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Cherry Merlot Cheesecake and Sauce
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My friend JUST relented and gave me this recipe, it is OUTSTANDING!! Looks like an adventure in baking, but ohhh.. is it ever worth the flavor!

S. Chokel

Serves/Makes:1 10 inch cheesecake

  • Crust Ingredients:
  • 2 cups (475 ml) plain granola, wheat-free if desired is fine
  • 1-1/2 tbsp (20 ml) oil
  • 1-1/2 tbsp (20 ml) light agave nectar (available at natural food stores)
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 4 8 oz (224 grm). packages cream cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup (225 ml) light agave nectar
  • 1 10 oz (280 grm). bag of frozen, pitted dark cherries
  • Cherry-Merlot Sauce:
  • 3 cups (700 ml) medium-bodied, dry Merlot wine
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) light agave nectar
  • 1 10 oz (280 grm). bag frozen, pitted dark cherries
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-1/2 tbsp (50 ml) arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) medium-bodied, dry Merlot wine
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees (200 C.).
  • Place the Merlot and cherries in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder or cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve, and stir it into the cherry-Merlot mixture.
  • Bring back to a simmer then remove from heat; cool for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the granola into a food processor and grind into a coarse powder.
  • Pour the granola, 1-1/2 tbsp (20 ml) of oil, and 1-1/2 tbsp (20 ml) light agave nectar into a bowl, and combine until all of the granola is wet.
  • Place the granola mixture into a 10-inch spring-form pan and pat down to cover the bottom evenly (a wet hand makes this easier).
  • Bake for 8 minutes; allow to cool.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees (175 C.).
  • In a food processor, begin to blend the cream cheese and eggs, adding one egg at a time (you'll need to stop the machine periodically and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to remove lumps).
  • After all the eggs have been added and the cream cheese is smooth, add the cup of light agave nectar.
  • Then add the cherry-Merlot mixture and pulse until the cherries are roughly chopped and the mixture is swirled in.
  • Place the spring-form pan containing the crust into a larger pan with tall sides, such as a roasting pan.
  • Pour the filling over the crust and place the pans together in the oven. Into the outside pan, pour enough water to make the water level reach about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the spring-form pan.
  • Bake for one hour.
  • Check for doneness by touching the center of the cake. It should feel like Jell-O that is almost set, or a firm waterbed.
  • Cool the cheesecake in a refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  • Serve with cherry-merlot sauce, if desired.
  • Cherry Merlot Sauce:
  • Place the Merlot, agave nectar, cherries and pinch of salt into a saucepan; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Mix the arrowroot powder or cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve, then stir it into the saucepan.
  • Bring the sauce back to a simmer, and stir until thick.
  • Remove from heat and cool.
  • Makes approximately 4-1/2 cups (1050 ml) sauce.
This is such a fabulous sauce. It is good with fresh fruits and pound or angel cakes too. Try it with with vanilla ice cream while it is still warm yet for a delicous treat too!

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