Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cheesecake

For the crust:
  • 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I used Oreo crumbs, but you could also use wafers or even chocolate graham crackers)
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
For the filling:
  • 3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups strawberry puree (I combined thawed frozen strawberries and a little homemade strawberry jam to make this)
  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the topping:
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • Chocolate-covered strawberries

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375° F.

To make the crust, stir together the chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter in a medium-sized bowl until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom of the pan. 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° F.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, strawberry puree, and flour on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until it is very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top before placing it in the oven.

Bake at 300° F until the center jiggles when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will look slightly moist, like a just-set pancake. Carefully set the cake on a rack and cool completely. Cover the pan and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

At least an hour before serving, make the topping. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips and the butter in the microwave. I will do so by microwaving it 30 seconds at a time and stirring between each time. Add the maple syrup and whisk until smooth. Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Pour the chocolate topping on the cheesecake and spread evenly. Arrange the chocolate-covered strawberries and any other decorations on the top of the cake.

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.

  • Yields: 12-16 servings
  • Preparation Time: 12 hours (can and should be made days in advance and preparation steps can and should be separated)
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