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Gourmet Foods 101
Did you know?
"Most hot sauces are healthy for you because they are made with hardly any carbohydrate"

Chocolate Cheesecake

The Upgraded Cheesecake

There are quite a few flavors of cheesecake and, of course, chocolate cheesecake is one of the most popular of them all. There are various ways to make chocolate cheesecake, and they are all bound to please cheesecake lovers and chocolate lovers alike. You can make chocolate cheesecake with an assortment of different chocolates, and you can even make rich and creamy white chocolate cheesecakes. You can also mix other ingredients such as peanut butter or raspberries with the chocolate.

If you are worried about piling on the calories with chocolate cheesecake, you should know that you can bake sugar free versions of this all time favorite. Cheesecakes are also excellent gifts for celebrations such as birthdays and Valentine's Day. It's quite easy to write a message or put heart-shaped ornaments on chocolate cheesecakes.

1 cup of pecan halves, divided
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of sugar or artificial sweetener
1/4 cup of melted butter or margarine
3 (8-ounce) packages of softened cream cheese
1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened or regular condensed milk, but not evaporated milk
4 eggs
1 (6-ounce) package of melted white chocolate baking squares
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, divided
1 (21-ounce) can of cherry pie filling
Whipped cream or other topping
Directions:
  1. Keep five pecan halves for garnishing. Finely chop and toast the remaining halves.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300ºF.
  3. Mix the cracker crumbs, pecan halves, sugar or sweetener and margarine or butter; press firmly onto the bottom of a nine-inch spring form pan.
  4. Beat the cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer at medium speed until it's fluffy. Gradually beat in the condensed milk until it's smooth. Blend in the eggs, melted chocolate and one teaspoon of vanilla and pour into the pan.
  5. Bake for an hour or until the center is set.
  6. Cool completely at room temperature and refrigerate for at least four hours.
  7. Mix the cherry pie filling and the rest of the vanilla.
  8. Remove the side of the pan and evenly spoon the cherry mixture over the chocolate cheesecake. Add whipped cream or other topping around the edge with the saved pecan halves. Cut the cake into slices to serve.