A Mighty Fine Black Forest Cheesecake
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a bowl, stir together the chocolate wafer crumbs brown sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist. Place the mixture to a 9-inch spring form pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust 10 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, melted dark chocolate, flour, and a pinch of salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Making sure the cheese has no lumps. Add granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
- Add the Kirsch or dark rum and vanilla, and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t over beat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
- Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be well wrapped and frozen at this point for up to 1 month.
- Unclasp and remove the side of the spring form pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Pour the cherry topping on the cheesecake and spread evenly.
- Garnish with whipped cream, top with maraschinos and sprinkle with almond slices, and chocolate shavings if desired and serve immediately. To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife clean after every slice.