakes from now on.
Blackberry Chocolate Cheesecake
16 lowfat milk chocolate sandwich cream cookies (Oreos), crushed
5 T chopped almonds, toasted
5 T butter, melted
24 oz cream cheese
¾ c sugar
¼ c lowfat sour cream
5 t cornstarch
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/3 c blackberry schnapps
1 t grated lemon peel
1 t vanilla extract
1 t almond extract
½ t ground cinnamon
½ c fresh blackberries
3 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ c blackberry preserves
Chocolate Cookie Crust
- In a small bowl stir together crushed cookies and toasted almonds. Stir in melted butter until well combined. Press crumb mix onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan.
- In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, lowfat sour cream, and cornstarch. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in Blackberry Schnapps, lemon peel, vanilla extract, almond extract, and cinnamon. Fold in blackberries by hand.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust.
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 225 and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the center is only slightly jiggly.
- Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the inside edge of the pan. Turn the oven off; return the cake to the oven for an additional 30 minutes and then remove from oven. Chill, uncovered, overnight.
Chocolate Blackberry Topping
- In a double boiler or microwave, melt chocolate, stirring constantly. Stir in blackberry preserves.
- Spread the hot chocolate topping over the cake. Garnish with fresh blackberries.
- Refrigerate until serving time.