Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake is a rich, decadent cake with an egg-free, chocolate cheesecake base atop a delicate graham cracker crust. It’s finished off with a sweet, homemade Merlot reduction-the perfect combination of cheese, chocolate and wine!

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make an amazing Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake:

merlot chocolate cheesecake

Tips for the Perfect Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecake has a reputation of being super difficult to make, but as long as you follow the directions and take your time, you shouldn’t have any issues! I’ve also include a few tips to help make yours a success.

First, allow the cream cheese to reach room temperature so that it mixes smoothly. Also, avoid overmixing the batter.

Baking the cheesecake in a water bath is very helpful in preventing it from caving in. I’ll explain how to do this in the instructions below.

Do not open the oven at all until it is time to take it out. Any rapid temperature/humidity changes can cause it to cave in.

As the cheesecake chills in the refrigerator, avoid covering it to prevent condensation from collecting on top. If this does happen, dab it off with a paper towel.

merlot chocolate cheesecake

How to Make Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in several layers of aluminum foil, making it as watertight as possible.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Have a deep roasting pan ready and lay a clean dish towel in the bottom.

Graham Cracker Crust

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake is gluten free aside from the graham cracker crust. If needed, use my gluten-free (and healthier) Date and Oat Crumble Crust instead. To make your own delicious graham crackers, see this post!

Whether using store-bought or homemade, place the graham crackers in a food processor and grind until they are crumbled.

In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Then press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

Red rose

Filling

Add approximately an inch of water to the bottom of a double boiler and bring to a boil on medium heat. Place the dark chocolate chips in the top part of the boiler. Stir every few minutes and be sure not to get any steam in the chocolate. If you don’t have a double boiler, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Be sure to heat it in short intervals and stir often to prevent scorching.

When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in two tablespoons of melted butter Allow the mixture to cool for ten minutes. Then, in a large, deep bowl, combine the somewhat-cooled chocolate mixture, Neufchatel cheese, sugar, honey, cocoa, Merlot, and salt.

Use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically to ensure that everything is well combined. Do not overmix. When it is ready, transfer the filling to the springform pan and use a small offset spatula to smooth out the filling until it is even across the pan.

merlot chocolate cheesecake

Meanwhile, bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place the cheesecake in the roasting pan on top of the towel and place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan. There should be enough water to go halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven, but let the cheesecake rest in the hot oven for another 30 minutes. As I mentioned earlier, do not open the oven at all during this time. Any rapid temperature changes can make the cheesecake crack or cave in.

Remove the entire roasting pan from the oven and leaving the cheesecake in the bath, let it rest for another 45 minutes. When the time is up, remove it from the water and let the cake cool on a cooling rack before placing the refrigerator to set up for at least three to four hours.

Merlot Reduction

While the cheesecake is cooling, make the merlot reduction topping. In a small saucepan, add the sugar and Merlot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat. If you want to thicken the sauce, whisk tapioca starch with a splash of wine and mix it into the reduction. Start with a teaspoon of starch and add more gradually until you reach the desired consistency.

Drizzle the Merlot reduction on individual slices immediately before serving. Avoid spreading it over the entire cake right away to prevent it from getting soggy.

merlot chocolate cheesecake

I hope you enjoy this Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake! Be sure to leave a rating below and let me know what you think in the comments. Happy baking!

More Cheesecakes Cheesecakes to Try

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake on a delicate graham cracker crust, topped with a sweet, homemade Merlot reduction–the perfect combination of cheese, chocolate and wine!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting, cooling, and chilling4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Rachel Alexandra

Equipment

  • 8 inch springform pan
  • Double boiler
  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment
  • Roasting pan

Ingredients 

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs *
  • ¼ cup melted butter

Filling

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbs melted butter
  • 16 oz Organic Valley Neufchatel cheese
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs raw honey
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp Merlot or other dry, red wine
  • ¼ tsp Celtic sea salt

Merlot Reduction

  • ½ cup Merlot or other dry, red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Tapioca starch optional

Instructions

Crust

  • Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter. Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in several layers of aluminum foil, making it as watertight as possible.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and have a deep roasting pan ready and place a clean dish towel in the bottom.
  • Place the graham crackers in a food processor and grind until they are just small crumbs.
  • In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Then press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.

Filling

  • Add approximately an inch of water to the bottom of a double boiler and bring to a boil on medium heat. Place the dark chocolate chips in the top pan. Stir every few minutes and be sure not to get any steam in the chocolate.
  • When the chocolate chips are melted, remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of melted butter Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • In a large, deep bowl, combine the somewhat-cooled chocolate mixture, Neufchatel cheese, sugar, honey, cocoa, Merlot, and salt.
  • Use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides every so often to ensure that everything is well combined. Do not overmix.
  • Transfer the filling to the springform pan and use a small offset spatula to smooth out the filling until it is even across the pan.
  • Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
  • Place the cheesecake in the roasting pan on top of the towel and place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan. There should be enough water to go halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, but let the cheesecake rest in the hot oven for another 30 minutes. Do not open the oven at all during this time.
  • Remove the entire roasting pan from the oven and leaving the cheesecake in the bath, let it rest for another 45 minutes.
  • When the time is up, remove the cake from the water and let the it cool before placing the refrigerator to set up for 3-4 hours.

Merlot Reduction

  • In a small saucepan, add the sugar and Merlot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for three minutes.
  • Remove from heat. If you want to thicken the sauce, whisk a tapioca starch with a splash of wine and mix it into the reduction. Start with a teaspoon of starch and add more gradually until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Drizzle the sauce over individual slices of cheesecake immediately before serving.

Notes

*Learn how to make your own graham crackers here! If gluten free, use this Date & Oat Crumble Crust
Tried this recipe?Tag @roots_and_rosemary on Instagram


18 thoughts on “Merlot Chocolate Cheesecake”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.