Neapolitan Cheesecake

I forgot to get my boyfriend an Easter present. This isn’t the first time I’ve dropped the ball this time of year. I never really saw the point of getting each other presents for this particular holiday, and after Christmas and Valentine’s Day, my bank account doesn’t allow for much wiggle room anyway.

My lack of funds, paired with the stress of end of term, had me completely unprepared for his visit on Easter Sunday while I was spending the weekend at my parents’ house. I was stinky and unwashed, my hair thrown up in a makeshift bun and traces of last night’s makeup clinging to my eyelashes.

I saw his car pull up to my parent’s driveway. My eyes were immediately drawn to the bags of goodies in his hand. My tummy resonated with butterflies when I thought of what beautiful things could be inside those bags, then turned to dread when I realized I didn’t have a thing to give him.

I had an inkling of what he got me. I received a bizarre phone call from him that weekend, asking which style of rolling pin I preferred. I said I liked the kind that rolls. I’ve been using the circular  handle of my whisk to do the trick for the past few months, so I wasn’t about to get picky.

Aside from a beautiful wooden rolling pin, he had picked out an olive green casserole dish for me to make his favourite macaroni and cheese in, a rose embroidered apron to catch the dusting of flour that always ends up all over my favourite sweatpants whenever I bake, and a pink polka dot spoon rest to prevent those unsightly globs of batter from baking onto my stove.

He knew I didn’t have anything to offer him in return, but he didn’t care. He took me down to his grandparents’ house so we could drive on the marsh on his four-wheeler. He told me he liked how it felt to have me clinging on to his back, my arms wrapped around him. He whipped around the corners and sped through the mud puddles just to feel me hold on tighter.

The next morning as I was flipping through a magazine over breakfast, my eyes fell on a recipe for this multi-coloured cheesecake. It was pink and white and it looked like spring, and given his  infatuation with cheesecake, I figured it was just the ticket.

When we got back to our apartment in the city, I had full intentions of whipping up this cheesecake as soon as we settled in. But assignments piled up and my stress level started to rise, so his Easter cheesecake quickly went on the back burner. Yesterday morning, I decided enough was enough, and dug out my spring-form pan and cream cheese to show him just how special he is.

Tools

9-inch spring-form pan
four mixing bowls
hand mixer
spatula
wooden spoon
large knife
colander
masher
vegetable peeler

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups graham baking crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 bricks cream cheese (250g each)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
3 squares white chocolate

Instructions

One hour before preparation, remove cream cheese from the fridge to soften. When ready to prepare cheesecake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slightly melt butter in microwave, for about 15 seconds. With wooden spoon, mix together graham baking crumbs and melted butter in medium mixing bowl. Press mixture into bottom of the spring-form pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with hand mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each egg is added. Continue blending until mixture is lump-free.

Divide batter into three portions of 2 cups each in mixing bowls. On low heat, melt semi-sweet chocolate until melted. Add melted chocolate to one bowl of the mixture and stir until blended. Pour chocolate mixture over graham crumbs and place pan in freezer for five minutes. While the chocolate batter is setting, add vanilla to the second bowl of mixture and stir well.

After the five minutes is up, remove pan from freezer and pour vanilla mixture over the chocolate batter. Freeze for another five minutes.

Drain thawed strawberries in a colander. Place in a bowl and mash with masher. Add mashed berries to the final bowl of mixture and stir well. Remove pan from freezer and pour strawberry mixture on top.

Bake 55 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before running a knife around the rim, then slowly removing the rim. Refrigerate for four hours.

When ready to serve, melt two squares of white chocolate in small saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over cheesecake. Slice remaining square of white chocolate into curls with peeler and spinkle on top of cheesecake.

Enjoy!

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