July 19, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake

 So there are some foods that I am scared of. 
Not scared to eat...pshh, don't be ridiculous.
Scared to make...
Scared silly.
Some of these fears derived from epic fails in the kitchen:
-Anything involving a candy thermometer.
I think this must come from deep-rooted trust issues...
Like is it REALLY 250°?  What if it's wrong?  What if it is 5 degrees off?  Maybe I should just let it go for a few more minutes. What if , what if, what if?
And the candy thermometer consistently requires me to pull my mind out of the gutter...I mean, it's a kitchen tool that literally says, "firm ball" on it. 
I get it, I'm immature, move along.

I have tried over and over and over...and they just aren't that good.  They are acceptable to the unsophisticated pallette of my children, children who deem Kid Cuisine a good dinner. But would I serve them to a guest?

-Yeast.  The rising, the waiting, the correct room temperature...AHHH
Shoot me now.

-Pudding.  Hate making it, hate eating it, just hate.
Seriously how long does it take milk to boil?  
Wait, I'll answer that for you...7,000 minutes.
Too long with the stirring, too long with the waiting...and no matter how much you stir it always sticks on the bottom.
No pudding for me.

And you know what else I had a fear of?
The cracking, the spring-form pan, cream cheese vs. ricotta...
I think half of my insecurity stemmed from the fear that if I learned to make it I would eat it all.
Because cheesecake is my most favorite food.
Like if I were on death row and I had one more meal it would be cheesecake.
Or if I was stranded on a deserted island and I could bring one thing it would be cheesecake.
I'm not practical, don't be shocked.

So, I decided that I am 35 years old and I need to hurdle some of these obstacles.
Because it's a bit of a tragedy that I must go to my Mother-In-Law's house to enjoy cheesecake.
(Don't read into that)

So first attempt cheesecake...success.
Make it. Eat it. Love it.
40 Nilla wafers crushed 
3 Tbsp butter, melted
3 (8 oz) pkgs of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 eggs

Vanilla mousse topping:
1 (8oz) pkg of cream cheese softened
1 (8 oz) tun of Cool Whip thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Strawberry topping:
1 pint of strawberries, sliced
2 oz semisweet chocolate melted
Preheat oven to 350°
Mix crushed cookies and butter and press into the bottom of an ungreased spring-form pan.
Mix on medium the 3 pkgs of cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until combined and smooth.
Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.
Pour mixture over the crust and bake 45-50 minutes until center is set.
If it cracks, don't worry.
Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen from sides.
Cool completely in pan.

When the cheesecake is cooled make your mousse topping.
Mix your 8 ox softened cream cheese in a mixing bowl with the sugar and vanilla with mixer until smooth.
Whisk in your Cool Whip until combined.  Don't over mix.
Spread the mousse layer on top of cheesecake.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

When cheesecake is completely chilled arrange your sliced strawberries on top.
Drizzle the melted chocolate on top of strawberries.
Slice and serve!
adapted from kraft foods
  Trust me, if I can do this, so can you!
The only fear left now is eating the whole pan!


Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

I have way too many of those same fears! This cheesecake looks amazing, like you've done it a million times before! Such a great idea to top it with chocolate and strawberries!

Meghan @ Domestic Sugar said...



Glory/ Glorious Treats said...

Yum! Looks delish! Good for you facing your fears!! =)

Amy from She Wears Many Hats said...

Lawsie mercy child ... the fat cells in hiney just quivered.

If you can make this, you can make pudding, puddin.

Maris(In Good Taste) said...

Prize winning cheesecake!

Julia said...

Your first attempt, good work!!!! I'd say cheesecake as the one meal you can bring with you on a dessert island is WAY practical. But, I also think bringing 2 large suitcases on a weekend getaway, filled with my own snacks, drinks and baked good is practical. Sooooo, maybe I'm not the best judge.

Sabrina said...

fear no more!!! This is absolutely amazing! I am making this soon...like tomorrow! I love the cheesecake and cream topping with the chocolate and strawberries! its perfect!

Aimee said...

I love the vanilla mousse layer. Yum. I would fear eating the whole thing too...

Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} said...

Gorgeous. Love it. Adding it to my to try list.

Sue said...

Woo Hoo, you did it! The flood gates have been opened! BEAUTIFUL cheesecake:)

Toriisen said...

I'm also scared silly of making cheesecake! But maybe just maybe I'll try it this weekend. It's so yummy and I hate thats there a food I'm scared to make. Btw on the pudding just do the instant and teach your kids how to make it. My 3 year daughter makes it for us all the time

B said...

This cake is beautiful! The accidentally on purpose chocolate drizzle is divine.


Amanda said...

Beautiful!!! (I am scared of pudding too!)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga said...

BEautiful!!1 And Drooling!! Your food makes me want to...bake. Or eat. :)

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said...

Congratulations and what a beautiful one it is!

Trish - Sweetology101 said...

Well the CHEESE no longer stands ALONE...it has chocolate and strawberries...nice job. I have a fear of macarons and my mother in law. Any advice? HA

Joanne said...

You know, the best part of covering it with strawberries is that no one will know if it cracks!

(ha. cracks. See, I'm five too!)

And yeast really isn't so bad.

Macarons. They frighten the balls out of me.

Anonymous said...

Good for you for conquering your fear! If your cheesecake cracks - top it!

I love to make pancakes, work with yeast, candy thermometers...anything like that.

I'm afraid of clarifying butter....

Anne said...

A job well done! It looks beautiful AND delicious!

Joy said...

Ohh Chocolate covered strawberries.

Kristan said...

I am going to go ahead and assume that one of these is packed in an ice chest and headed to Arkansas via overnight mail.

Because no Blog BFF would dare post such a thing without sharing.

Georgia Pellegrini said...

This looks so tasty, layers of cream on cake is heaven.

SweetSugarBelle said...

Shel, this really really is a beautiful dessert.

Aimee & Brennen Fuller said...

Delicious! I could eat that right about now.

I CANNOT make rice krispies. Seriously. Rice Krispies. I'm pretty sure that recipe is in cooking 101. Yeah...epic failures every time.

Aimee & Brennen Fuller said...

PS I LOVE your stories/writing. I'm still laughing about your water aerobics class.


Tia said...

cheesecake is one of my faves to make. you did a great job!

Santosh Bangar said...

cheese cake top with starwary is tempting
waiting for ur visit and follow

Santosh Bangar said...

cheese cake top with starwary is tempting
waiting for ur visit and follow

plumbing supplies said...

You could even cover dark cookie sheets with aluminum foil. The reflective quality of the pan insures even baking and browning of your cookies. With the right cookie sheet, you will produce perfectly browned cookies each time you bake.

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. said...

What a cute site! I am so glad yo stopped by mine so I could find yours. So many great looking desserts oh my!

Erin said...

With these results, that hurdle you got over looks like a piece of cake ;-). Oh look at me being corny!

Allison said...

Well first attempt looks amazing! I know the fear of making sweets you like too much.

Michelle said...

Looks so yummy, well done.

Heather @ Sweet Sins said...

This looks gorgeous and delicious!! YUMMY!!!

Tracy said...

Just gorgeous! Strawberries and chocolate are one of my favorite combos...even better on top of cheesecake!!

Monica H said...

As soon as I saw the vanilla mousse I knew this was the Kraft cheesecake I've been drooling over. This looks absolutely perfect. Strawberries and cheesecake with chocolate- holy yum!

Good for you for conquering your fear :-)

The Procrastobaker said...

This certainly does look like a wonderful success! Its absolutely gorgeous, congrats on conquering your fear! I am too yet to make a cheesecake, hopefully someday soon :)


wait . . . am i reading someone else's blog . . . or are you an imposter having hijacked this blog previously in control of its rightful owner? because the intro said you were afraid of making cheesecake and yet . . . and yet the photos of this cheesecake most certainly do NOT look like someone who's afraid of making said cheesecake. and in fact, look very much like a PROFESSIONAL who has been making cheesecakes for years . . . IMPOSTER - YOU ARE AN IMPOSTER!!! i am so tellin' mom . . .

Lydia said...

You always crack me up!! You're hilarious! And I'm just about with you on the pancakes. I almost burned down my house trying to make them Tuesday. That was just dumb on my part, but I still have a hard time with getting them just right! Fortunately my hubby eats them anyway! Can't wait to try the cheesecake. I've been hesitant to try cheesecake too, but I'm trusting you that it's doable! :)

Kristen said...

This is phenomenal, Shelly! Two of my favorite things combined into one. Pinnng for later! Yum!

KitchenTherapy said...

That is beautiful!!!
just a lil' bit in an envelope and send it to the UK and we'll be best buds

bridget {bake at 350} said...

That is one GORGEOUS cheesecake!!! No more being afraid....you are a professional! Wow.

grace said...

the best part about cheesecake is that if it cracks, you can just cover it with whipped cream or a ganache of some sort. win win! :)

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Oh my, sounds (and looks!) delicious! Anything with cream cheese and I'm in :)

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. said...

This looks fabulous!

Wenderly said...

THAT is one gorg-o cheesecake!

You can do anything!

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