Chocolate Cherry Bourbon Cheesecake + 13 Ways with Cherries

chocolate bourbon cherry cheesecake

CHERRIES! I get super excited this time of year, because yes, Christmas is a little over a week away… but even more awesomely, almost all of my favourite fruits are in season, abundant, and totally delicious. Berries, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, figs (soon) and cherries!

They’re one of my favourite fruits and only have a very short season, so I wanted to share 13 amazing looking recipes that I hope you’ll try. And if you’re in the northern hemisphere and fresh cherries aren’t available, most of these recipes work with preserved cherries too. I think some of these would be perfect at your Christmas lunch!

13 Ways with… Cherries

13 Ways with Cherry

Picture Credits: Our Kitchen & Cookie and Kate
1. This Cherry, Lime & Whisky Cocktail from Our Kitchen looks very pretty, and sounds perfect for any Christmas party, no matter which hemisphere you’re in. Stripy straws a must!

2. I only discovered Rainer cherries recently, and loved their sweeter flavour. I loved Cookie and Kate’s lovely twist on the classic cocktail – the Rainier Cherry Mojito. Sounds perfect for a sunset tipple on a hot summer’s day.

13 Ways with Cherry
Picture Credits: How Sweet Eats & Martha Stewart

3. How good do these Roasted Cherry Bourbon Milkshakes with Hot Fudge look! This recipe from How Sweet Eats looks like a very, very special boozy treat. I’ve also become addicted to this beautiful and new-to-me blog. Check it out!

4. When I was in New York earlier this year, I became addicted to this Cherry Juice that was sold at the Union Square Greenmarket, which was tart and super refreshing. I think Martha Stewart’s Sour Cherry Lemonade would be just as delicious. I love that it’s served in a large pitcher – perfect for your summer BBQ’s.

13 Ways with Cherry
Picture Credits: Cannelle et Vanille & Spicyicecream

5. Aran from Cannelle et Vanille is a very talented lady who always makes the most delicious looking desserts, and these Cherry, Cinnamon and Vanilla Flan Tarts are no exception! I love that she has mixed different kinds of cherries in the one dessert for colour and flavour.

6. I made these Cherry Poptarts with Vanilla Bean Glaze for my blogger girlfriends a few Christmases ago and they were a massive hit. The best thing is that they’re made with a good quality (or even homemade if you’re feeling keen) cherry jam, so you can enjoy them all year round.

13 Ways with Cherry
Picture Credits: What Katie Ate & Lara Ferroni

7. What Katie Ate is one of my favourite blogs without a doubt. I remember seeing this epic Black Forest Gateau (from an episode of Masterchef Australia) soon after I discovered it and was immediately hooked. Luckily it’s still picture perfect, even if the recipe had a few problems.

8. Lara Ferroni is the author of a book all about doughnuts (which I own and love), so I would trust her implicitly on all matters concerning fried dough. I love the sound of these simple Ricotta Drop Doughnuts with Fresh Cherry Sauce. Perfect for breakfast or dessert!

13 Ways with Cherry
Picture Credits: Citrus and Candy & Gourmet Traveller

9. My gorgeous friend Karen from Citrus and Candy does decadent desserts like no other, and clafoutis is a great “lazy but fabulous” option, in her words. So it goes to reason that this Chocolate and Cherry Clafoutis is perfect for the busy Christmas season, when you’d rather spend time by the pool than in a hot kitchen. Perfect.

10. Christmas breakfast is sorted. This alluring stack of Cherry Toast with Vanilla Cream looks like the perfect way to start your Christmas Day. With a few Mimosa’s too?

13 Ways with Cherry
Picture Credits: Call Me Cupcake & The Bojon Gourmet

11. Ice cream on Christmas Day is a bit of a tradition here in Australia, because it usually gets so hot! Dessert is often followed by a dip in the swimming pool. I really love the look of this festive Fudge Ice Cream Cake from Call Me Cupcake, topped with ruby red cherries. Stunning!

12. This Roasted Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream with Bourbon and Chocolate from the Bojon Gourmet looks like a grown up cherry ripe. And that is definitely something I can get behind. If you haven’t already checked out this blog, do! It’s filled with great recipes and amazing photographs.

chocolate bourbon cherry cheesecake

13. It was my Mum’s birthday over the past weekend and she deliberated long and hard over the kind of cake she wanted. “Cheesecake would be nice… or something with cherries” were her requests, so I set about combining the two in one decadent birthday dessert – Chocolate Cherry Bourbon Cheesecake – that would also be perfect for Christmas.

I think next time I’d swap half the amount of cream cheese for mascarpone or ricotta (or a combination of the two) and use melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder. I was a little rushed for time, used a cake tin that was slightly too small and probably didn’t give the cheesecake quite long enough to cool in the oven before transferring it to the fridge, so it sunk a little and developed a few cracks in the top. Oops. Luckily with some strategic photo angles you can’t really tell, and it still tasted great. I even got Mum to cut her cake for me while I photographed it! Happy Birthday Mummy! xx

Hope you give these a try, and if you have any other great cherry recipes, please post the link in the comments below!

chocolate bourbon cherry cheesecake

Chocolate Cherry Bourbon Cheesecake
Serves 8-10
Adapted from Taste

Note: Start this recipe a day ahead 

  • 250g chocolate biscuits
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 500g cream cheese, softened 
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 300g sour cream
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 300g cherries, pitted and halved
  • Icing sugar and fresh cherries, to serve
Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) and grease a 24cm springform base cake tin. I used my Profiline Pushpan, which doesn’t need greasing. Process biscuits in a food processor until they look like fine crumbs. Add melted butter and process to combine. Press mixture over the base of prepared cake tin and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Beat in cocoa, sour cream, bourbon and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure the mixture is fully combined. Fold through the cherries and spread over the biscuit mixture.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the center is just firm. Turn off the oven and cool inside with the door slightly ajar for 3 hours. Refrigerate overnight. Top with fresh cherries and a dusting of icing sugar to serve.

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