Many people say cheesecake is one of the hardest things to make. With my recipe, they don’t have to be! I’ve gone through so many recipes and techniques that I’ve nailed down what makes them great. These cheesecakes are among my favorite things to cook (and eat), as they’re not only delicious but impossibly cute. Take them to your next potluck or office party to impress the pants off your friends!
For the crust:
- 1 c. graham cracker crumbs
- 4 TB unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated at room temperature
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of granulated sugar
- Assembly and topping:
- cupcake/muffin liners
- melting chocolate
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin and begin dropping rounded Tablespoons of the graham cracker mixture into each liner. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the liner lightly, creating a crust.
Pre-bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla extract until fully combined and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time. In a small bowl using a hand mixer, beat the two egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add a dash of sugar and continue beating for another 30 seconds – 1 minute.
Gently fold the eggs whites into the cream cheese, mixing to a smooth yet thin consistency, then divide among the 12 muffin liners until the cups are almost full.
Bake for 20 minutes. Let it rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes until the filling returns to its normal shape. Don’t worry about cracks in the surface, as you’ll be covering them with chocolate. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before topping.
Using a double boiler, gently melt your chocolate, stirring occasionally to combine. At this point, you can keep the cheesecakes in their liners or choose to remove them to get results like the picture above.
With a regular kitchen spoon, pour chocolate on top of the cheesecakes making sure to coat the entire surface. Wait until the chocolate on the cheesecakes harden before dipping the strawberries in the bowl of melted chocolate and resting on top of each cheesecake.