An ultra creamy cheesecake with a luscious chocolate ganache topping
1 1 /2 cup Nabisco Famous Wafer crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
Four 8-ounce packages Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
1⅔ cups sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large or extra-large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups heavy cream
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli bars)
White and dark chocolate melts (I used Ghirardelli)
To make the crust, combine all ingredients and press onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven at 350 degrees to bake the cheesecake.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 package of the cream cheese, ⅓ cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch together on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a couple times to make sure it’s mixed well.
Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each additon.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Mix in the cream just until completely blended. Do not overmix.
Scrape the batter out of the bowl and pour over the crust. Wrap the sides of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil.
Place the cake pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes halfway (about 1 inch) up the side of the springform. Bake until the edge is light golden brown, the top is light gold, and the center barely jiggles, about 1¼ hours.
If the cake seems soft all across the top, let it bake for 10 minutes more. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours. Chill until cold.
When cheesecake is cold, make the ganache topping. Heat cream just to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Let sit 2 mins and stir smooth. Pour over cooled cheesecake and chill overnight.
To make chocolate covered strawberries, melt the chocolate melts according to package instructions. Dip into chocolate and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and let rest until chocolate hardens (you may need to refrigerate if using real chocolate). Drizzle the opposite colored chocolate across the berries if desired (drizzle dark chocolate dipped berries with white chocolate and drizzle white chocolate dipped berries with dark chocolate). Garnish dessert with the chocolate dipped strawberries.
*This would be delicious with a thinner layer of ganache if desired. Just use 1 cup of heavy cream and only 6 ounces of semi sweet chocolate to make your ganache.