Yesterday was a very long day. After waking up early and going to a failure of a "job training" I decided to take a well deserved nap. So my morning went as follows:
7am: wake up
9 am: go to "work"
10 am: my "bosses" are still a no show...
11 am: my "boss" shows up, surprised that I am there for training
1130am: get sent home for lack of anything for me to do
You get the picture. Needless to say, I did no accept the job. They wanted to try me out to see if I would be a good fit for the company, however, after their performance for the past couple weeks, their refusal to compromise on pay, and insistence that "entry level" workers deserve nothing but $10/hr has led me to believe that this company would not be a good fit for me. I left, slept off the frustration, and woke up to a happier day.
I got a hamster! After a few hours of driving around, and countless pet stores visited (thanks Alex <3), I finally found the perfect replacement for my previous hamster (r.i.p.). It was very exciting! Then, almost immediately after getting home, I get a call from one of my friends who wants to do a photo shoot. It was then, 10pm. And I had a cheesecake that still needed baking.
For the crust:
9 Graham crackers, finely crushed
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
For the filling:
4 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 C. Granulated Sugar
3 eggs, room temp
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
For the topping:
1 Pkg. strawberries, rinsed, dried and hulled
3 Tbsp. Granulated sugar (optional)
1/2 C. Heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with enough foil to extend up the pan.
In a small bowl, combine crust ingredients. Using your hands, press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the spring form pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Reduce the oven's temperature to 350 degrees. Fill a cake pan with boiling water and place on the bottom rack of the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the Cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour into the prepared crust, and bake for approx 40-50 minutes, or until the sides are set and the center is still a little bit wiggly. Remove from oven, and cool in the pan to room temperature. Once cooled, place the pan in the refrigerator and allow cake to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
How you place the topping on your cake is solely up to you. Some people just pile the strawberries on, while others like to be a bit more creative. I will be describing way I decorated this cake.
Once the cake has chilled, run the back of the knife around the edges to release the cake from the pan (do not remove yet).
Slice enough of the strawberries in half to circle the perimeter of the cake. Thinly slice the remaining strawberries, place in a small bowl and toss in 2-3 Tbsp. of sugar. Let sit for 15-30 minutes to allow the juices to be drawn from the berries.
Meanwhile, place whipping cream and sugar into a mixing bowl. Whip on medium high speed until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks.
Pile the remaining strawberries in the center of the cheesecake. Pipe whipped cream surrounding the sliced strawberries, as well as a dollop in the center of the cake. Top with a whole strawberry.