Chocolate covered strawberries make these little treats so precious!
My go to cheesecake batter with a splash of freshly pressed lemon juice for the extra kick paired with a thick graham crust.
How to make chocolate covered strawberries
The key to shiny and smooth chocolate covered strawberries is tempered real chocolate and cold strawberries. I usually wash my strawberries gently and pat dry them. then place them in the fridge to get cold. In the mean time I prepare the chocolate. For that I use a mix of dark chocolate with about 50 % cocoa and milk chocolate. I always add some coconut oil for a smoother consistency and to bring out that shine!
Cut chocolate in really small pieces and melt about 2/3 of it with some coconut oil in the microwave in 30 seconds intervals or with a water bath. Stir it to make sure nothing burns and it melts evenly. When it is all melted add the rest of the chopped chocolate and mix it until smooth. It should be hot enough to melt completely. While mixing in the rest of the chocolate it tempers the melted chocolate to a usable temperature! Now just dip the cold strawberries into the chocolate, remove some chocolate from under the strawberry by sliding it against the edge of the bowl and place them on to parchment paper or a plate. I like to use a skewer to hold the strawberries while dipping them as the leaves are weak and tend to break easily. After a few seconds of letting the chocolate strawberry dry Lift it up and place it on a clean space. That helps to remove any chocolate puddle it might have created!
Read here how to get a perfectly smooth cheesecake!
How to make the best cheesecake batter
Many recipes just call for cream cheese, sugar and eggs to make mini cheesecakes but what if I tell you that there is a simple way to elevate these treats from mediocre to amazing with a few simple ingredients. First of all I always add sour cream to my cheesecake batter. It makes it creamy and adds a bit of tanginess. To support this flavor I like to add some freshly pressed lemon juice. It just enriches the flavor profile of the cheesecakes without overloading them. Of course do not forget about vanilla as it is the quintessential flavor of all my baked goods!
These are the cheesecake pans that I always use in my recipe videos: Springform pan and Removable bottom pan
A 8 inch springform pan is the traditional choice to make most cheesecake recipes. I usually use it for no bake cheesecakes. For baked cheesecakes I prefer the removable bottom pan. It has the advantage of fitting a water bath snuggly around it.
To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe
Mini Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecakes
Ingredients: for 6 mini cheesecakes
16 oz (454 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice, optional
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream
For the Graham cracker crust:
1 cup (120 g) graham cracker crumbs (9 crackers)
3 tbsp (40 g) melted butter
1 tbsp (12 g) sugar
For the chocolate ganache:
2 tbsp + 2 tsp (40 ml) heavy cream, hot
6 tbsp (65 g) chocolate chips
For the chocolate strawberries:
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 cup (85 g) dark chocolate or a mix of dark and milk
1/2 lb (225 g) strawberries
Check out my New York Cheesecake tutorial while this one is in the making
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Crush up Graham cracker in a food processor or use a zip lock bag and a rolling pin to make cookie crumbs. Mix the fine crumbs with melted butter and sugar. Press the mixture in a 6 capacity lined cupcake pan and bake it for about 6 minutes. Let it come to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 °F. Baking the crust is optional but gives it a nice crunch!
To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and flour to a big mixing bowl and mix it until smooth for about 4 minutes. Scrape it down after each mixing to ensure no lumps are left. Add in heavy cream and sour cream. Mix in eggs at last. Mix until smooth for about 2 minutes.
Fill the cheesecake batter on top of the cookie crust. Place the cupcake tray inside a cookie sheet filled with hot water. Bake the cheesecakes in this water bath at 325 °F for about 25 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let it come to room temperature for another 30 minutes. Then let it cool for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
Check out how to make chocolate strawberries in an earlier section of this post! To decorate the cheesecakes remove the cupcake liner if you want the chocolate ganache to drip. If you just want to decorate the top with ganache leave the liners on. Then make the chocolate ganache topping. For that heat up heavy cream in the microwave and pour it over chocolate chips. Let it sit for a few minutes before stirring it. When it is all smooth and shiny it is ready to use. Step 5:
Decorate the cheesecakes immediately before serving or up to 2 hours in advance with chocolate ganache and a chocolate covered strawberry.
Add more flavor with a whipped cream topping: To make the whipped cream use a tall measuring cup. Add heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip it on low for about 30 seconds with a hand mixer using the whisk attachment. When it begins to thicken increase speed and whip until fluffy. Fill it in a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe some swirls of whipped cream and garnish with strawberry sauce immediately before serving.
Caramel sauce and chocolate drizzle make an easy decoration without a lot of fuzz! I like the store bought caramel sauce made with sweetened condensed milk from the ice cream section