Every once in awhile I like to build an elegant dessert that’s so easy to prepare that I don’t really have to think about what I’m doing. (Well, all the time I would like to bake desserts with that qualification, but it just isn’t always possible!)
So when I went looking for a chocolate cheesecake recipe and found this one on the Taste of Home web site, I quickly realized it fulfilled all my needs. a) I didn’t need to go to the grocery store, b) I wasn’t going to have to spend hours in the kitchen, c) the dessert wasn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg, and d) from the comments I read; the cheesecake was going to be delicious. (You realistically can’t ask more than that from a recipe.)
I even had some strawberries on hand that really needed to be used. Such a deal! And I knew my killer strawberry sauce recipe would be just the perfect topping for the cheesecake. So to the kitchen I proceeded.
The next day I served the cheesecake at our cooking club dinner. Everyone thought it was just grand. (And no, I didn’t bother to mention how easy it had been to prepare. Some things are just better left unsaid!)
So if you too like to take a break from thinking once in awhile (for me it’s becoming more and more often), consider this recipe for your next dinner party. It truly is a delightful dessert and could not be easier to prepare.
- 1 c. crushed chocolate wafer or graham cracker crumbs
- 3 T. + ¾ c. sugar, divided
- 3 T. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 c. (12-oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 T. all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Strawberry Sauce (see recipe below) or plain fresh sliced strawberries
In a small bowl, combine crumbs and 3 tablespoons sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Place a piece of aluminum foil, large enough to cover the bottom of the pan, plus up the sides about an inch, tightly onto the bottom outside of the pan. Set pan aside.
In your microwave, melt the chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, remaining ¾ cup sugar, and flour until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low just until combined. Stir in vanilla and melted chocolate just until blended. Scoop filling over crust.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until the center is almost set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Garnish slices with strawberry sauce, and sprinkle with chocolate shavings if desired. Store covered in the refrigerator.
- 1 qt. fresh strawberries, divided
- ¼ c. sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
Wash strawberries and remove the stems; cut each berry into 4 or 6 pieces, depending on the size of the berry. Combine half the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. The mixture will appear too dry for awhile, but then the juice will begin to appear and produce the syrup. Cook until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat. When the sauce is completely cool, add the remaining strawberries. Store covered in the refrigerator. Also great over vanilla ice cream or shortcake.