Chocolate-Cherry Cheesecake

Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Start to Finish: 5 Hours 50 Minutes

2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted

4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling (I used the one with extra fruit)

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)

How to make it

Heat oven to 325°F. In medium bowl, mix crust ingredients. Press in bottom and 1 inch up sides of ungreased 10-inch springform pan. Wrap springform pan in three layers of heavy-duty foil.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sugar and almond extract until smooth. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream; blend well.

Spoon 3 1/2 cups cream cheese mixture into crust-lined pan, spreading evenly. Carefully spoon 1 cup pie filling evenly over cream cheese layer (reserve remaining pie filling for topping). Spoon remaining cream cheese mixture evenly over pie filling.

Bake in water bath for 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until center is mostly set but still slightly wiggles. Cool in oven with door closed for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and cool on cooling rack 1 hour.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup whipping cream to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted.

Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Remove side of pan. Place cheesecake on paper-lined cookie sheet. Spread glaze over cooled cheesecake, allowing some to flow down side. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Serve topped with remaining pie filling.