I have been obsessed with pomegranates this season (remember my recent recipe for Banana Oat Bread with Pomegranate?) Those little jewels of pure goodness are just so delightful. So I was pretty disappointed when all the grocery stores stopped carrying them after Christmas. I managed to find a couple just a few days after New Years, but now I can't find them anywhere. It's depressing.
Thankfully, however, I have been able to find pomegranate juice. This stuff may get me through this bleak pomegranate-less season.
This juice was the inspiration for this cheesecake.
It's just so pretty. Of course, it's tasty too, but I really appreciate food that is nice to look at as well as pleasant to eat. And when you add the dark chocolate pomegranate glaze...
It just looks festive! Perfect for Valentine's Day! Or a girl's night. Or just because you miss pomegranates and like cheesecake. Which may or may not be why I made it. (I know, I know, I've been talking about eating healthier. Hubby and I each only had one piece, and the rest is being donated to coworkers. You should be proud of us.)
To make this cheesecake you will need a springform pan. They're really not expensive, and are a good investment if you want to make cheesecakes, because no other pan quite does the job.
You can get them here:
On to the recipe!
**Scroll to the bottom of the post to download a printable version of the recipe**
9 chocolate graham crackers (18 squares)
1/4 C brown sugar
1/3 C butter, melted
3 8-oz pkgs cream cheese at room temperature
1 C sugar
3/4 C pomegranate juice
2 tsp vanilla
red food coloring (optional)
Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Glaze
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2/3 C powdered sugar
2 T milk
6 T pomegranate juice
1 T cornstarch
Note: If fresh pomegranates are in season, some pomegranate arils mixed in the cheesecake or scattered on top would be amazing!
Preheat the oven to 350 if using a silver springform pan, or to 325 if using a nonstick springform pan.
Break the graham crackers into large pieces and place in a food processor.
Process until crackers are reduced to fine crumbs.
Add the butter and brown sugar, mix until smooth. I usually just do this with the food processor, but you can mix it in a bowl.
Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan and about halfway up the sides.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat until smooth.
Add pomegranate juice and vanilla; mix well.
At this point, I decided the color of my cheesecake was too light pink. I had been hoping for more of the rich dark pinkish-red of the pomegranate juice, so I cheated and added some red food coloring. :)
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition just until blended. Don't over beat, or too much air will get into the batter, and your cheesecake will have a better chance of cracking.
|I was much happier with the color after the addition of food coloring!|
|So pretty! Even before it's baked!|
Bake for an hour to an hour and ten minutes, or until the center is almost set. You can see in the picture below how the center still looks a little wet.
Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly; let the cheesecake set in the oven for an hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool completely. In case you're wondering, this helps the cheesecake to change temperatures gradually, which also lessens the chances of it cracking (aka the biggest frustration ever with making cheesecakes!) I've never had one crack using this method (knock on wood)!
Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Before serving, loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a knife along the edge. Remove the rim. Serve with Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Glaze (recipe below).
To make the glaze, combine chocolate, powdered sugar, milk, and pomegranate juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until chocolate is melted. Whisk in cornstarch.
Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature, and try to not eat it all with a spoon before drizzling it over your cheesecake. It tastes so good; it reminds me of those chocolate oranges, only with pomegranate flavor. Yum!
I hope you enjoy serving up this festive cheesecake to the special people in your life!
Right-click the image below to download a printable version of the recipe.
Linking up with Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday, and the Wednesday Roundup.