How often do you cook with cherries? For me it is a rare occurrence because the task of slicing open and pitting all those cherries is daunting. That was until I was given the opportunity to review OXO’s Cherry Pitter. The cherry pitter worked great and made the process of pitting the cherries for this recipe much more efficient. Every now and then a pit wouldn’t pop out right but it was fairly infrequent.
You could also use this pitter on olives, but since I don’t get along with olives (except when I mistake them for blueberries) I don’t foresee that purpose being fulfilled. Just keep the cherries coming! Heck, I would use this pitter for purely eating raw cherries despite my weird enjoyment of spitting the pits into a bowl.
But how about this cheesecake? Let me just tell you that it was exactly how I like my desserts – rich and decadent. It starts off with a brownie base followed by a layer of roasted cherries and then the cheesecake filling. Then you top it off with even more roasted cherries and even make a cream cheese whipped cream. I had no idea that you could add cream cheese to whipped cream, but I am totally sold on the idea.
Although I would have preferred the brownie layer to be a little thinner. I am an advocate of a larger cheesecake to brownie ratio in this situation. Oh and one more thing, don’t forget that the cherry on top is NOT pitted. I made sure to tell all the recipients of this fact so that no one bit into it and cracked their teeth. Of course I suppose you could be nice and pit it for them.
ROASTED CHERRY BROWNIE CHEESECAKE
1.5 lb (~4 cups) cherries, stemmed and pitted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional (I omitted)
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
- For the Roasted Cherries: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place pitted, chopped cherries in a small casserole dish or cake pan. Top with sugar and stir. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set to 350 degrees.
- For the Brownie Layer: While the cherries are roasting, prepare the brownie batter. Grease a 9″ springform pan with baking spray. In a medium bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, then add the sugar and stir to combine.
- Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth. Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Spread into a prepared pan and bake 10-12 minutes or until brownie is just set, but not completely done.
- For the Cheesecake: While the brownies are baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until well combined and smooth. Add in the eggs on low speed and set the mixture aside. Carefully spoon (1 cup) of the roasted cherries into the center of brownie, leave a 2-inch brownie border along sides of pan.
- Place remaining roasted cherries in a covered dish and refrigerate until ready to serve. Gently scoop the cream cheese mixture over surface; carefully spread to edges of pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is set, but jiggles when the pan is lightly tapped.
- Leaving the cheesecake in the oven, turn off oven and crack oven door. Allow to come to room temperature. This will take about an hour. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
- For the Garnish: Spoon the remaining roasted cherries on top of the cheesecake.
- Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup whipping cream until smooth. Add the rest of the cream and beat until it has the consistency of whipped cream (don’t overmix).
- Pipe onto cheesecake and place one cherry on each swirl of whipped cream.
Source: Beantown Baker
Disclosure: I received one OXO Cherry Pitter for free from OXO’s Blogger Outreach Program. Thoughts and opinions are my own.