This rich, creamy cheesecake is a crowd-pleasing standout. It has won first-place ribbons at numerous fairs and is my family's favorite dessert. It's an indulgence sure to produce "oohs" and "aahs" when served to guests. -Sherri Regalbuto, Carp, Ontario
This recipe is:
- 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (18 wafers)
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 ounces white baking chocolate, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup mashed frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, well-drained
- Red liquid food coloring, optional
- 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons shortening, divided
- 1 ounce white baking chocolate
In a small bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar and cream. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on low just until combined. Divide batter into thirds. Add melted semisweet chocolate to a third. Spread over crust. Add melted white chocolate to another third. Spread over semisweet layer. Stir strawberries and a few drops of food coloring if desired into remaining portion. Spread over white chocolate layer. Place pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
Place springform pan in a large baking pan. Fill larger pan with hot water to a depth of 1 in. Bake at 325° for 70-75 minutes or until center is just set. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove foil. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool for 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
For topping, melt semisweet chocolate, butter and 1 teaspoon shortening in a heavy saucepan or microwave; stir until smooth. Cool 5 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Pour melted chocolate mixture over cheesecake. Melt white chocolate and remaining shortening. Drizzle over cheesecake. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12-14 servings.