White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
By Planet X
I like making cheesecakes. For a dessert, they're relatively easy to make, and are always a hit. Also, cheescakes attract girls. The next time you go to a party or gathering, bring a homemade cheesecake instead of a sixer! Today we will be baking a white chocolate cheesecake, with raspberry sauce.
Things that really, really make it easier and liken the chances for success:
Springform pan: I have tried using baking or pie dishes, and its simply not the same. Its much easier with one of these. $15
Standing mixer: Yes, they cost a lot, but sometimes you can find them cheap or on sale. Mine was a gift. There are many cool things you can do with them, like make batches of mashed potatoes, pizza dough, and mousse cake.
Food processor: The one in the pictures is a cuisinart mini-prep. I generally cook for myself or maybe one other, so its nice - small enough so that its easy to clean, but you can do 3 cups worth of stuff in it. Hummus, Salsa, easy fruit sauces, and dry mixes are but a few of many uses you can get out of this $40 appliance.
1/2 bar White Chocolate (optional - other things can go here depending on how you want to flavor your cheesecake) 3 things cream cheese 1 cup sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1/2c heavy cream 4 eggs splash vanilla extract (1 tsp)
28 Vanilla Wafers 3 Tbs sugar 3-4 Tbs melted butter 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
First thing you should do is ensure that the eggs, milk, and cream are room tempearature. I sometimes set them out when I leave in the am, then cook it up when I get home from work on a Thursday, (cause wherever you're presenting this thing is bound to be on a weekend) Or you can simply set them out an hour or so ahead.
Lets make the crust:
Toast the almonds in a 350 degree oven. Sometimes I use the broiler for time's sake, but you have to make sure they don't burn. Check them to make sure. Toast until golden brown. In this picture, I have just put them in.
It is helpful to measure and set your ingredients out beforehand
Combine the vanilla wafers and toasted almonds in the food processer, pulsing until chopped. Add the sugar. Pulse again. Now, add melted butter in a few steps. Pulse for a few. If its too dry, throw a little more melted butter in there, like a half TBS. It should now resemble wet sand.
Now dump it into the pan.
Take a ramekin or bottom of a mug or pint glass and smoosh it down until evenly distributed upon the bottom.
There we go
Bake the crust it at 325 for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Set it on a TEXAS cutting board and let it cool.
OH MY GOD CAT IS HELPING HOW CAN THAT BE
Keep the oven on, and set your chocolate on the stove. I had it in a dish over water on low heat on the stove, but remembered that the heat of the oven will melt the chocolate gently without bubbling or charring, so I just set it there to slowly melt.
Put the 3 packs of cream cheese in the mixer. Blend the cheese slow for a few mins or until creamy.
Add the sugar steadily until blended, low-med speed. Stop and scrape down the sides of the mixer. It is good to do this periodically.
Now add the eggs one at a time. Stop and scrape after the second egg.
Blend, stop, scrape until combined and homogenous. Almost there!
Add vanilla, salt and white chocolate, along with the heavy cream.
Stop, you're done. Give it a final scrape because there may be bits at the bottom of the bowl.
Pour it into the springform pan with the foil on the outside. Add hot tap water OUTSIDE of the tin foil until it comes halfway up the sides of the pan.
Notice the cheap roasting pan. I will not be using this any more since it does not allow the springform pan to sit flat and so the cheesecake will bake lopsided. One thing helps is to have wide foil, like at the Costco. With it, you won't get any leakage into the cheesecake. Regular sized foil does not work as well.
Bake for one hour, and put a thermometer in it at the end of the cooking. It should register 150 degrees.
Turn the oven off and prop the oven open with a wooden spoon. Let it sit in the water bath for an hour.
Now take it out and put it on the counter or a wire cooling rack for another hour or so. Then put it in the fridge as long as you can stand (4 - 24 hours), covering gently with saran wrap.
When making this white chocolate cheesecake, I make a raspberry sauce to go with it. I kind of hacked the sauce together, but basically it involves heating strained raspberries (no pulp), some sugar, lime juice, and some cornstarch. I didn't take pictures of that part, since I'm not sure how best to do the sauce, and mine came out a bit sweet for my tastes.
You can do other things like add butterscotch, make a lemon curd, or somehow get some pumpkin in there if you don't want to do white chocolate.
When you're ready, run a knife around the outside, and remove the pan sides by releasing the spring. Cut it with a hot knife (dip in hot water then wipe), and enjoy! It goes well with a mint garnish and a splash of raspberry sauce.
Thanks for reading my first GWS food post. If you have suggestions or comments as to cheesecake technique, please post up.