Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry puree (frozen strawberries thawed and blended in blender)
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
Fresh strawberries and/or slivers of white chocolate as desired
1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat the oven to 325dgF. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Wrap a double layer of heavy duty foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
In a large bowl use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all is mixed in. Add the eggs one at a time blending after each addition. Finally mix in the sour cream whipping cream and vanilla (and food color if using). Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan. Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan.
Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely (4 to 5 hours or overnight).
2. Prepare the cake: Bake two- 9-inch round strawberry cake layers
3. Prepare the frosting: Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and the butter and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla strawberry puree and cream and continue to mix until well combined. Mix in 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Add the third cup a little at a time until you reach a consistency that you're happy with. You may not use it all or you may use more. It just needs to be thick enough to be spreadable.
4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer take off the sides of the pan and slide a knife under the the cheesecake to release it from the pan. Trim the cheesecake as needed to match the size of your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the cheesecake.
5. Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer of frosting to the cake and refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes or until the frosting is set. Apply the second layer of frosting if needed. Decorate as desired and refrigerate until ready to serve.