Thursday, December 29, 2016

Strawberries and Champagne Cheesecake

1 cup champagne or other sparkling wine
2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 14 whole crackers)
2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 large egg yolks
20 fresh strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening, divided
1/3 cup white baking chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

   1. Place champagne in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
   2. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in up the sides of a greased 9-in springform pan, set aside. Arrange sliced strawberries over the bottom.
   3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Beat in the sweetened condensed milk, cornstarch and reduced champagne. Add eggs and egg yolks, beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over strawberries. Place pan on a baking sheet.
   4. Bake at 325° for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen, cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
   5. Remove sides of springform pan. For topping, wash strawberries and gently pat with paper towels until completely dry. Slice and arrange over cheesecake. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon shortening, stir until smooth. Drizzle over strawberries. Repeat melting and drizzling with white baking chips and remaining shortening.
   6. In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners sugar, beat until soft peaks form. Serve cheesecake with whipped cream.

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