Easy baked chocolate cheesecake with a fresh strawberry topping and a crunchy OREO cookie base
Silky smooth chocolate cheesecake, fresh strawberries and crunchy thin OREO cookie base. This is what dreams are made of (at least mine).
Mix up the crust with pecan nuts
Usually I go with a simple butter graham cracker crust but adding nuts to a pecan cheesecake crust is almost a no brainer! Crushed pecans elevate the flavor and help keeping the crust together. If you want to you can even toast the pecan nuts before grinding them for a richer scent!
More tips needed? read here all my tips for a crackfree and silky smooth cheesecake!
Serve after chilling cheesecake with topping
After adding the pecan topping the cheesecake has to chill for another half an hour. I like a lot of topping so preferably add it when the cheesecake is still in its pan. You could also put a cake ring around it and tighten it to ensure the topping stays on top of the cheesecake.
Ingredients for a 8 or 9 inch cake
For the pecan crust:
2 1/4 cups (300 g) OREO cookie crumbs
4 tbsp butter, melted
For the cheesecake batter:
24 oz (680 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup (140 g) peanut butter
1 cup (200 g) sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup (170 g) sour cream
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (12 fun size bars) butterfinger
For the peanut butter whipped cream:
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup heavy cream
For the chocolate ganache:
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream, hot
1/2 cup (85 g) chocolate chips
1 cup (8 fun size bars) butterfinger for decoration
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. To make the OREO crust you need to make OREO crumbs. You can either blend the OREO cookies in a food processor or use a zip lock bag and a rolling pin to make cookie crumbs. Mix the fine crumbs with the melted butter and press the mixture in a spring form pan. You can use a 8 or 9 inch baking pan. Bake for about 8 minutes and let come to room temperature.
Boil about a quart of water for the water bath. To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Cream the cream cheese, flour and vanilla with a hand mixer until smooth for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add peanut butter, sugar and sour cream and mix it until smooth. Mix in heavy cream and eggs on a low speed until everything is evenly combined. Use a spatula and scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is well mixed. Add chopped butter fingers and fold it in. Fill it on top of the pre-baked cooled crust. Smooth it with a spatula. Cover the spring form pan in aluminum foil or a silicon baking pan to make sure no water can enter and place it in a bigger baking dish. Make the water bath with hot water.
Bake the cake in a 1 inch high water bath at 300 °F for about 80 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and water bath and cut around its edges with a knife. Let it come to room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes. Then let it cool over night or for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
To decorate the chilled cheesecake make a chocolate ganache. For that heat heavy cream for about a minute in the microwave and pour it over the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Let it sit for 3 minutes, then whisk it until it comes together. Let it cool for a few minutes then pour it over the cheesecake. Let it chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Make the peanut butter whipped cream. In a tall mixing bowl combine peanut butter, powdered sugar and very cold heavy cream. Whip it with a whipping attachment until stiff. Fill it into a piping bag and pipe swirls around the top of the cheesecake.
Finish decorating the cake with chopped butterfingers.
To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe.
The crust is thin and crunchy. If you like a higher and thicker crust use double the amount of OREO cookies.
To ensure a smooth consistency without any lumps of cream cheese the cream cheese has to be at room temperature and mixed well before adding more ingredients. Add just a small amount of liquid ingredients at the beginning and mix it in completely before adding more.
Tapping the cheesecake on the counter (covered with a kitchen towel) before baking helps releasing air bubbles that might have formed.
Always bake the cheesecake in a water bath. Got water in your layers of aluminum foil? Switch to a silicon mold to cover your spring form pan. Works wonders for me!