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Strawberry Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Brian McGibbons – Chef de Cuisine

Growing up surrounded by different culinary ethnicities and with a mother who was a great cook, Chef Brian was introduced to the culinary world at a very young age. In the early 90s, he began his culinary career by working in several trendy Colorado ski towns, which led him to attend The Culinary Institute of America in New York. After graduation, Brian honed his skills within several fine dining restaurants, five-star hotels and platinum country clubs throughout Washington D.C. and the Florida cities of Jacksonville and Jupiter. Chef Brian is now using his extensive culinary knowledge and his understanding of addiction to help better the lives of others. Aside from food, Chef Brian’s passions outside of work include spending time with his wife, going to the beach, golfing, traveling, and fishing.


There are 4 parts to this delicious dessert.

Vanilla Angliase


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

In a small heavy saucepan heat cream and half sugar bring to boil. In separate bowl place egg yolks, rest of sugar and vanilla. Slowly add hot cream to egg yolks stirring constantly. Once incorporated add everything back to saucepot, place back on stove and cook on medium heat until mixture coats back of spoon.  Remove from heat and strain into separate container immediately, cool in the fridge.


Strawberry Garnish

  • 1 package of Strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Chop up strawberries, combine with sugar and place in fridge until plating.

Strawberry Puree


  • 1 package of strawberries
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water


Clean strawberries, remove stem and cut in half.  Place all ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a boil reduce heat to medium and reduce by ½.  Remove from heat allow to cool.  Purée in food processor set aside for later use.

Gignersnap Crust


  • 1 pound box ginger snaps
  • ¼ pound melted butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar


Puree gingersnaps in food processor, add melted butter and sugar. Preheat oven to 325. Using a spring form baking cake pan, spray the entire pan with pan spray. Place a ¼ inch layer of the crust mix into the cake pan and pack it down evenly. Bake in a 325 degree for 5 minutes.


Cake Batter

Ingredients needed:

  • 2 pounds Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Strawberry puree (see recipe above)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Place cream cheese and sugar in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix together until the sugar is dissolved. Add lemon zest, cornstarch, vanilla, and strawberry puree. Mix slowly until everything is incorporated. Slowly add the eggs 1 at a time while slowly mixing the batter.

Pour cake batter into the cake pan, do not fill the pan more than 3/4 full. Bake in a water bath (insert cake pan into another larger pan with water 1/8 of the way up)  Bake cake for 1.5 hours at 325 rotating 1/2 way through. Remove cake from the oven and water bath and allow to cool at room temp for a 1/2 hour before placing in the fridge. Serve cold.




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