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Chocolate Covered Strawberry No-Bake Cheesecake

A smooth and creamy strawberry cheesecake filling, is sandwiched between a shortbread cookie crust and sinful chocolate ganache.





For me summer is all about no bake desserts. I usually go crazy with no bake desserts during the summer, but it seems like I just haven't had time to indulge this year. We've been going non stop since the middle of July, with no signs of stopping. 


The reason I like no bake cheesecakes so much, is because they are so easy. This one was as easy as simmering frozen strawberries (which I still had in my freezer from LAST summer!), with some sugar, until nice and thick. Once my homemade strawberry jam was cooled, I mixed it in with some softened cream cheese and luscious freshly whipped cream. For the crust I used a combination of shortbread cookies, macadamia nuts (which I found in the freezer) and toasted coconut. A silky chocolate ganache tops it off, adding a wonderful sweet indulgent extra, to this fantastic cheesecake. 






No-Bake Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake


crust:

12 shortbread cookies (I used store brand cookies)

1/2 C macadamia nuts, toasted and cooled (almonds would also work)

1/3 C toasted coconut

2 Tbs sugar

1/4 C butter, melted


filling:

2 C strawberries (fresh or frozen)

2/3 C sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2- 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softened

1 C 35% heavy cream

3 Tbs powdered sugar

1 C semi sweet chocolate, chopped

1 C 35% heavy cream

2 Tbs butter

chocolate covered strawberries to garnish


Place a mixing bowl and mixer attachment(s) in the freezer, for at least 1 hr.


For the crust, place the shortbread cookies and toasted macadamia nuts, in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl and add the toasted coconut and 2 Tbs of sugar. Drizzle with the melted butter and mix until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press into an 8-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while you work on the filling.


For the filling, place the strawberries in a sauce pot with 2/3 C sugar and the vanilla. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, breaking up berries; until they become nice and thick. Remove from heat and let cool completely.


In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until nice and smooth. Beat in the cooled strawberry mixture; until well combined. Set aside.


Using the cold bowl and mixer attachment(s), beat 1C of 35% heavy cream, until soft peaks form. Slowly add in the 3 Tbs of sugar, beating until cream comes to stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Pour onto chilled crust, smoothing it out evenly and refrigerate until set; about 4 hrs, to overnight.


Once cheesecake is set, start your ganache. Place the chopped chocolate into a small mixing bowl. Heat the remaining 1 C cream, in a sauce pot, over medium heat; just until bubbles start to form around the edges of the cream and pot. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit 2 minutes. Gently stir the chocolate mixture, until it becomes smooth. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbs of butter and let ganache cool slightly; about 5 minutes. Pour ganache over the cheesecake and return the the fridge to set; about 1-2 hrs.


Garnish with chocolate dipped strawberries. Run a knife, which has been dipped in scalding hot water and wiped off, around the edge of the cheesecake, before removing the outer shell of the springform pan.

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