Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs8 oz (see note)
  •  tablespoons  unsalted butter melted
  • ¼ cup sugar

Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 oz cream cheesesoftened (4 x 8 oz bricks)
  • 8 oz white baking chocolatemelted
  • 4 Happy Eggsroom temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 pint fresh strawberrieshulled and sliced

DIRECTIONS

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and place rack on lower third of oven. Set aside a 9-10 inch springform pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
  • Press the crumb mixture into the pan to cover the bottom and up 1-2 inches of the side.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. In the meantime, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler simmering over low-medium heat.
  • Remove from oven to cool.

Cheesecake

  • Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (149°C). Add optional water bath (see note).
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and creamy using an electric mixer, about 1 minute.
  • Add the sugar and vanilla and beat again until combined.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed just until combined.
  • Fold in the melted white chocolate with a spatula until combined.
  • Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust, using a spatula to smooth out.
  • Bake for 1 hour or until center is almost set and does not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.
  • Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool gradually with the oven door ajar.
  • Once cheesecake is completely cool, run a knife along the edge of the pan. Then release the sides of the springform pan and remove.
  • Arrange sliced strawberries on top.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours to firm up before serving.
  • Notes

    • Take cream cheese out of the fridge several hours ahead of time to soften.
    • You can also pulverize 8 graham cracker sheets in a food processor, or by placing in a sealed ziptop bag and pounding with a mallet or rolling pin.
    • Replace strawberries with raspberries to make a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.
    • Optional water bath: Place a large baking sheet in the oven and fill halfway with water. Before baking, wrap the springform pan tightly with two layers of aluminum foil and place in the water for even baking.