Friday, December 12, 2008

Tis the season for...cheesecake!

Cheesecake, how I love thee. I was so excited about making this cheesecake, that I got impatient and started before the cream cheese had completely warmed to room temperature. Problem with being impatient, little white cream cheese lumps, which were painfully obvious once the raspberry preserves were added, turning the mixture pink. Because the cream cheese was still a little cold when I started mixing it, I overmixed it, and incorporated too much air, leading to a raspberry layer that got very puffy in the oven and cracked. Fortunately, the white chocolate layer hid any cracks. No cracks in that layer though, maybe because it sat for an hour while the raspberry layer baked.

Double Decker Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake


1 9 ounce package chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, juices reserved
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

White chocolate curls (optional)

For crust:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Double-wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place cookies in processor and blend until coarse crumbs form. Add butter and process until evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and halfway up sides of prepared pan. Bake crust 8 minutes; cool on rack.

For filling:
Press raspberries and juices through fine strainer into small bowl. Measure 1/2 cup puree for filling (reserve remaining puree for another use). Stir white chocolate in small metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water until just melted and smooth; set aside.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Beat in flour, then eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in whipping cream and vanilla. Transfer 2 1/4 cups batter to medium bowl; stir in melted white chocolate. Stir reserved 1/2 cup raspberry puree and almond extract into remaining batter in large bowl.

Pour raspberry batter into prepared crust; place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of pan. Bake until raspberry filling is softly set in center and beginning to puff at edges, about 60 minutes. Remove roasting pan from oven; let raspberry layer cool 5 minutes to firm slightly.

Starting at edge of pan, spoon white chocolate batter in concentric circles onto raspberry layer. Smooth top. Bake until white chocolate filling is set in center, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate cake uncovered until cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead; cover and keep refrigerated.)

Cut around pan sides with small knife to loosen cheesecake; release sides. Garnish cheesecake with white chocolate curls, if desired.

(optional) Make sauce with chambord, amaretto, puree, sugar

I used 9 ounces of Oreos for the crust. However, the crust seemed a bit greasy. I think I prefer the crust from the Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake, which only calls for 5 tablespoons of butter. 6 seems like overkill, and the sides fell a bit as the crust baked.

I was also too lazy to strain raspberries, so I opted for seedless raspberry preserves. However, the preserves are pretty thick. Diluting it with a little warm water first would have made for easier incorporation.

***After finally getting to taste the cheesecake, the texture was just fine, without any lumps.

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