I made this into mini (single-serving) cheesecakes for my niece's graduation party and to share with my fellow classmates in culinary school, and got rave reviews. The process is a bit time consuming, but well worth it!
*I used the double boiler method, instead of the microwave, to melt the chocolate chips. Also, I wrapped foil around the outside of the pan & placed it in a hot water bath to bake (to reduce cracking & help it bake evenly).
1CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together 1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa in a medium bowl; stir in 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine. Press the mixture firmly onto the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes; cool slightly.
2Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Puree strawberries in blender container or a food processor to yield 1/2 cup; set aside.
3Place chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) for 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred; set aside.
4In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese & sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, sour cream, 3 T. flour, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups cream cheese mixture, strawberries, remaining 1 tsp. flour and the food color, if desired. Pour strawberry batter over the prepared crust. Carefully spoon 2 c. vanilla batter over the strawberry batter; smooth surface. Stir the melted chocolate chips into the remaining batter; carefully spoon over the vanilla batter, smoothing surface.
5Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F; continue baking for 55 to 60 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is almost set. Remove from the oven to a wire rack. Cool for 30 minutes. With a knife, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Cool completely; remove side of pan. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
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