Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the fantastic moms out there. I hope you’re treating yours well- because I know I sure will be! Our routine for Mother’s Day starts off with a delicious breakfast in bed for my mom. My dad, brother, and I cook an incredible breakfast, complete with eggs, bacon, hash browns, and my personal favourite—toutons! Obviously, my mom is the priority…but the rest of us ensure that there are never any leftovers!

For supper, it’s usually my mom’s choice. In the past, we’ve gone to restaurants but my mom prefers a home-cooked meal any day, especially because our family ALWAYS has the bad experiences at restaurants. So this Mother’s Day, my dad’s going to be barbecuing some steaks, complete with roasted potatoes, veggies, and an incredible dessert to follow!

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My mom is a bit of a picky eater like myself, and as I’ve said before, she isn’t too keen on sugary-sweet desserts. She does, however, enjoy something as simple as a chocolate covered strawberry. I make these all the time as little treats, especially when I notice an abundance of strawberries in the fridge. One way to ensure that they don’t go to waste would be to cover them in chocolate! They always seem to disappear so much faster.

My mom also loves a great cheesecake, so she’s incredibly enthusiastic that her daughter makes some of the best! My recipe to you this week combines all of my mom’s favourites into one delicious dessert— a chocolate strawberry cheesecake!

When it comes to cheesecake, I don’t play around. The more layers, the better! This one starts off with an Oreo cookie crust, followed by a dark chocolate cake layer, a delicious strawberry cheesecake made from the freshest of strawberries, then a decadently dark chocolate mousse, and topped with strawberry whipped cream. It sure is a mouthful to describe—and probably the most delicious mouthful of the day!

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Not only do I prefer the taste of dark chocolate, I often find myself using dark chocolate when baking because it provides a richness that can’t be achieved with milk chocolate. As well, it reduces the sweetness from the sugar in the dessert, and the fruitiness from the cocoa bean compliments the strawberries beautifully! I highly recommend cooking with dark chocolate to send your flavours over the top. Ensure you choose baking chocolate rather than a chocolate bar as well—these are designed to melt evenly as some bars and chips contain a wax to keep the shape of the chocolate when heated. I recommend working with high-quality ingredients for high-quality results.

Be sure that you dedicate this day to all of the wonderful Mothers in your life. Make them feel special, thank them for what they’ve done and continue to do for you, and continue to show that appreciation every day. Happy Mother’s Day—and enjoy!

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs

1/4 cup melted butter

Chocolate Cake:

4 oz. dark chocolate

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Cheesecake:

3 8oz. packages of cream cheese softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 cup fresh strawberries

1 tbsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp flour

Chocolate Mousse:
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, divided

3 tbsp. granulated sugar

2 egg yolks

6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

1 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Whipped Cream:

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tbsp strawberry Jello powder

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. In a small bowl, combine Oreo crumbs with melted butter and press into the bottom of a springform pan.

  3. To make the chocolate cake layer, combine dark chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Melt over low heat. Whisk in the beaten eggs, followed by the cocoa powder and sugar. Pour on top of Oreo crust.

  4. In a mixer using the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, followed by sugar and flour.

  5. Using a food processor, blend the strawberries with the vanilla. Pour into the cheesecake batter and mix until fully incorporated.

  6. Pour cheesecake batter on top of the chocolate cake layer. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, allow it to cool on the counter, then refrigerate.

  7. In a saucepan, heat 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream.

  8. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.

  9. Pour half of the hot heavy cream into the egg yolks while the mixer runs. Once it is incorporated, add the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the other half of the hot heavy cream. Whisk continuously for approximately 5 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken.

  10. When the cream has thickened, mix in vanilla extract. Add chocolate in batches, stirring to ensure that it has completely melted before adding more.

  11. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

  12. When the chocolate cream has cooled, beat the remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. Top the cheesecake with this chocolate mousse, and continue to refrigerate.

  13. To make the strawberry whipped cream, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Add in Jello powder, and fold to incorporate.

  14. Pipe the top of your cheesecake with whipped cream and garnish with fresh strawberries. I always recommend leaving the cheesecake to set overnight before serving!