Sunday, February 19, 2012

White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

When it comes to baked goods, cheesecake isn't exactly my favorite.  But a few years back I decided to start playing around and making cheesecake. After many attempts, some successful some fails, I combined some recipes and ended up with this.  It's the only cheesecake that I make, but its AMAZING.  I have never served it to someone who doesn't like it, even if they dont like cheesecake!  Another version I like to do, is to make it with dark chocolate instead of white, and use canned cherry pie filling on top.  I just skip the whole step where you add the raspberry sauce.

What you need:
Chocolate Crust
1 container of Oreo Cookies
4 T. White Sugar
1/2 C. Butter, melted.

Raspberry Sauce
1 (10-12 oz) bag of Frozen Raspberries
2 T. White Sugar
2 t. Cornstarch
1/2 C. Water

White Chocolate Ganache
1 bag of Ghiardelli White Chocolate Chips (about 2 Cups)
1/2 C. Heavy Cream

Cheesecake
3 (8oz) packages of Cream Cheese softened (room temperature)
1/2 C. Sugar
3 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 t. Vanilla
Steps:
1. Start with one small bowl, and one medium sized bowl.  Take the oreo's and separate the cookies from the cream, putting the cream in a small bowl and the cookies in the medium sized bowl.  Next put all the cookies into a blender and pulse them to make fine crumbs.  Add the crumbs to the bowl, with the sugar and mix them together with a fork.  Next add the melted butter and mix it f the mixture with a fork.  Take the crust mixture and put it in a spring form pan, pushing it firmly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan.  To prepare the pan for baking the cheesecake, I like to put tin foil on the bottom of the spring form pan, and half way up the sides.

In a saucepan, combine frozen raspberries and sugar.  In a cup, add the cornstarch and water and stir together to get rid of lumps.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and mix together.  Turn on the heat, bringing the raspberry sauce to a boil, continue boiling for about 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick.  You can strain the sauce in a mesh strainer to get rid of the seeds if you want to, or you can leave the sauce as is.  I didn't have a mesh strainer this time, so I left the seeds in.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).  In a double boiler, or if you dont have one like me.  I just use a metal or glass bowl, over a smaller pot of boiling water.  Add the white chocolate chips and heavy cream, stirring constantly until it becomes smooth.  Remove bowl from the pan, and put on the side.

In your kitchen aid, mix together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Pour in the vanilla and mix in mixture.  Add the melted white chocolate mixture and mix in the mixer until combined.

Pour in half of cream cheese mixture into the pan.  Spoon in 5 teaspoons of sauce onto the cheesecake.  Use a knife and swirl the sauce into the cheesecake, add the rest of cheesecake mixture on top and repeat the same process to the top.  I did a heart for Valentines day, but typically I swirl it in the middle as well.

Bake for 60-90 minutes, or until filling is set.  Best way to check is to place a knife in the middle and see if it comes out clean.  Typically,  it doesn't always come out clean, but when it starts to brown a little on top, I pull it out and let it rest for awhile.

To garnish it, I used dark chocolate shavings, and fresh whipping cream with the left over raspberry sauce.  I always make it  the night before, so that it can rest in the fridge for at least 8-10 hours.  Make sure to cover the top with plastic wrap while it sits in the fridge.  It will shrink down so dont be surprised.
Here are some tips that I have learned along the way that have helped make the cheesecake perfect:

1. I always bake my cheesecake in a water bath.  You dont have to do this, but anytime I make a custard style dessert I always cook them in water baths.  So heres what to do.  After you put the tin foil on the bottom of the spring form pan, this prevents water from leaking into the cheesecake.  Place it in to a pan that has some deep sides and can fit the pan comfortably.  Use a teakettle to fill the outer pan with hot water.   Make sure the bottom of the pan has a shallow bath of water, but covers the entire bottom.  You can always check the cheesecake half way through to see if it needs more hot water, but I have never had to add more.

2.  One of the hardest things about cheesecake is to figure out when its done.   You can always check by taking the internal temperature, it should be around 160 to 165 degrees F (70 t0 72 degrees C).  Personally, I have never done this.  I like to insert a knife in the middle of it and see if it comes out clean.  Another way to do it is to turn off the oven, and let the cheesecake in it for another hour to ensure it sets up.  I have tried this trick twice, one time it worked, and one time it was WAY over cooked.  So I typically do it for about 20 minutes, after its done cooking, and then place it in the fridge.

3. It's very important to let the cheesecake completely cool.  This is why its always best to make it the night before.  The cake will naturally start pulling away from the sides of the pan, but its always smart to run a knife around the edges to make sure it comes out perfectly.

I know this is a lot of instructions, but I promise if you have the patience to make this, its worth the wait!

3 comments:

  1. This recipe is worth all the time it takes to make it and all the effort to burn the calories after! Best cheesecake ever!!

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  2. I LOVE cheesecake and would be happy to have a slice of this one! I did a Blackberry Lemon one but it didn't turn out quite right. Need to perfect it from their recipe! Your photos are absolutely mouthwatering!

    (The wedding reception was beautiful and I loved the aprons! How clever!)

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