What is Black Forest Cheesecake?
Black Forest Cheesecake is a deliciously smooth and creamy chocolate cheesecake, topped with dark sweet cherries and whipped cream. It’s the combination of chocolate, boozy cherries and whipped cream that gives it the “Black Forest” moniker. The Black Forest is in Germany, and although this combination of flavors wasn’t named for the Black Forest itself, it was named for the famous cherry liqueur that comes from that area – Kirschwasser. The recipe below combines those great flavors, using Kirschwasser (or brandy if you can’t find the cherry liqueur), but differs from other cheesecake recipes in that it uses an air fryer to bake the cake. If you want to make this cheesecake in the oven, follow the instructions for the cheesecake batter as written below, but use these instructions for baking.
Despite what you may think, cheesecakes are one of the easiest desserts to make. The ingredients required are very basic and common. The most important thing to remember when getting your ingredients together is to make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature. Trying to beat the cream cheese when it is too cold will only bring frustration. Just let it come to room temperature an hour or two before you’re ready to start mixing the batter.
Chocolate Cheesecake Crust
The hardest part of making this chocolate cheesecake crust is not snacking on the chocolate wafers! Hopefully, you’ll be able to resist and have enough left to process them easily in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, roll the wafers with a rolling pin between two pieces of parchment paper until they are fine crumbs. You could also use cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies instead of wafers, omit the sugar and add only enough butter to bring the crumbs together – you might not need any butter at all. Press the crushed cookies into the pan and then flatten firmly with a flat spoon.
Tips for Cheesecake Success
The one thing we don’t want to see in our finished cheesecake is a big crack across the top. There are a couple of ways to avoid this. The first comes in the mixing stage. Beat the cream cheese and sugar really well. Don’t hold back. This is your chance to get rid of any cream cheese lumps. Once you start adding the eggs, however, beat only as much as you need to in order to get the eggs to incorporate into the batter. Eggs (specifically the whites) will hold air if you beat them too much. That air expands in the oven and looks for an escape route, forming a crack in the top as the cheesecake bakes. So, solution… don’t beat the batter too much once the eggs have been added.
How to Air-Fry Cheesecake
If you’re making this cheesecake in a 9-inch springform pan, you’ll need to use an air fryer oven rather than a basket-style air fryer. That’s not to say you can’t make this with a basket-style air fryer – you can! You just need to adjust the recipe by using a pan the right size (7-inches for most air fryers) and reducing the quantity of ingredients accordingly. (If you print the recipe below, you’ll see the adjusted ingredient quantities under the Notes.) Regardless of which style of air fryer you are using, a cheesecake bakes in two stages in an air fryer. During the first stage of baking, the cheesecake should be covered with aluminum foil. Do your best to tent that foil on top so that it doesn’t touch the batter, but make sure you tuck the foil under the bottom of the pan so that it doesn’t blow off in the air fryer. The second stage of baking is done uncovered. Then, let the cheesecake cool for 30 to 60 minutes in the turned off air fryer before moving it to room temperature and letting it cool completely. When it has reached room temperature, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Overnight refrigeration is much better. This slow transition from the hot air fryer to the fridge is the second key to not getting a big crack in the top surface.
Cherry topping for Cheesecake
The cherry topping for the cheesecake is very simple. Just combine the cornstarch and sugar and toss it in a pan with the cherries and kirschwasser (or brandy). It only takes a few minutes and then let this cool completely – you don’t want to put hot cherries on a cool cheesecake.
Decorating Black Forest Cheesecake
You could decorate this Black Forest Cheesecake a million different ways. Pipe the whipped cream in whatever pattern you like, but make sure it forms a complete rim around the top of the cheesecake. It’s the job of the whipped cream to keep the cherries on top. Then, spoon the cherries into the center, saving any of the liquid sauce for later. When you are serving the cheesecake, you can drizzle the sauce over each slice.
Making Cheesecake Ahead
Making cheesecake ahead of time is not an option, it’s a requirement! You should always plan on making a cheesecake a day ahead of time so that it has enough time in the refrigerator to really set up. You can even freeze the cheesecake (undecorated), keeping it frozen for several weeks if it is wrapped well. Then, let it defrost in your refrigerator and decorate it just before serving. THAT makes dessert even easier than any of your guests could ever imagine.
Comments (15)Post a Reply
This Black Forrest Cheesecake looks and sounds AMAZING. My question to you is can I cut the recipe in half for a 6″ spring form? It’s just my wife and I and a standard size cake is just TOO BIG. If we can divide the measurements in half do we need to adjust the air fryer temperature and cooking time as well? Thank you for your input.
Yes you can reduce the ingredients and use a smaller pan. The time and temperature would stay the same as long as the batter fills up about three quarters of the pan. If less, then it may take a little less time to cook through. Set the timer for about 15 minutes less and then add additional time as needed.
Can this cheese cake be done in the over? I don’t have an air fryer
Yes you can bake the cheesecake in a regular oven at 300°F for 1 hour and then turn off the oven and let it rest in the oven for 1 hour. Then transfer it to the counter and bring to room temperature before chilling in the fridge. You will also want to bake the cheesecake in a water bath. Follow the directions in Meredith’s basic cheesecake recipe for more info on baking in a water bath. https://bluejeanchef.com/recipes/vanilla-cheesecake/
It sure can! Check the article above which gives you a link to the oven directions.
Would it be possible to make this more diabetic friendly? For instance using stevia instead of sugar? If yes, substitute 1 for 1?
You can use a sugar substitute in this recipe. For most of them you will use less of the sugar substitute than sugar. You can refer to the information on the package to use the correct ratio for the sugar substitute.
This looks incredible and I can’t wait to make it. I have a quick question though, can this be made in a convection oven, either conventional or small toaster? I have the convection option for both. Thanks for another incredible recipe.
You can bake this cheesecake in a water bath in convection oven at 300°F for 1 hour and then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. Then cool on the counter to room temperature before chilling in the fridge. For more info on prepping for the water bath, you can reference Meredith’s recipe for basic cheesecake. https://bluejeanchef.com/recipes/vanilla-cheesecake/
Can I substitute Thin Mint(Girl Scout) Cookies for the chocolate wafers?
Thin Mints are coated in chocolate and would not work for this recipe. If you can’t find plain chocolate cookies you can also use sandwich cookies, such as Oreos®, just omit the extra sugar in the crust ingredients.
Hello Meredith. Is there anything I could substitute the cherry liqueur/brandy with?
You could use cherry juice, any fruit juice or just water.
How would you prepare the crust in the oven rather than the air fryer?
If you’re making this cheesecake in the oven, you don’t need to pre-bake the crust. Air fryers only heat from the top down so the crust doesn’t get the heat it needs to cook. In an oven, there is heat from below so the crust is fine.