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Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

I know, it’s another cheesecake post on what’s technically a clean eating blog. 🤷‍♀️🍷🍫But yesterday I teamed up with my sister Lauren and her friend Julia from Lauren and the Foreign to bring to you this Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake. It’s rich, decadent cake with an egg-free, chocolate cheesecake base on a delicate graham cracker crust. Then I topped it with a sweet, homemade Merlot reduction. It’s the perfect combination of cheese, chocolate and wine!

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecake has a reputation of being super difficult, but as long as you follow the directions and take your time, you’ll have it down in no time! I’ve also include a few tips to help make yours a success.

Tips for Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Make sure you put together the spring form pan correctly. Otherwise, oil from the crust will leak into the oven causing a huge mess. I’ve learned this the hard way. Three times to be exact.

Line a baking sheet with foil and put the spring form pan on it while baking. This will prevent any major mess in the event that some leakage does occur.

Allow the cream cheese to reach room temperature so that it mixes smoothly.

Again, whatever you do, do not open the oven until it is time to take it out. I know it’s tempting, but this is crucial to cheesecake success! This is also where it becomes imperative that the pan is put together correctly and a baking sheet is below the pan. If you have to open the oven to clean up burned butter as the house fills with haze, the cheesecake will surely cave in the middle. (Yes, I also learned this the hard way.)

Don’t cover the cheesecake in the fridge until it is totally cool to prevent condensation from collecting on top. If this does happen, dab it off with a paper towel.

Other Eggless Cheesecakes to Try

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting, cooling, and chilling4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheesecake, chocolate, merlot, wine
Servings: 8
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil

Filling

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs melted butter or coconut oil
  • 16 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Merlot Reduction

  • ½ cup Merlot
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

  • Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring-form pan with canola spray or melted coconut oil/butter.
  • Put the graham crackers in a food processor and grind until they are just small crumbs. Add the sugar and pulse a few more times.
  • In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted coconut oil or butter. Then press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.
  • Add approximately an inch of water to the bottom of a double boiler and melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips on medium heat. Stir every few minutes and be sure not to get any water in the chocolate. When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbs. of melted butter or coconut oil. Allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large, deep bowl, combine the somewhat-cooled chocolate mixture, cream cheese, sugar, honey, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Use an electric mixture to mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides every so often to ensure that everything is well combined. Be sure not to use the slowest setting and do not over mix.
  • Put the filling in the spring form pan and using a small offset spatula, smooth out the filling until it is even across the pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, making sure to not open the oven! Any rapid change in temperature or humidity can lead to cracking and caving.
  • Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for another 30 minutes, still not opening the door. When the time is up, let the cheesecake cool for approximately 30 more minutes before letting it chill and set up in the refrigerator for at least three hours and up to overnight.
  • While the cheesecake is baking, it is time to start the reduction! In a saucepan, add the sugar and Merlot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool and set up.
  • Pour the Merlot reduction on the cheesecake and smooth it out with a small offset spatula. Enjoy!
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13 Comments

  1. Okay, I made half this recipe due to what we had on hand – it’s divine! I substituted butter cookies, pecans & butter for the crust; only honey for the sweetener and cocoa with vegan butter & honey, plus 3 Dove dark chocolates substituting for chocolate chips, and vegan butter in the cake. I used confectioner’s sugar with the merlot reduction. The cake did not cave.

  2. Pingback: Sunshine Blogger Award | Roots and Rosemary

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