Maraschino Madness Chocolate Cheesecake
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Cherry Cheesecake filling:
3 packages (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup maraschino cherries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
Chocolate Ganache and Garnish:
12 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
10 to 12 whole maraschino cherries with stems, patted dry
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
While the dough is chilling, coat a 9 inch springform pan with the melted butter. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and remove and discard the plastic wrap. Sprinkle more flour on the work surface as necessary. Place the dough on the work surface. Dust a rolling pin with some of the flour and roll the dough into a circle 9 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick. Line the bottom of the springform pan with the dough, gently pressing the dough into the bottom. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside at room temperature.
Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on low for 1 minute, and on high for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix again on high for 30 seconds (the batter would be very soft). Scrape down again. Add the eggs two at a time, beating on medium for 15 seconds after each addition, and scrape down again once all of the eggs have been incorporated. Add the chopped cherries and cherry juice, then beat on medium for 15 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to finish mixing the batter until it is thoroughly combined.
Pour the filling over the crust in the springform pan.
Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil and bake on the center rack of the oven. Remove the foil after 1 hour, and bake until the filling reaches 170 degrees, about 1 hour more. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 12 hours before making the ganache (do not remove the cake from the pan).
Make the ganache and decorate:
To release the cheesecake from the springform pan, wrap a damp, hot towel around the sides of the pan. Make sure the towel covers the sides completely. Hold the towel around the pan for about 1 minute, then carefully release and remove the springform sides. If the top surface edges of the cheesecake is not level, trip it with a serrated knife. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Use a wide utility turner to remove the cheesecake from the pan and place it onto the baking sheet with sides. Ladle 1 & 3/4 cups of the ganache over the top to the cheesecake. Use an icing spatula to spread a smooth coating of ganache over the top and sides of the cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheesecake for 15 to 20 minutes until the ganache is firm.
Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and pour the remaining ganache over the top, and use an icing spatula to spread the second coat of ganache over the top and sides. Decorate the top to f the cheesecake with the maraschino cherries. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 2 hours before serving.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on low for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat for 1 minute more on high. Scrape down again, add the egg and rum, and mix on medium for 1 minute until incorporated. Scrape down again. Turn the mixer on to low and gradually add the dry ingredients; mix until incorporated, about 2 minutes, and scrape down again. Add the sour cream and mix on low until all the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and remove and discard the plastic wrap. If necessary, reflour the work surface. Place the dough on the work surface, and shape into a log 18 inches long and 1 inch high (use the remaining flour as necessary to prevent sticking).
Cut the log into thirty-six (1/2 inch thick slices). Divide the slices, evenly spaced, onto the baking sheets, laying them cut side down. Sprinkle with decorating sugar over the top of each cookie. Place the baking sheets on the top and center racks of the oven and bake for 14 to 15 minutes, switching the sheets between top and center and rotated each sheet 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool to room temperature on the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough, as necessary, once the baking sheets cool (hold the dough at room temperature). Store the