Tag Archives: cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping for my Valentine

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I love strawberries, and that’s no secret.  I thought about making strawberry shortcake for our Valentine’s Day dessert, but I really wanted to incorporate chocolate.  I finally decided to make a chocolate cheesecake with a strawberry topping.  I adapted Emeril’s recipe for NY-Style Chocolate Cheesecake to fit our tastes.  I used my largest spring-form pan, since we love leftovers! If you have a smaller (8 inch or so) pan, you may want to cut the filling in half.  

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If you try this recipe, just make sure that you have enough time.  You really need to make it the day before to allow for all the cooling time.

Here’s my recipe:

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter

Mix the crumbs and butter, then press into the bottom of your springform pan.  Set aside while you make the filling.

Filling

  • 10 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 lbs (five 8oz. packaged) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (which I don’t have) or a bowl set over a simmering pot of water (which I do have).  Don’t boil it too hard, just let it simmer and slowly melt the chocolate.  Give it a stir and set it aside to cool slightly.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well combined, stopping frequently to scrape the bowl.  Add the flour and blend well.  Add the sour cream and chocolate and blend well, again scraping the bowl often.  Blend in the eggs, one at a time.  Pour into the crust.  Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 60-70 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the oven, without moving it, for 1-2 hours.  Remove the cheesecake to a wire rack and let cool 1 more hour on the counter.  Then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.  Before serving, run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the spring-form sides, then add the topping.

Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries , thawed (I’m using ones I froze last June)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp strawberry preserves or jam
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sour cream

Mash the berries together with the sugar, lemon juice and preserves, and let sit for about an hour or more to let the juices collect (I love juicy berries!).  Spread the sour cream on the top of the cheesecake.  This will help to disguise any cracks and will also make the topping stand out.  Spoon on top of the sour cream, slice the cheesecake and serve.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Butternut Squash (or Pumpkin) Cheesecake

Last year, I had a piece of pumpkin cheesecake for the first time, and it was delicious! It got me thinking, if butternut squash pie is so good, I bet I could make a fabulous butternut squash cheesecake! I searched and found a bunch of pumpkin cheesecake recipes, then modified them, added a ginger snap crust instead of a graham cracker crust, and added extra spice.  There was a lot of discussion about how to keep the cheesecake from cracking.  My reaction: Get over it! It will taste good if it cracks anyway, so stop stressing.  My mom’s famous, delicious cheesecake that she makes for every holiday always cracks, but she tops it with cherries, blueberries or raspberries and everyone loves it.

The only drawback that I see to this recipe is that you have to use a food processor to crush the cookies (although you could do that in a big plastic bag with a rolling pin) and puree the squash, and then use the stand mixer to make the filling.  But for something that I’ll only make once or twice a year, I guess the energy is worth it.

Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (use the food processor to make them)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then press into the bottom of a 9″ spring-form pan.  Bake 10-12 minutes.

For the filling

  • 4 packages cream cheese (8 oz.), room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (if you want, substitute with pumpkin or any other winter squash)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed in a stand mixer until smooth.  Blend in flour.  Add squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt and beat until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time.  Pour into crust and smooth out the top.  Reduce heat to 300°F and bake 60 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let cool for 1 hour in the oven.  Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 4 hours.  To serve, remove the sides from the pan, slice and garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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