Looking for something special for St. Valentine's Day next month? Scott made this beautiful and delicious dessert for our St. Valentine's Day dinner last year. The cake recipe came from a package of Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (and is, of course, slightly modified for health, humane, and personal taste reasons), and the sauce came from Deborah Madison's award-winning cookbook titled Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone.
How sweet it is!
For the cake -
18 Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 c.)
2 T. vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance.), melted
3 8-oz. packages organic cream cheese, softened (I like Organic Valley.)
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. almond extract
1 8-oz. package of semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted, cooled slightly (Let me take this opportunity to advise you that baking chocolate can be DEADLY for your pets. Don't let them get to even a taste of it.)
3 free-range eggs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan or to 300 degrees F if using a dark non-stick 9-inch springform pan. Mix cookie crumbs and melted vegan margarine; press firmly into the bottom of the pan.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
Bake 55 minutes - 1 hour or until the center is almost set. Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool before removing the rim. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 12 servings.
For the sauce -
1/4 - 1/2 c. sugar, to taste
2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (you can also use strawberries or a mix of the 2 berries)
1 t. Chambord liqueur (or kirsch or framboise), or to taste
Boil 1/4 c. water and the sugar, using the larger amount of sugar if the berries are tart, in a small saucepan until no graininess remains when you rub a drop between your fingers. Set aside to cool.
Crush or purée the berries, then press them through a fine sieve with a soft rubber scraper until all the juice is forced out and only the seeds remain. Stir in the cooled syrup, then add the Chambord to taste.
Serve each slice of cheesecake sitting in a pool of the sauce or, alternatively, drizzle each slice of cake with the sauce when serving.