White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

What do you dream about at night?  Flying?  Showing up to work in your underwear? Your teeth falling out?
Me, I dream of cheesecake (and have nightmares of a world without cheesecake).  Cheesecake and I are each other’s soul mates.  If there is cheesecake on a restaurant menu, there is a 99.9% chance I am having it for dessert.
So basically, I like cheesecake.  I’ve always wanted a reason to make a cheesecake from scratch.  While a Tuesday is a perfectly legimiate reason to celebrate with a cheesecake, our family of four can’t take down a cheesecake as often I want.  So when both of my parents celebrated their birthdays earlier this month, I decided it was a celebration that needed what every celebration needs: a cheesecake.
Now, I am a cheesecake purist.  I love simple plain cheesecake with some flavored toppings and typically don’t like when the cheesecake itself is flavored.  However, this cheesecake has me doubting my cheesecake opinions.  I loved both the raspberry and the white chocolate layer.  The fillings were smooth and sweet and a perfect pairing together.
Slightly Adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts
For the Crust:
9 ounces graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
6 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
32 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Fresh whipped cream, optional
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Butter a 9-inch springform pan.  Wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil.
For the Crust:
Using a food processor, process graham crackers until crushed into crumbs.  Pour in melted butter and stir until moistened.  Lightly press graham cracker crumbs in springform pan, with the graham cracker crust going about halfway up the sides.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool completely on wire wrack.
For the Cheesecake:
Using a food processor or blender, puree raspberries.  Measure out 1/2 cup of the puree and set aside. (You can strain out the seeds if desired but I liked the crunch of the seeds in the cheesecake)
In a double broiler, melt white chocolate over simmering water.  Set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in flour.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in whipping cream and vanilla extract.
Transfer 2 1/4 cups of the cheesecake batter to another bowl.  Stir in the white chocolate to this mixture and set aside.  Fold in the raspberry puree and almond extract to the other bowl.
Pour the raspberry mixture into the cooled crust.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, until softly set in the middle and puffed at the edges.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes.  Slowly pour white chocolate mixture over top, starting at the edges and using a spoon to smooth the top.  Bake for 35-38 minutes, until filling is set in center.  Let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Pipe fresh whipped cream on top, if desired.  To serve, run a knife under hot water, then wipe with a towel.  Run knife around edge and remove the outside of the springform pan.  Cut into slices.

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