So I combined two cheesecake recipes in order to use the ingredients I had on hand. Every other recipe I found required something I didn't have, and as this baking adventure began after 10 p.m., I needed to get creative. It worked. Here are the tasty results below.
2.25 c. Oreo crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 pkgs. (8oz/250g each) Light Cream Cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk (light if they have it)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
1 pkg. (8 squares) 70% Baker's Chocolate
2 c. Strawberries (frozen works great)
scant 1/3 c. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
DIRECTIONS for Crust and Filling:
1. Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 10" springform pan. (I press the crust about 1 inch up the sides as well, but that is a matter of personal preference, if you like crust on the side or not)
2. In a double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth. Be very careful not to scorch, and remove from bottom of boiler when the chocolate is melted. Set aside. (I don't have a double boiler, but use a small metal bowl over a small sauce pan of hot water on the stove.)
3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, and vanilla until really smooth.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating on low just until each is combined. (If you beat too hard, your cheesecake will crack because the eggs hold air that collects during the beating process.)
5. Pour over crust. Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. Then turn off oven, crack door open and bake another 10 minutes. This will help set the cheesecake and help prevent cracks in the top of your cheesecake. (You'll still have one or two, but they shouldn't be major. I actually had a few that corrected themselves during the 10 minutes that the door was open.)
6. Remove and cool on wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour. Gently run a knife along the edge of the pan, and then place in refrigerator. Do not disassemble the pan yet! Cool overnight.
7. Carefully disassemble the edge of the springform pan. Cut into 12 pieces. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. (I set aside a few pieces, and then individually wrap and freeze the rest for other occasions. It freezes well for a few months in a deep freeze.)
DIRECTIONS for Sauce:
1. Cut strawberries in pieces and place in small sauce pan. (If frozen, thaw a bit first.) Add sugar and vanilla.
2. Heat on medium low heat and stir until bubbly and thickened, about five minutes. Remove from heat and mash with a potato ricer. Cool in refrigerator.
3. Pour a few tablespoonfuls over individual pieces of cake and enjoy.