These mini cherry cheesecakes are made with rich, fudgy brownie bottom, a silky smooth chocolate cherry cheesecake filling, and a decadent layer of dark chocolate ganache. Topped with freshly whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a cherry on top, this dessert is for serious chocolate lovers only.
For Brownie Layer
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Danish Creamery European Style Unsalted Butter
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
For Cherry Cheesecake
- 2 – 8 ounce blocks plain cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup superfine granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature (can sub greek yogurt)
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
- 3 TBSP Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup cherry juice (from 2 cups cooked fresh or frozen cherries, strained)
- For Ganache
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1¼ cups bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Note: This recipe requires 3 or more hours of chilling time.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners or spray a 6 cup removable bottom cheesecake pan with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
For Brownie Layer
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter and sugar together over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Once melted cook about 30 seconds more until thick and viscous. The mixture should be bubbling a tiny bit on the sides of the pan. Do not over heat.
- Remove the pan from heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
- Once cool, add cocoa powder, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk on medium speed to combine well. About 1 minute.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir the flour and salt in using a wooden spoon or spatula. Do not over mix.
- Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared pan, distributing evenly.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are just set but brownie is not fully baked.
- Remove from oven to cool slighty while you make the cheesecake layer.
- **Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees.
For Cheesecake Layer
- Be sure oven is lowered to 325 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, add two cups of frozen or fresh cherries. Cook down over medium heat, using a whisk or spoon to crush the cherries and release the juice. Cook for about 10 minutes until mixture is thick and juicy.
- Remove from heat and strain cherries through a fine mesh strainer, releasing the juices into bowl.
- Set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and heavy cream for about 5 minutes on low speed. Mixture should be smooth and creamy.
- With mixer on low speed, add melted chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder, followed by the salt.
- Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds to combine well.
- Reduce mixer to low speed and add eggs, one at a time. Scrap down sides of bowl after each addition.
- Once eggs are fully incorporated, add the vanilla and cherry juice. Beat on low speed until just combined.
- Distribute the cheesecake filling amongst the semi-baked brownies and return the pan to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. The bake time will depend on the size of the pan used. Cheesecake should look firm on top, but not cracked.
- If you want a firmer cheesecake, bake it longer. Check the oven regularly.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
- Place cheesecakes in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight until chilled completely.
- Top with ganache and freshly whipped cream. Serve cold.