Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4. Lightly butter a 23 cm (9 inch) springform tin. Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or blitz in a food processor. Melt the measured butter in a saucepan with the golden syrup, stir in the biscuit crumbs, mix well then press over the base and two thirds of the way up the tin sides.
Bake the biscuit crust for 5 minutes then take out of the oven and lower the oven temperature to 150ºF/300ºC/Gas Mark 2.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Take off the heat, stir briefly and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl with an electric whisk or in a food processor. Gradually beat in the cream until thick once more then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth before adding the next one. Stir in the melted chocolate.
Scatter the stoned cherries over the biscuit lined tin then spoon the cheesecake mixture over the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the cheesecake is firm around the edge and just beginning to colour while still slightly soft in the centre. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and leave to cool completely. Chill in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.
When ready to serve, loosen the edge of the cheesecake with a knife, remove the tin and transfer to a serving plate. Spread the crème fraîche on top then decorate with the cherries on stalks. Cut into wedges to serve.
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Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration or icing if called for. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months.
Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes in a moderate oven.
If you wish to add icing or decoration, add them after the baked goods have fully defrosted and are at room temperature.