Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake
- 1-½ cups (about 24 squares) graham crackers, crushed
- ½ cup almonds, chopped
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted
- ½ fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
- 1 package (8 ounce) + 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese, softened
- 1-½ cups granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup dark baking chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoon clear unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup seedless blueberry jam or jelly
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- ¼ cup hot water
- 3 cups fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with additional melted butter. Line pan bottom with baking or parchment paper cut to fit. Brush paper liner with melted butter. Cover bottom of pan with two sheets of foil, stacked on top of the other. This would prevent the crust from getting soggy. Set pan aside.
- Combine together graham crackers, almonds and light brown sugar in a food processor. Pulse for 2 to 3 minutes or until finely ground and well-blended. Add melted butter and pulse for another 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is crumbly. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Spread blueberries over crust and set aside. (Chill, if desired, while making the cheesecake filling.)
- Beat cream cheese on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Add mascarpone cheese and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes or until well-blended. Beat in white sugar, about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs and vanilla. Continue beating for another 3 minutes until well incorporated. Fold in melted dark chocolate until no light colored streaks remain.
- Place springform pan into a rimmed roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with hot water, about halfway up the sides of springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes or until edges are set and golden. Center will still be slightly wiggly.
- Take roasting pan out of the oven and remove springform pan from Bain Marie. Allow cheesecake to cool in pan for 15 to 20 minutes on a wire rack. Run a thin knife around the sides of pan to loosen cake. Do not remove pan sides. Allow to cheesecake to cool, still on wire rack, to room temperature. Chill for 6 hours, or overnight.
- About an hour before serving the cheesecake, sprinkle gelatin over water and set aside to “bloom.”
- Transfer into a saucepan and whisk in blueberry jam or jelly and white sugar. Whisk in hot water until solid ingredients are partially dissolved. Set saucepan over low heat and continue whisking until it begins to simmer. Stir in fresh blueberries. Continue cooking, with constant stirring, until berries are tender and begin to release juices. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove pan from heat and allow sauce to cool slightly, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove pan sides and carefully transfer cheesecake onto a serving plate. Spread blueberry topping over cake, allowing any juice to run down the sides. Cut into wedges and serve in individual plates.
- Makes 10 to 12 servings.
- If using frozen strawberries, thaw first and drain well.
- Stir in about ½ to 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips into the cheesecake layer mixture, if you prefer the traditional white cheesecake, but with a hint of chocolate. Or, melt the chocolate, spoon over the cheesecake mixture and swirl gently to create a marbled effect.
- You can replace almonds in the crust ingredients with ½ cup chopped Medjool dates, or even peeled and cored apples, if you prefer a nut-free recipe.
- For a no-cook topping, warm 1 can (21 ounces) of blueberry pie filling and topping and spread over the top of cheesecake just before cutting.
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