GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- 1 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 8-9 graham crackers)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 large strawberries
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin (1-1/2 packages)
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-1/4 cups heavy cream
- A pan with six 3-inch mini cheesecake pans
- 3-inch acetate cake collar
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- Place the graham crackers, sugar, and butter in a bowl and stir it until it looks like wet sand and it holds together when you pinch it. Press the mixture into the bottom of six 3-inch pans. Place them in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES:
- Line a plate with parchment paper and set aside.
- Heat the heavy cream in the microwave or in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove. Only heat it until it gently simmers and don’t let it boil.
- Pour the hot cream into the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes until the chocolate melts. Once the chocolate melts, stir it until it is smooth.
- Slice the green leaves off of the strawberries and dip them into the chocolate ganache.
- Place the chocolate-covered strawberries on the parchment-lined plate and set them in the fridge to get firm.
- Put the cold water in a microwavable bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Set the gelatin aside to soften (or bloom) for at least 5 minutes while you beat the cream cheese.
- Place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until it is smooth and there are no lumps.
- Add the sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth and creamy. Make sure you scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate all the ingredients well.
- Stir in the heavy cream by hand. Don’t use the electric beater for this step or the mixture will get too thick to easily pour into the cheesecake pans.
- Place the softened gelatin in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, stirring at 10-second intervals. Heat it until it is completely dissolved and liquid. If it is too hot, let it sit for a few minutes until it is comfortably warm.
- Drizzle the warm gelatin into the cream cheese mixture and stir it until it is well incorporated.
MAKE THE MINI CHEESECAKES:
- Place the chocolate-covered strawberries in the center of each of the mini pans.
- Line the inside of the mini pans with a strip of acetate sheets.
- Spoon or pipe the filling over the chocolate covered strawberries inside the mini cheesecake pans and smooth the tops. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- When ready to serve, push up on the bottoms of the cheesecake pans and remove the individual cheesecakes. Transfer them to a serving plate and remove the acetate sheets. garnish with strawberries or mint leaves.
- To get a clean, pretty slice, dip a sharp knife in hot water then slowly slide it through the center of the cheesecakes.
- You will need about 8 to 9 graham crackers to make 1 cup of crumbs. To make the crumbs either pulse the crackers in a food processor or place them in a sealable plastic bag and pound them with a rolling pin.
- When you sprinkle the gelatin over the water, disperse it evenly over the water. If you dump it in a pile then the center of the pile will not soften. For a smooth cheesecake texture, it is important to let the gelatin soften in the water before you heat it up and dissolve it.
- Make sure you let the cream cheese come to room temperature before making this recipe. Cold hard cream cheese will not beat into a smooth creamy consistency as easily. You don’t want lumps of cream cheese in your cheesecake.
- Want to soften your cream cheese quickly? Place it in a bowl of lukewarm water (while the wrapper is still on) for 30 minutes. Make sure the water is not too hot though or it will melt.
- The gelatin helps firm up the cheesecake and hold the strawberry in the center.
- The graham cracker crust will get firm in the fridge but since it is a no-bake crust, it will be a bit crumblier than a baked graham cracker crust. If you want to make the crust crispy and more firmly set, bake it for 12 minutes at 350°F then let it cool before making the cheesecakes.
- The acetate collar will give the cheesecake additional height so the strawberries will be completely covered. You could also cut 3-inch wide strips of parchment paper to use as liners if you do not have any acetate sheets. However, some readers reported that the parchment did not work well for them.
- Dip a sharp knife in hot water before slicing the cheesecake. The hot knife will slide through the cheesecake easier and make a clean, smooth cut.
- This Recipe adapted from >>>> Click Here