Junior’s White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake
Adapted from Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook
one 9″ Graham cracker crust
three 8-ounce packages cream cheese (full fat)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
6 oz. white chocolate, melted & cooled
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 cups fresh strawberries plus more for garnish
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1. Prepare the strawberry swirl by pureeing the strawberries in a food processor or blender and then mixing in the sugar and cornstarch. Let stand to thicken.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the whipping cream just until completely blended. Fold in melted and cooled white chocolate. Don’t overmix!
3. Pour the cheese mixture over the prepared graham cracker crust. Using a teaspoon, drop the strawberry mixture on top of the cheese batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a swirling “figure 8” design, just until strawberry swirls appear.
4. Place the cake (with the base wrapped in foil) in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top of the cake is golden with deep red swirls, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away—don’t move it). Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
5. To serve, release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate and garnish with whipped cream, strawberries and white chocolate curls. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover leftover cake and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze up to 1 month.