Celebrate Valentine’s Day with White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

Robin McDaniel
This cheesecake combines all the great flavors for a special Valentine’s Day dessert -- strawberry and white chocolate.

This cheesecake combines all the great flavors for a special Valentine’s Day dessert -- strawberry and white chocolate.

Valentine’s Day will be here Sunday, Feb. 14, so I wanted to make a special dessert for the holiday. Since I find cheesecake hard to resist, this White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake seemed a perfect fit.

The crust is extra-special in this cheesecake, made with chocolate graham crackers, which adds a great crunch and chocolately taste. Cheesecakes are not difficult to make, but these tips will help you be successful. Use regular or low-fat cram cheese, but do not use nonfat cream cheese. For a smoother batter, the cream cheese and the eggs should be a room temperature. You can use sugar-free jam in the recipe, and I prefer the Smuckers strawberry jam.

I took part of this great dessert over to Crossroads, a Blount County Children’s Home facility for boys, because the guys there had been requesting a cheesecake in our weekly cooking classes. I asked Leon, one of the residents, what he thought and he said, “It had a smooth and creamy texture and was delicious times 10!” What a great compliment!

White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

Crust:

2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers

5 Tablespoons melted butter

2 Tablespoons sugar

Combine all ingredients. Pat mixture on bottom and part of the way up the sides of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan that has been coated with any nonstick spray.

Cheesecake:

8 oz. white chocolate, melted over low heat

4 pkgs. or bricks (8 oz. each) cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 Tablespoons flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1 jar (12 oz.) seedless strawberry jam

Blend cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing just until blended. Add melted chocolate, flour and vanilla. Mix for only about 1 minute. Do not over beat. Pour into crust in the springform pan.

Stir strawberry jam until smooth and spreadable (about 1 minute). Swirl jam into batter, creating a marbled pattern. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes. The edges will be set and puffed, and the center will be slightly jiggly. Cool completely before removing from pan. Best if chilled overnight.

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