Strawberry Chocolate Cheese Ball
Strawberry Chocolate Cheese Ball- A dessert cheese ball flavored like chocolate cheesecake on the inside and coated in strawberry dust. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!
February 4, 2021 by Nicole Collins
Can you believe we’re talking about Valentine’s Day already?
Like, when did that happen?
Didn’t we just take down the Christmas tree?
Well, I did. I was way later than usual putting my tree up this year, so I left it up much later. I JUST took it down.
Do you guys have any big plans for V-Day? Who has a hot date?!?!
I know I sure do. Picture it: me, a 30 count tray of Chick Fil A nuggies in a heart shaped container, a bottle of wine, my two best guys (and my best gal), and a heaping helping of today’s recipe. Sounds like the most perfect date ever right?
Except, I’ll have to have my Valentine’s feast the day before since CFA is closed on Sundays. But, I think both my heart, my stomach, and my 4-legged valentines will be A-ok with that!
So, what are we making? Today, we’re making a Strawberry Chocolate Cheese Ball!
Now, I know what you’re thinking…a chocolate cheese ball? But here’s the deal. The inside of this cheese ball tastes exactly like chocolate cheesecake. Then, it’s covered all over in strawberry dust. And, it’s served with cookies, donuts, and pretzels. I mean, what’s Valentine’s Day without chocolate covered strawberries. Well, this is strawberry covered chocolate!
You sold yet?
Here’s how this comes together. It’s really very simple. We’re going to start with our chocolate cheesecake-esque ingredients. So, we need some cream cheese, some sour cream, some powdered sugar, a smidge of vanilla, and a little cocoa powder. We’re also going to add some melted chocolate to this filling to really up the ante on the chocolate flavor. But, it’s important that we let the chocolate cool down a little bit before we add it to our other ingredients. We don’t want to melt our cheese ball before we even get started!
Once we have all of our ingredients together, we’re going to mix them well until the filling is nice and smooth, and into the fridge it goes for about an hour. Chilling the mix a little bit first helps to firm up the cheese ball mix so that it’s a lot easier to shape. So after that first chill, we’re going to smooth the mix into some plastic wrap, loosely wrap it into a ball shape, then use the plastic wrap to mold it into a pretty heart shape from there. Of course, you can leave it as a sphere, but it’s just so cute molded into a heart!
After we have our cheese ball shaped and wrapped, back to the fridge it goes to set for at least another hour. You can let it sit up to overnight, if you want. But, it only needs an hour. Then, the fun part happens. It’s time to coat the heart in strawberry dust!
For the strawberry part of our dessert, we’re going to crush some freeze dried strawberries. Freeze dried fruits are one of my favorite secret weapons in desserts, because they’re just real fruit that’s had the all the water content extracted. So, you’re getting real, fresh fruit flavor without making your dessert wet or soggy. After we have our strawberries crushed into a coarsely ground texture, we’ll sprinkle it all over the cheese ball, and use our hands to gently adhere it to the heart.
Then, it’s time to serve! You can serve this with cookies. You can serve this with donuts. But, my favorite dipper is pretzels! And, of course, there’s always the option to go at it straight from spoon to mouth.
Now, this cheese ball heart is a big baby. Since we’re not exactly entertaining large crowds these days, feel free to halve this recipe. Or, you can totally keep leftovers in the fridge for a few days and swipe a few bites in passing. You have options!
Either way, you’re going to love everything about this cheese ball. It’s rich and creamy on the inside. It’s bright and fresh on the outside. And though it’s a sweet treat, it’s not cloyingly so. This dessert has really nice balance!
Ok, everyone. We might as well just keep it rolling with the sweet treats for the rest of this week. Then, I think we may get a little fancy next week. We’ll see!
Until then, enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Strawberry Chocolate Cheese Ball
Serves: 16 Print
16 oz (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp sour cream
¾ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup freeze dried strawberries
sprinkles, for garnish (if desired)
donuts, pretzels, cookies, and fruit, for serving
Melt the chocolate: Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate has completely melted. Set aside for 10 mins to allow the chocolate to cool down.
To a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and melted chocolate. Used a hand mixer to beat the mixture until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides, as necessary. Place the bowl in the fridge for 1 hour.
After one hour, scoop the cream cheese mix out of the bowl and onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to help form the mix into a ball, making sure to not close the wrap too tightly yet. Then, mold the ball into a heart shape while still inside the wrap. Place back in the fridge to chill for at least 1 more hour, or up to overnight.
When you're ready to serve, remove cheese ball from plastic wrap, and place on your serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to smooth out some of the creases left by the plastic wrap.
Place freeze dried strawberries in a resealable bag. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to crush the strawberries into finely crushed, almost ground pieces. Sprinkle the strawberry dust over the cheeseball, and use your hands to gently adhere the strawberries to the cheese ball. Garnish with additional sprinkles, if desired.
Serve with donuts, pretzels, cookies, and fresh fruit. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
*This makes a HUGE chocolate cheese ball. Feel free to cut the recipe in half.
*To form the ball into a heart, I made an indentation at the top of the ball to form the top of the heart. I flattened out the ball and tapered the bottom to make the bottom of the heart. We're doing all of the molding inside of the plastic wrap which is why we don't want it wrapped too tight, at first. We won't be able to mold the cream cheese if the plastic is too tight and doesn't give us anywhere to move. You can also just leave this shaped as a ball. It's delish no matter what shape it's in!
*Normally, I'd run freeze dried strawberries through a spice grinder to turn them into a powder, but we want to keep a little bit of texture to our strawberries. So, we don't want them to be complete dust, but we don't want huge chunks either. Fine that sweet spot somewhere in the middle.