When you think of Valentine’s Day what do you think of when it comes to treats and desserts? Boxes of chocolates, conversation hearts, and chocolate covered strawberries. Obviously you don’t need a recipe for chocolate covered strawberries (dunk strawberry in melted chocolate) and I am not a candy maker so I can’t tell you how to make conversation hearts. So I thought how could I incorporate these things into a bake. And I came up with a chocolate covered strawberry cheesecake. Strawberry cheesecake with a chocolate ganache poured over the top.
But then I thought, how can I make it even better? Enter.. brownie crust. And friends, it worked. And it worked well. It’s honestly, not that different than making a regular crust on a cheesecake.
So, this would be a great dessert to share with a loved one on Valentine’s Day, a girlfriend on Galentine’s Day, or yourself on ANY day. Make sure to let me know if you try it!
This recipe uses a slightly modified version of my Vanilla Cheesecake with Lemon Raspberry Curd so if you need a little help making the cheesecake you can see some photos of the steps there.
It also uses freeze-dried strawberries which add all the flavor of fresh strawberry without any of the liquid. I order mine from target but I’m sure you can find them in other grocery stores.
- 70 g AP Flour
- 42 g Dutch process cocoa powder
- ½ cup Unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp Neutral oil Vegetable, canola
- 2 large Eggs room temperature
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 100 g Granulated sugar
- 100 g Dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 24 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 3 large Eggs room temperature
- 200 g Granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- 1 oz Freeze dried strawberries Ground into powder
- 4 oz Semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 oz Heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang so you will have some to grasp to pull the cheesecake out of the pan.
- Melt butter in a double boiler (or glass bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water), adding in cocoa and sugar once melted. Stir until smooth.
- Remove from heat, whisk for one minute, add in oil, vanilla and eggs, whisking for another minute.
- Sift in flour and add salt, gently folding into the batter until just combined. q
- Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for about 12-15 minutes. Brownies will NOT be done, but the top will be set and no longer wet if you touch it.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F
- In bowl of stand mixer, with paddle attached, mix together sugar and cornstarch.
- Once combined add in cream cheese and mix for about 4-5 minutes. Halfway through, scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all cream cheese is being incorporated. Cream cheese should be silky smooth with no lumps.
- Add freeze dried strawberries to batter and mix to incorporate. Strawberries should be a fine powder when adding to batter, however some strawberry seeds may be seen – which is fine.
- Add in eggs, one at a time making sure one is fully mixed in before adding the next.
- Pour heavy cream into batter and mix for about 30 seconds,
- Pour batter onto brownie crust, and place in the oven. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. The edges will be set but the center will still jiggle.
- Turn off oven, leaving cheesecake inside and crack oven open a few inches and let sit for 1 hour.
- After an hour, remove cheesecake and let chill in refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, remove cheesecake from pan and cut into bars.
- Break up chocolate into small pieces and place in a glass bowl or measuring cup.
- Heat 4 ounces of cream until steaming, and pour over chocolate.
- Let sit for about 30 seconds and then whisk or stir mixture until the chocolate has completely melted.
- Let chocolate cool slightly before pouring over cheesecake bars. Ganache should still be warm when poured but not hot.