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Cheesecake has always held a special place in my heart. My daddy makes the best cheesecake ever. It goes in that category with his best burgers ever. I’m sure there are more best evers he makes. People are so scared of cheesecakes. I’ve never really been sure what the big deal is. I mean, sometimes they crack, but, come on, they’re still delicious, cracks and all! Also, they are so easy to make. That’s probably best kept a secret, since, if people knew they were easy, and made them all the time, our country would probably have an even greater problem with weight. But I digress.

I saw this recipe for Banana Split Cheesecake on Love and Olive Oil’s blog a little time back and I knew I had to make it! I couldn’t resist all those delicious banana split flavors all in a cheesecake. Mmmm. So, on a late summer/early fall afternoon I amassed my ingredients, and did what I had to do.

That’s right, I DID use low-fat cream cheese. And you know what? It was DELICIOUS.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups Cinnamon Graham Crackers, crumbled
  • 2/3 Cups + 6 Tbsps Sugar
  • 5 Tbsps Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 Lb Neufchatel (l0w-fat cream cheese) @ room temp
  • 1/4 Cup Low-fat Sour Cream
  • 2 Tbsps All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 oz Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 2 Cups Fresh Strawberries, halved

Ok, pups, here’s how it’s done.

You’ll need an oven pre-heated to 300°F, so do that at whatever point you think best.

Get an 8-inch round heavy aluminum pan (aka not a tin foil one) and butter it up nice and greasy-like.  Mix up your graham cracker/cookie crumbles with 3 Tbsps of the sugar in a medium bowl and then pour in the  melted butter and stir until combined.  Press this tastiness onto the bottom of your pan and try to get it up most of the way on the sides of the pan.  

This, my dears, is your crust.

Next!

It’s time for filling.  Aka, the cheese to the cheese cake.  Dump the cream cheese, 2/3 C sugar, banana, sour cream, and flour in the food processor.  Pulse that into a tasty paste. Add your eggs, one at a time,  pulsing to combine.  Set aside 1 1/4 C of the filling and set aside.  No, don’t drink it, leave it alone.  Pour the rest of the filling on top of your crust.

Now, pour a cup of your reserved filling into the food processor and add the melted chocolate.  Pulse that until it’s combined.  Drizzle the chocolate filling all over the cheesecake in whatever pattern you can think of.  Now, drizzle that last 1/4 C of the original filling in another pattern on top of the chocolate.  Take a knife or toothpick and drag it through and around and across your pattern.  Be sure not to mix it up, that’d be boring.

Bing bang bam, pop that in the oven for 45 minutes.  When you take it out it’ll still be a little jiggly in the center.  Run a knife around the edges to separate the cake from the pan, turn off the oven, and put the pie back in for 15 minutes.  This step ensures that you don’t get any unsightly cracks from the cake firming up in the middle and thus being pulled apart by the sides.  Magic.

Cool this tasty baby until room temp and then cool it some more in the fridge overnight.  This allows it to fully set.

Here’s the cool part.  Or, I guess, another cool part.  To remove the cake from the tin the next day here’s what you do:  Put some greased saran wrap on a flat plate.  Heat up the bottom of the cheesecake pan over low heat and shake the pie around gently until you feel it loosen up in the pan.  Then put the saran wrapped plate on top and flip quickly.  Remove the cake pan.  Take your serving plate and put it on top of that and flip again.  Gently remove the saran wrapped plate.   Wonderful!

Ok, you’ve probably forgotten by now, but what would a Banana Split be without the strawberry sauce?  Put the strawberries and 3 Tbsps of sugar in a food processor (I used my 3 cup-er) and blend until smooth.

When you’re ready to cut the cheesecake, and want to keep it fancy/neat, run hot water over a large sharp before cutting.  Be sure to remove any excess cheesecake before cutting another piece.

To serve, just put on a dollop of strawberry goodness and enjoy!

I was apprehensive about this at first, but the banana was subtle and everything just came together so well!  Yum!

What desserts are on your minds these days? What dessert does your daddio make best?

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