Food Porn: Chocolate Cheesecake

This semester I don’t really have the time or the money for actual baking, which is depressing, but I’ll survive. Want to know why? Food porn.
It’s not really that dirty (unless you choose to make it so, which is creepy), but it is awesome. There are several awesome food blogs that take phenomenal pictures of their food, not to mention Food Porn Daily, which is a site completely devoted to pictures of damn good-looking food. Be careful with FPD, though– it’s a tease. They don’t post the recipes!
My boyfriend called me out on a food porn addiction yesterday when I saw a picture of a cheesecake I had made and freaked out because it looked so yummy. In my opinion, the freak-out was totally justified. My little sister is a great photographer, and it was a great cheesecake. But apparently my excitement puts me in a “weird” group of food-presentation-appreciaters, known to the rest of the world as food porn addicts. Who cares? It looks delicious.

Photo credit to my younger sister, Jenna.

I made this cheesecake back in January for my mom’s birthday. She wanted a chocolate cheesecake, and later that same day one of my Facebook friends posted that she had made a chocolate cheesecake herself. I asked her for the recipe and used it as the basis for my chocolatey creation. I really only tweaked the sugar levels, but that’s just a family preference.
After I made the cheesecake, I started brainstorming on what I could have done differently. My main problem is with the crust — I didn’t really want to use graham crackers. Next time, I’m going to try to make the crust with chopped almonds instead. Maybe I’ll even add in chocolate bits! I cut back on the sugar from the original recipe, but next time I would cut back the sugar in the crust, whether I use almonds or not.

Chocolate Cheesecake

1 c. graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp sugar
18 oz cream cheese
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 2 tbsp sugar and press mixture into bottom of a 13″ round pan.
3. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 300 degrees. Allow crust to cool while making the filling.
4. In an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese. Gradually add sugar and cocoa powder until it is a light and creamy consistency. Mix in vanilla and eggs (one at a time).
5. Pour on the cooled crust and bake until set in the middle (about 1 hour).
6. Let it cool and then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Simple Cherry Sauce

about 1 lb cherries
about 1/2 c sugar
about 2 c water
1 tsp vanilla
1. Remove pits from each cherry and cut in half.
2. Put cherries in a saucepan with the sugar, water, and vanilla. Let the cherries simmer, covered, over medium heat until they begin to release their color into the water.
3. Reduce heat and uncover so the sauce has a chance to gel.
4. Serve hot or cold over cut or uncut cheesecake. Do what makes you happy!

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