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Rum Truffle Strawberry Cheesecake

Sometimes friends and family get Christmas Day dessert as a gift from our family on Christmas Eve and this year did not disappoint with this Rum Truffle Strawberry Cheesecake. It has been a bit of a tradition at our house for the past few years. Putting too many on that list can turn into a logistical nightmare so a selection of the bounty from our annual November freezer cookie blitz is now most often what this lucky list now receives.

Strawberry Compote Topping
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
Combine in a saucepan and bring to a very gentle boil. Thicken with
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in
¼ cup cold water
which is added to the strawberries while stirring gently. Boil gently for 1 additional minute, stirring constantly. Cool completely for several hours in the fridge.
Cookie Crumb Crust
In a small bowl, combine:
1 1/3 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
Press into the bottom of a lightly greased or parchment lined 9 inch spring form pan. (Grease bottom only!) Parchment paper is ideal here because it makes it very easy to release the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan.

Cream together:
3 eight ounce packages ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar
Add, one at a time
3 eggs
beating well after each addition. Add:
3 tsp vanilla extract
Finally blend in:
1 cup whipping cream

Pour over the prepared base and bake in a bain marie at 300 degrees F for 60-70 minutes. (Learn about using a simple bain marie by clicking here.) The cheesecake does not have to brown at all in order to be fully baked; the surface of the cheesecake should lose any shine when the cake is properly baked. It can still be slightly wobbly just at the center at this point.

Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp knife completely around the edge of the pan. This will allow for the cheesecake to shrink as it cools and hopefully not crack (but who cares if it does? I am never bothered by a crack or two in the surface) Allow the cheesecake to cool thoroughly on a wire rack at room temperature. (NOT in the fridge). Refrigerate after fully cooled. Chill for several hours or overnight.

Rum Truffle Ganache
The rum truffle ganache is used to cover the cheesecake and to dip the strawberries.
2 cups dark chocolate chips (or semisweet)
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp dark rum, optional (or 1 tsp rum extract)
Melt together, just until smooth in a double boiler. Do not over heat. Just as it is melted remove from the heat. Dip in:
10 -12 large strawberries
Place the dipped strawberries on a piece of parchment paper or wax paper and chill until ready to garnish. Pour the remaining ganache over the chilled cheesecake and spread very quickly and evenly over the top and sides with a flat spatula. Return the cheesecake to the fridge to chill again.
Vanilla Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream
3 rounded tbsp icing sugar (ie powdered sugar, confectioners sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Source recipes -Here-

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