Wednesday, April 22, 2009

White Chocolate Red Raspberry Cheesecake

I haven't yet written about this here, but on occasion, I make cheesecakes. Before living here, we lived in a development and our next door neighbor was a caterer. Occasionally, I would make cheesecakes for an event she was catering.

Then, there was my sister's wedding. She didn't have a traditional wedding cake. She had cheesecakes- mine. I made four different kinds (Orange-Glazed with a Ginger Snap Crust, German Chocolate, Lemon-Swirled and White Chocolate Red Raspberry).

There were more back in the kitchen. These were for display.

My baby brother is getting married (in two and a half weeks!) and he's asked if I would make cheesecakes for their wedding rehearsal dessert bar. Happily. I gave them some choices and they chose two kinds- German Chocolate (recipe to be posted later) and White Chocolate Red Raspberry.

While these cheesecakes appear light brown on the outside, they are creamy white and lovely on the inside.

These cheesecakes are a bit more involved than your run-of-the-mill refrigerator cheesecakes. But, oh my. They are so worth the effort. Just a couple of things to keep in mind...one, allow yourself plenty of time. Rushing through will bound to lead to mistakes. And, two, take each step one at a time. Don't try to multitask. These deserve your attention and you will be rewarded if you give it.

White Chocolate Red Raspberry Cheesecake (adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001. Among other changes, it is not "light" anymore.)

Crust:
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 8 rectangles)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. butter, melted

Filling:
3 cups red raspberries (I find that using my frozen raspberries works perfectly if they are not in season. This works because I do not wash them before freezing and I use them in the recipe before they have thawed, a.k.a have not become mushy.)

3 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, full-fat, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
3 ounces white chocolate, melted
3 large eggs

Topping:
3/4 cup red raspberry jam (bought or homemade)

Combine the first three ingredients in a small bowl.


Mix well with a fork and then press the crumbs into a 9-inch spring form pan coated with cooking spray.


This part is fun. Arrange the red raspberries on top of the crust. Here they look sugared- they are not. They are still frosty from the freezer. They won't become mushy if you use them half frozen. Fresh raspberries work well, too. Now, set your pan aside and preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, both extracts, and salt. Beat well.


Place the 3 ounces of white chocolate in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until melted. Give this chocolate your FULL attention. No need for a double boiler if you have a little patience and stay with it while it melts. As soon as there are no lumps, pour it directly into the cheese mixture and beat well.


Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well once again. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again. Now, pour the cheese mixture into the pan, on top of the raspberries.


Tap the pan gently on the counter to level the batter. Next, place your jam in a small bowl and whip it up a bit with a spoon. This will soften it up and allow it to be swirled easier. Drop spoonfuls of the jam on top of the batter.

With a table knife, swirl the jam around. Don't get too carried away. If you swirl too much, all the jam will fall below the batter and be hard to see. Once it's swirled, place it in the center of your 325 degree oven.


It will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes for it to bake. Start checking it after one hour. You will notice at that point how shaky the center is when you jiggle the pan. Put it in again for another 15 minutes and check again. You will notice it has firmed-up, but is still jiggly. Set the timer for another 5-15 minutes and remove it from the oven once the whole top moves gently as one when you shake it. Set it on a cooling rack, turn your oven off and set your timer for 20 minutes.


After it's cooled for 20 minutes, take a long-bladed, sharp knife and run it carefully around the edge, as close to the pan as you can. Run the knife down deep enough that you are skimming the bottom of the pan. Go all the way around, making sure you haven't stopped before getting all the way around. Gently open the spring form sides and lift the pan off the cheesecake. If it resists, run your knife around again until it lets loose.

Now, let it cool completely and then place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. You can store it there a day or two before serving, just make sure it's in a cake carrier or gently wrapped in plastic wrap to keep it from absorbing other fridge smells.


Tutorial on Transferring a Cheesecake From the Bottom of a Spring Form Pan onto a Dish or Cake Board

When I began making these for other people, I realized that I needed to figure out a way of getting the cheesecake off the pan and onto a cake board. I needed my pans to make more cheesecakes and slicing cheesecake off a pan is not very graceful. It tends to slide all over the plate you may have it setting on.

So, I called around to local bakeries asking their advice and no one seemed to know what to tell me. Not many of them sold cheesecakes.

After some trial and error this is what has worked very well for me.

Start with a cheesecake that has spent the night in the refrigerator. Spray a light-weight cutting board (the same size or larger than the diameter of the cheesecake) with cooking spray. This keeps it from sticking to the cutting board. Center the cutting board (sprayed side against the cheesecake) on top of the cheesecake.


Next, holding onto both the pan and cutting board at the same time, flip the cheesecake over. Now, it's upside down resting on the cutting board.


Find your thinnest and longest knife. Insert the knife between the cake and the pan bottom, keeping it as close (actually, right up against) the pan. Insert it up to the handle. Gently slide it out and repeat this every inch or so all the way around the pan until the pan lifts up and off on it's own. Don't pull it off or you'll have crust coming off with it.

If your pan bottom has a little lip around the edge, you'll need to angle the knife point up initially as you go in and then flatten it to get most of the crust separated.


Your pan has lifted off! If you have bits and pieces of the crust stuck to the pan, gently lift them off with the knife and pretend you are putting a puzzle together. Gently lay them in their rightful place and pat them in gently.


Next, center your plate or cake board upside down on top of the bottom of your cheesecake which is now facing up (quite a sentence if I do say so myself).


Holding the cake board and the cutting board at the same time, flip the cheesecake over and lift off the cutting board. It's ready to serve.


This type of cheesecake freezes very well. If you would like to freeze it, wrap it gently but thoroughly with plastic wrap (all the way over and under to make a tight seal) and freeze. Let it thaw in the fridge for 8 hours or longer before serving.

I'll try to post a picture later of a slice, showing the raspberries lining the bottom. I'm not cutting into these, no way. Even though I like you all a lot. Pin It

8 comments:

  1. Wow. Yum. I love cheesecake...it's one of my absolute favorites. My aunt makes an amazing cheesecake...with a hint of lemon...then a fresh raspberry sauce on top. Heaven.

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  2. Oh my goodness! That is absolutely spectacular! Did you come up with the recipe yourself?

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  3. JJ, I did not come up with the recipe myself. It's from Cooking Light. I did make a handful of changes, though. The jam swirled on top, the almond extract and the full-fat cream cheese. If you're going to eat cheesecake, you might as well eat the real thing:-).

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  4. i'm pretty sure i can't wait 2 1/2 weeks for a taste!!

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  5. I know this is an old post, but wanted to share how I get cheesecakes off the pan and onto the plate. It sounds a little silly, but I just put a piece of parchment paper inside the springform pan before spraying and baking. The edges will tighten just fine still. Then when you are ready to move it just put the plate next to the bottom of the pan and slide it right over! You could probably also move it over on the paper and then pull that out from underneath. Works like a charm for me!

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  6. Would regular chocolate work? I am not a fan of white chocolate. It is just too sweet for my liking. I realize I would lose the effect of the swirl but the taste would still be there. I absolutely love chocolate and raspberry.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know why it wouldn't work- give it a go!:-)

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