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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Baking Adventure: Chocolate Truffle Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

Prepare yourselves, Adventurers! Today, I present my ALL-TIME FAVORITE CHEESECAKE! Over Valentine's Day, I created a Chocolate Truffle Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake. Yup, that's right! Chocolate, strawberries, AND cheesecake! Talk about the ultimate Valentine's Day dessert for your loved ones!
Chocolate Truffle Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake
This cheesecake had chopped up chocolate truffles and a strawberry swirl heart pattern that was just perfect for the occasion!
Strawberry Swirl Heart Pattern on Cheesecake (Before Baking)
The pattern didn't hold up as well after baking, but it still tasted delicious! Just like chocolate-covered strawberries with cheesecake! Seriously... BEST. CHEESECAKE. EVER!
Strawberry Swirl Heart Pattern (After Baking)
I made the Strawberry Sauce a night before baking the cheesecake so I wouldn't have to worry about cooling the sauce. This cheesecake was also made with less sugar because my family doesn't like desserts that are overly sweet and I knew the chocolate truffles would add a lot for sweetness. Feel free to add more sugar if you want though! The tartness from the strawberry sauce balanced with the sweet chocolate and rich cheesecake was just perfection. Everyone in my family loved it!

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE STRAWBERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE

Ingredients
2 pkg (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)
~8 chocolate truffles, cut into 8ths
Strawberry Sauce (See Recipe Below)

Directions
  1.  Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Blend cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a blender until smooth.
  3. Pour about 1/3 of the cheesecake batter into the crust and spread to evenly coat the bottom crust.
  4. Distribute chopped chocolate truffles evenly on batter.
  5. Cover the truffles with the remaining cheesecake batter.
  6. Level out the cheesecake batter and tap the cheesecake on the counter a few times to release any bubbles. (Use a toothpick to pop any stubborn bubbles.)
  7. Place small dots of strawberry sauce (about 1 cm in diameter) in circles around your cheesecake.
  8. Use a toothpick or knife to run through each dot to make a heart pattern.
  9. Place cheesecake into a larger roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water until it reaches about halfway up the cheesecake.
  10. Carefully place roasting pan with the cheesecake into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until the center is almost set.
  11. Cool and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  12. Serve with additional strawberry sauce.
STRAWBERRY SAUCE

Ingredients
2 cups sliced strawberries
1½ Tablespoons lemon juice (or juice from ~1/3 of a lemon)
4 Tablespoons sugar (adjust depending on strawberries’ sweetness)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Directions
  1.  Blend the strawberries and sugar in a blender until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch.
  3. Add lemon juice mixture to the strawberry mixture and blend until combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a medium saucepan to remove the seeds.
  5. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil. Stir frequently and cook a few more minutes or until it thickens. 
  6. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

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