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).
How to make cheesecake crackfree?
Pre-bake the cookie crust on a slightly higher temperature then the cheesecake and let it com to room temperature before adding the cheesecake batter. These steps ensure a stable base for the cheesecake to bake in.
Use a Baine-marie to bake the cheesecake. A water bath helps baking the cheesecake with gentle heat and enough humidity to prevent cracking.
Another important step is to keep the oven door shut. Once the cake finished baking it needs to cool gently. Just turn off the oven and let it cool for at least 1 hour inside the oven. I recommend to let it cool for about 1.5 hours. Then transfer it to the kitchen counter and let it set for another 30 minutes before cooling it in the fridge for another 2 hours or overnight.
More tips needed? read here all my tips for a crackfree and silky smooth cheesecake!
Add fresh strawberries shortly before serving
Fresh fruit is always a great way to elevate the flavor and presentation of your homemade dessert. The only thing you have to consider is that fresh fruit tends to look fresh only for a few hours before it dries out or gets wilted. So even though this dessert is easy to prepare ahead I recommend to decorate it shortly before serving for the best impression.
One way to conserve its freshness is by adding a strawberry glaze on top of the fresh strawberries. That will keep them from drying out with a protective layer. You can find it in the baking section of your supermarket.
Strawberry Nutella Cheesecake
Ingredients for a 8 or 9 inch cake
For the OREO crust:
2 cups (24 cookies) OREO cookie crumbs
3 tbsp butter, melted
For the nutella cheesecake batter:
24 oz (680 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup (200 g) white sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (240 g) sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (140 g) Nutella
4.4 oz (125 g) hazelnut chocolate, melted
about 1.5 lbs (600 g) fresh strawberries for decoration
Preheat the oven to 325 °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.
To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Cream the cream cheese and sugar with a hand mixer until smooth for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and sour cream. Mix it until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and Nutella and mix until everything is evenly combined. Mix in eggs last and mix it until smooth. Fill it on top of the pre-baked 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.
Bake the cake in a 1 inch high water bath at 325 °F for about 60 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 take it out of the spring pan and arrange it on a serving plate. Arrange quartered strawberries on its top to cover the whole surface. Sprinkle some warmed Nutella over it.
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!