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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake



Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you all felt extra loved today and got to spend the day with the people who meant the most to you.

I'm continuing with my chocolate and strawberry theme and made a Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake in honor of the day. Chocolate covered strawberries are such a traditional Valentine's Day treat and when I saw this combo in cheesecake form, well, how can you go wrong? Do you see that pink layer in the picture? That is strawberry cheesecake! Y-U-M! It's sandwiched between a chocolate cookie crumb crust and a layer of chocolate ganache. You see so many recipes for chocolate cheesecakes, but I liked how this recipe has distinct layers of both chocolate and strawberry.  It really did remind me of a chocolate covered strawberry in cheesecake form! Strawberry is one of my favorite flavors so I really enjoyed this cheesecake and liked that the chocolate didn't overwhelm.

For the strawberry puree, I used the frozen sliced strawberries in syrup that you can get in the frozen food section of the grocery store.  I used Nabisco chocolate wafers to make the crust, but if you can't find them, you may want to try chocolate graham crackers.

Ingredients:
8 oz. chocolate wafers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs)
3 tbs. granulated sugar
7 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1- 1/4 cups strawberry puree
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
table salt
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tbs. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 oz. chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
5 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tbs. light corn syrup
Sliced fresh strawberries, for garnish

Instructions:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the chocolate wafer crumbs and 3 tbs. granulated sugar.  Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is flagrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes.  Let the pan cool on a rack.  Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, strawberry puree, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Make sure the cheese has not lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

Add the vanilla and beat until blended, about 30 seconds.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don't overbeat 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 degrees F. until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will 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 frozen at this point for up to 1 month.

In a small bowl, melt the 3 oz. chopped chocolate and the butter.  Add the corn syrup and whisk until smooth.  Unclasp and remove the side of the springform 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 chocolate ganache on the cheesecake and spread evenly.

Just before serving, garnish with the sliced strawberries.  To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.

Recipe from Fine Cooking


9 comments:

  1. I am sure having this on the table would make a lot of people happy :-)
    It's beautiful.
    Have a great day!

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  2. Happy valentine's day, Ryan! Chocolate and strawberries is the perfect combination for this time of year. My husband loves cheesecake, this one sounds amazing!

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  3. Hubby would LOVE this! Okay, I would too :) Looks and sounds delicious. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  4. If I were a cheesecake fan, I'd be all over this. Heck, I'm all over it now!

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  5. omg. strawberries, chocolate, and cheesecake. you really know how to rock a dessert. Your photos are so beautiful. Perfect lighting and colors. Is that natural light?

    Heather

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  6. Thanks so much Heather! I keep plugging away at my picture taking and feel like it's a work in progress! Yes, I shoot in natural light and then edit the pictures using Lightroom.

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  7. What a beautiful cake - stunning - and perfect for Valentines!
    Mary x

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  8. What a great idea, Ryan! Mmmm...this looks so pretty and delicious.

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  9. This is a gorgeous cake...a wonderful Valentine's Day treat!

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