Black Forest Cheesecake Bars


 Prep Time : 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 10 + 40 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

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Hello my lovelies! I am going through a preserving phase at the moment. One of the first things I made was a cherry jam and I have been looking for ways to use it. There’s only so much toast a girl can eat. And I eat a lot of toast. I had a friend over for dinner on Monday so I put my thinking cap on and came up with these bars. They came perfectly. I think I have my new go-to cheesecake bar. Ready for umpteen flavour variations. Cheesecake for life. This also falls squarely into my goal to eat more things I made myself this year. I had half a batch of homemade graham crackers that found a home here alongside the jam. It’s absurdly satisfying. Like I’m cheating or something. You should make the graham crackers by the way. Alice Medrich is a queen. I am going to adapt them into a low sugar snacking cookie sometime soon. Focus, we’re talking about cheesecake today! To avoid a lumpy filling it’s important that all your ingredients are at room temperature, especially the cream cheese. If you need to warm ingredients in a hurry, place the sealed packages in warm water 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat the oven to 170C (335F). Line an 8 inch square pan with baking paper.

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Blitz the graham crackers or digestive biscuits to crumbs. Melt the butter. Use a fork to work the butter together with the cocoa and crumbs.

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Press the mixture into pan and flatten with the back of a spoon.

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Bake for 10 minutes until starting to puff and set a bit. Remove from the oven and set aside.

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In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese on it’s own for a few minutes. Use the lowest speed only. We don’t want to add any air. When the cheese is smooth and creamy add the sour cream. When the mix is smooth add the sugar, salt, vanilla and flour. Beat to combine.

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Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are combined well. Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine.

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Pour the cheesecake filling onto the base and smooth the top.

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Drop spoonfuls of the cherry jam on top of the filling.

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Using a sharp knife swirl the jam into the filling. Don’t mix too much. We want defined swirls of jam.

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Bake for 30-40 minutes until the centre is just set. If the filling has puffed a little during baking it will settle back quickly. The jam swirls also take pressure off the surface and stop cracks. It will look a little craggy and gooey on top. That’s perfect.

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Remove from the oven and cover the pan with a cookie sheet. Let the bars cook slowly for 30 minutes before uncovering to cool completely. Chill for 2 hours before cutting into bars.

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These bars dress up or down. A relaxed dessert or an indulgent snack. Or both. Drizzle with more melted chocolate. Top with whipped cream. Or both. Make good choices.

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Black Forest Cheesecake Bars


Prep Time : 20 mins | Cook Time : 10 + 40 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy | Makes : 9 large bars

Buttery chocolate base topped with creamy chocolate cheesecake swirled with rich cherry jam.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (130 grams) graham cracker/digestive biscuit crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dutch processed cocoa
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter, melted
  • 9 ounces (250 grams) cream cheese
  • 9 ounces (250 grams) sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ounces (80 grams) dark chocolate (at least 60%), melted
  • 1/2 cup cherry jam or preserves

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Standing or hand-held electric mixer
  • 8 inch square pan lined with baking paper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 170C (335F). Line an 8 inch square pan with baking paper.

Blitz the graham crackers or digestive biscuits to crumbs. Melt the butter. Use a fork to work the butter together with the cocoa and crumbs.

Press the mixture into pan and flatten with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 10 minutes until starting to puff and set a bit. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or using a hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese on it’s own for a few minutes. Use the lowest speed only. When the cheese is smooth and creamy add the sour cream. When the mix is smooth add the sugar, salt, vanilla and flour. Beat to combine.

Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are combined well. Add the melted chocolate and mix to combine.

Pour the cheesecake filling onto the base and smooth the top.

Drop spoonfuls of the cherry jam on top of the filling.

Using a sharp knife swirl the jam into the filling. Don’t mix too much you want defined swirls of jam.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the centre is just set. If the filling has puffed a little during baking it will settle back quickly. The jam swirls also take pressure off the surface and stop cracks.

Remove from the oven and cover the pan with a cookie sheet. Let the bars cook slowly for 30 minutes before uncovering to cool completely. Chill for 2 hours before cutting into bars.

Cook’s Notes:

  • If you don’t like or can’t find cherry jam, raspberry, plum or blackberry would also be delicious.
  • Change it up for a decadent chocolate orange treat by using 1/4 cup of marmalade instead of the jam
  • I haven’t tested this cheesecake using white chocolate yet but it should be amazing
  • To get a super smooth filling you need room temperature ingredients. If you are short on time, place sealed the sealed packages into a bowl of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • To make a cherry jam, pit and roughly chop 8 ounces (225 grams) of sweet cherries. Simmer in 1/4 cup of water with the juice of half a lemon until they break down and the skins are soft. Add 225 grams of jam sugar (with pectin added) and boil to 106C. This will make more than you need for this recipe. Keep the rest in a jar in the fridge.
  • To make your own graham crackers use this recipe from Alice Medrich.

 – Keep these bars in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days – 

© 2016 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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