It was my husband’s birthday on Sunday and I asked him a week in advance what he would like me to make for his birthday dessert. I know it’s typical for people to have a birthday CAKE, but we’re not necessarily that kind of couple. Don’t get me wrong – if he asked for a cake, I would have baked the hell out of a cake! In the past, I’ve made him an Oreo cake, a chocolate peanut butter pie, I tried a chocolate peanut butter cake, and last year I even made three desserts – brownies, a Layered Strawberry Cheesecake Bowl, and the Oreo cake again. This year he asked for a cherry cheesecake!

Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake

I wanted something a little different than just an ordinary cheesecake, so I suggested a chocolate cherry cheesecake! I saw the recipe for a ginger chocolate cheesecake in my new Gordon Ramsay cookbook, and I was dying to try it! I just changed his suggestion for garnishes and toppings and used canned cherry pie filing. I figured it would work – something like a Black Forest cheesecake.

Gordon Ramsay's Family Fare

I quite enjoyed it!


So I busted out my trusty cookbook and made my grocery list. I actually had to google one of the ingredients though – fromage frais. I had never heard of it before and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to find it at the grocery store. Wikipedia says “Fromage frais is a creamy soft cheese made with whole or skimmed milk and cream. It has the consistency of cream cheese, but with fewer calories and less cholesterol. Where available, low-fat cream cheese is an acceptable substitute for fromage frais.”

I looked for fromage frais, but no luck, so low fat cream cheese it was!



I couldn’t find chocolate with ginger in it either, so I just used regular chocolate. Two good quality bars – one was a milk chocolate and one was a dark chocolate. I mixed them and melted them with a double boiler to make a bittersweetish chocolate. Probably not exactly the same, but I was in the chocolate bar section of the store and didn’t want to go back to the baking section and I couldn’t find a bittersweet chocolate bar.

Double Boiler

Overall, I think it turned out pretty good!


The only complaint any one had out of the 11 people that tried it was that it was too gingery. And I didn’t even put as much ginger as suggested!

I liked it. I’d never tried a mascarpone cheesecake before, and I liked it. The texture was a little bit different than the cheesecakes that I normally make, but I think this was better. I find mine are either too runny or they crack. This was solid and uncracked. And I didn’t even use a bain marie!

I’ll make it again!

Happy Cooking!