Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake
Imagine lashing of voluptuous creamy cheesecake that tastes of fresh strawberries - the essence of summer; combined with intense melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate... Innocent, yes. Sensual, yes. Definite lust inducing. OH Yes. Please.
This is a great party dessert with a WOW factor, and often opens up naughty conversations about aphrodisiac, erotic food....
It may seem daunting to attempt at first, but it can be easily broken down in different stages and made ahead of time. And believe, it is NOT difficult at all. It does takes patience, though.
I hope some adventurous mammas will be temped to try this.
Happy baking mammas!
Step 1; Prepare strawberries.
First, make the strawberry puree by blitz 450g of strawberries in a stick blender and collect the juice by straining the blended strawberries through a sieve. Reserve the puree for later.
Boil the strawberry juice in a small sauce pan until the juice is reduced by half. add 2T sugar to the strawberry juice. This intensifies the strawberry flavour.
Mix the juice and pulp together with 2t lemon juice.
(you can cheat this step by using strawberry jam I suppose. use 1/2 cup of jam and adjust the amount of sugar in the cheesecake ie 1/2 cup instead of 1 cup.. But the purpose of boiling juice separately is to retain the fresh strawberry taste. - the taste of summer)
Step 2. Prepare the crust.
Make a crust base using your favourite pastry recipe, such as short crust pastry, or crushed tennis biscuit with melted butter. Here I used crushed almonds. butter and sugar (wheat free curst)
Press your crust into a 9" spring form pan and bake it at 180*C for 15-20 min (pastry or nut crust) or chill it in fridge for 1/2 hour.
The above two steps can be made ahead of time...
Step 3. Prepare cheesecake.
450g cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs room temp
1,5 t pure vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
350ml sour cream
2/3 cup strawberry puree (from step 1)
Beat cream cheese and sugar until very smooth, add eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.
Add vanilla and salt. Beat in sour cream, and lastly, the strawberry puree.
Pour cheese mixture into crust, bake it in a water bath for 45-55 min.
5-10 minutes before the cheese cake is done, make chocolate ganache topping...
Step 4. Chocolate Ganache.
120g dark chocolate. broken into small pieces
130ml Pouring cream
1/2 large egg (beat 1 egg, and use half or the consistency won't be right)
Bring cream to a boil and remove from heat immediately. Pour hot cream over chocolate pieces and let sit a minute. Stir gently until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Gently whisk in the egg. Spread chocolate mixture over cheese cake which just came out of the oven (careful, do not pour the chocolate all in one place as the cheesecake is fragile when hot.)
Smooth out the top, and return to the oven for 12-15 more minutes until the chocolate is set along the sides.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack, with a large mixing bowl over the baking pan so it cools slowly. When it reaches room temp, refrigerate. Chill for 8 hours before unmoulding.
Unmould cheesecake by running a knife along the sides of the spring form pan, then loosen the clip to remove the side.
It's easier to cut the cheese cake if you heat the knife (run knife under hot water, then dry it, and slice!)