To prepare the cherry topping, place 2 cups cherries in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Combine the pureed cherries, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour cherry topping into a bowl; cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare the crust, combine crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, and egg white in a bowl; toss with a fork until well-blended. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300°.
To prepare the filling, combine sour cream, milk, and cheeses in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add 1 1/4 cups sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and eggs; beat well. Stir in minichips. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 300° for 50 minutes or until almost set (center will not be firm, but will set up as it chills). Turn oven off; cool cheesecake in closed oven 40 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack. Spread cherry topping over cheesecake. Top with cherry halves. Cover and chill 8 hours.
This recipe must have reprinted in a later edition of CL, because I have made it since 2003! Have to admit, I switched from non-fat to low-fat sour cream but otherwise make as directed. It is good, not fantastic in my opinion, but kids love it.
I made this for our Cooking Club dinner â a group with discriminating taste â and everybody seemed to love it!! My biggest challenge was finding chocolate graham crackers. I finally found them at Dominicks (Chicago area) and only in their Safeway store brand. Since they were in sheets, needed to use the food processor to make the crumbs (9-1/2 sheets on the nose!) For the topping, I used a bag of frozen cherries, thawed, rinsed, and well drained, based on other reviews about the topping being too liquidy. I was a bit concerned that the topping might not set, but it did. I used dark chocolate chips vs semisweet, regular size, and increased to a generous Â¾ cups. Also, switch around the steps. Make the topping while the cheesecake is baking/cooling. Thereâs plenty of down time there! I used Trader Joeâs Dark Morello cherries from a jar for the final topping. Though a pretty touch to the cake, I donât think it would be a big deal to omit them. As others mentioned, this is time consuming recipe, with lots of bowls, etc. to wash, but relatively easy and definitely worth it!!