Tuesday, January 27, 2015

STRAWERRY CHAMPAGNE CHEESECAKE

 STRAWBERRY CHAMPAGNE CHEESECAKE
Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake
I LOVE cheesecakes! I am always requested by my family at holidays to make desserts... lots of them... especially cheesecakes. I try to find one or two new recipes to make every holiday, and include several family favorites as well. This past Thanksgiving I made 2 new cheesecakes and this Strawberry Champagne Cheesecake was one of them, and became the new family favorite. I've made it 3 more times over the past 2 months, and plan to make it in mini cheesecakes for my Bed and Breakfast guests at our B&B this Valentine's Day (you can check out the website and make reservations). Here's the recipe, enjoy!

STRAWBERRY CHAMPAGNE CHEESECAKE

CRUST:
  • 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of 9" or 10" springform pan with parchment paper, about 1" larger than you need it to be to cover the bottom of the pan. Lightly grease the sides of the springform pan.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, and sugar and press into bottom and up 1 1/2" of the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.

FILLING:
  • 1 cup Champagne or other sparkling wine, or sparkling cider
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped strawberries
  • 3 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
Place Champagne in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees f.

Sprinkle chopped strawberries on top of cooled crust.
  
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. 

Beat in the sweetened condensed milk, cornstarch and reduced Champagne. Add eggs and egg yolks; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over strawberries. 

Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60  minutes, or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge to loosen. Cool for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least several hours.

At serving time, remove sides of springform pan, carefully peel away parchment from bottom of pan and place cheesecake on serving platter. 

TOPPING:
  • 20 or more strawberries, sliced
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup white baking chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening, divided
Arrange sliced strawberries over top of cheesecake. 

In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over strawberries. Repeat melting and drizzling with white baking chips and remaining shortening.


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