My friend Jack’s mom used to make chocolate malted cheesecake for his nearly-Christmas birthday each year, so it triggers thoughts of holidays and school vacations the way fruitcake does for some. The recipe is found in countless community cookbooks and online too: beat 3 8-oz blocks of cream cheese until room temp and fluffy. Beat in one can of condensed milk, 8-10 oz melted chocolate, 3/4 cup malted milk powder, and four eggs. Pour into a 9″ springform pan with already-prepared crumb crust (aw, for pete’s sake, that’s too easy, but in case you’re in serious need of instructions, smash one cellophane sleeve of graham crackers, mix with 1/3 cup melted butter & 2 tablespoons sugar. Press onto sides & bottom of springform pan.) Bake at 300 degrees for 65 minutes, or until the top springs back lightly when touched. Cool to room temp, then chill overnight before serving.
Fresh raspberries make a nice topping, or frozen berries cooked with a little sugar until thickened & soft. Or, for a real shortcut, canned cherry pie filling will do.