Cheesecake Journey, Part 2

cheesecake title

It is not the All-American cherry pie. But Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake has become the “go to” dessert for holidays at my house. If you come for a visit and I have time to prepare it, cheesecake might be waiting for you.  It has taken six decades for me to consider the challenge of cheesecake and I am willing to share.  With the right equipment to help me be successful and enough practice behind me, I think I have come up with a recipe to fulfill my craving for gluten free cheesecake.   If you missed Part 1 of this journey, you can find it here.

Since the crust needs to be in the freezer before we add the filling, starting with the crust is essential.  Prepare your pan with butter and parchment paper.  Then use a food processor to crush the cookies.  You could put them in a plastic bag and crush them to get the same results.  Pressing the crumbs and butter into the prepared cheesecake pan works best when your fingers or spatula are coated with some butter.  And of course, if you are not interested in a chocolate crust, you can easily use a vanilla sandwich cookie.  Either way, this simple crust goes together “as smooth as butter”!

Cover the sides and bottom of the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil or place the cheesecake pan inside of a silicone pan.  Place it in the freezer for at least 30 minutes so the butter has time to solidify.  It will take that long to make the Raspberry Swirl and prepare the filling.

I use a small food processor to puree the raspberries.  A large one should give you the same results.  While the recipe calls for 2 pints of fruit, I have found that I have to be careful about picking through the raspberries to find the best ones.  Sometimes that means purchasing more than I end up using.  But a little extra raspberry swirl to spread on the plate or drizzle on a slice of cheesecake is never a bad thing.  Getting rid of the seeds is easy with a wire mesh strainer and a spatula.  If the wire mesh is small enough, the seeds stay in the strainer while the pureed raspberries land in the bowl underneath.  You might have to use the spatula to scrape the bottom of the strainer to get as much of the pulp as possible.  It is worth the effort when you add the sweet fruit to each serving.  Add 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar to the fruit and set it aside until the filling is ready to pour into the pan.

Raspberry Swirl

I have always melted chocolate in the microwave.  But after sitting for a short time, it doesn’t stay melted.  The credit for doing it a new way goes to Ghiardelli.  I was skeptical at first because adding water to chocolate did not make sense to me.  I am always willing to learn a new way of accomplishing a task, so I tried it and was happy with the result.  It was also a more reliable way to melt the chocolate.  Break up the chocolate into a small bowl.  Heat 1/3 cup water in the microwave for 30-45 seconds or until boiling. Without stirring, pour the boiling water over the chocolate and cover the bowl.  After 2 minutes and a few stirs, the chocolate is melted and ready to add to the filling.

melting chocolate

All of the prep work is done and it is finally time to make the filling.  Begin with the room temperature cream cheese.  Mix it at medium low speed until it is creamy.  If you use a high speed for any step of the filling, you will be adding air.  That causes the filling to rise and then fall as it cools.  A higher speed will give a more dense texture.  If you want the filling to be creamy, use a lower speed and beat it for only one or two minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating.  Scraping down the sides and the beater will ensure that all the lumps are gone.  While it is mixing, add the chocolate.  Scrape down the bowl and beaters again and lower the speed of the mixer.

Lightly whisk the eggs in a medium bowl.  This is another step where it is very easy to add too much air.  The eggs do not have to be completely mixed.  Just a little light whisking with a fork will be enough.  Add the eggs to the cream cheese in 4 additions using a low speed.  It is not necessary to mix them in completely with each addition.  See the yellow streaks in the photo below?  That is when you add more eggs.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and complete the final strokes with a spoon or spatula.

cheesecake eggs

By now, your crust is well chilled and you can add 2/3 of the filling.  Spread about half a cup of the raspberry swirl over the filling and use a knife to lightly mix it in.  You want streaks of red to show when you slice the cheesecake so use gentle strokes to swirl it into the filling. Add the remaining filling on top.

adding raspberry swirl

Using a spoon, place dollops of raspberry swirl in a pattern across the top of the filling.  A skewer or the tip of a sharp knife can be drawn through the dollops to create swirling hearts.  Those pretty hearts are going to get covered up with whipped cream and more raspberries, but it looks pretty while it is baking!

cheesecake top

Place the cheesecake in your bain-marie and let it bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until the sides are set and the middle jiggles like gelatin.  I know it is a temptation to open the oven door and peek inside, but resist the urge.  Leaving the door closed until the end of the baking time maintains an even temperature for this dessert.  When done, turn the oven off; leave the oven door slightly open; and let it cool for one hour.  Remove the cheesecake from the bain-marie.  Take off the foil or silicone pan.  Run a warm butter knife between the cheesecake and the sides of the pan.  Then put it in the fridge to chill.  Waiting is the hard part.

After a minimum of 4 hours, remove the sides of your pan while supporting the bottom with your hand.  Slide a butter knife between the bottom of the pan and the parchment paper.  The bottom should slide away.  Still supporting the cheesecake with one hand, grab the edge of the parchment paper and peel it away from the bottom.  The crust should be sturdy enough for you to handle the cheesecake without it falling apart.

plating the cheesecake2

Now you deserve a reward.  You have worked hard and taken your time to do it right. Use a sharp knife that has been dipped in hot water ad then dried to cut a slice.  Add some whipped cream, raspberry swirl, and grated chocolate.  Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

RWC slice2

Print Recipe
Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
A rich, filling dessert to be served to special guests.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course Gluten free dessert
Prep Time 60 minutes
Cook Time 70 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Crust
  • 20 gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies with filling
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
Raspberry Swirl
  • 2 pints raspberries pureed and seeded
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Cheesecake Filling
  • 2 bars Ghirardeli white chocolate baking bars 4 ozs. each, broken into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 32 ounces cream cheese at room remperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 extra large eggs at room temperature
Garnish
  • 2 ounces white chocolate shaved
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream prepared as directed on package
  • Raspberry Swirl
Course Gluten free dessert
Prep Time 60 minutes
Cook Time 70 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Crust
  • 20 gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies with filling
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
Raspberry Swirl
  • 2 pints raspberries pureed and seeded
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Cheesecake Filling
  • 2 bars Ghirardeli white chocolate baking bars 4 ozs. each, broken into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 32 ounces cream cheese at room remperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 extra large eggs at room temperature
Garnish
  • 2 ounces white chocolate shaved
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream prepared as directed on package
  • Raspberry Swirl
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Prepare the Pan
  1. Cut a parchment circle 1 to 1 1/2 inches larger than the bottom of your cheesecake pan. Prepare the bottom and sides of your pan with a small amount of butter. This should be kept to a minimum. Place the parchment circle on top of the lightly buttered bottom and press the excess paper to the sides of the pan.
Make the Crust
  1. In 1-qt microwave safe bowl, melt 1/4 cup butter. In small batches, pulse the cookies with the filling into fine crumbs using a food processor or blender. Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter and pour into the prepared pan. Using buttered fingers or a buttered spatula, press the cookie crumbs to make an even coating over the parchment on the bottom of the pan.
  2. Cover the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil or a silicone baking pan to create a water barrier. Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the raspberries and filling. It should freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Raspberry Swirl
  1. In food processor or blender, puree the raspberries. Place a wire mesh strainer over a bowl and press the pureed raspberries into the strainer to remove the seeds. You will need to scrape the bottom of the strainer often in order to get all of the puree. Stir in confectioners' sugar and set aside.
Melt the Chocolate
  1. Break the chocolate into a medium bowl. Pour 1/3 cup boiling water over the chocolate. Make sure the chocolate is submerged in the water. Do not stir. Cover with a saucer or plastic wrap and let stand for 2 minutes without stirring. Remove the cover and whisk the chocolate and water until thoroughly blended and smooth. Set aside.
Cheesecake Filling
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Place a large pan or oven safe skillet in the oven. Add about 2 inches of hot water and let it heat again as the oven preheats. This will be your water bath.
  2. Using medium low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Do not over beat. Add the sugar and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl at least twice during the mixing time. Add the melted chocolate and continue to mix at medium low speed until combined.
  3. Using a fork, lightly mix the eggs in a separate bowl. Decrease the mixer speed to low and add the eggs in 4 additions. Blend the mixture just enough to incorporate the eggs.
  4. Pour 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture into the frozen crust. Spoon 1/2 cup pureed raspberries over the filling. Using a knife, lightly swirl the raspberries without mixing them in completely. Add the remaining filling. Add raspberry puree in spoonfuls to the top of the filling and swirl across the top to make a pretty design.
  5. Place the cheesecake in the water bath and bake for 65 to 75 minutes or until the sides are dry and the middle jiggles like gelatin. Do not open the oven except to check for doneness at the end of the cooking time. Turn the oven off and leave the door partially open. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 60 minutes.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and the oven. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before removing cheesecake from the pan. Do not cover.
  7. After 4 to 24 hours, remove the sides of the pan. It may be helpful to run a knife between the sides of the pan and the cheesecake so it will release easily. Slide a knife blade between the parchment paper and bottom of the pan to loosen the cake and slide it off the base of the pan.
  8. With one hand supporting the bottom of the cheesecake, grab an edge of the parchment paper and begin to peel it away from the crust. The crust and cake should be firm enough to hold it while you peel away the paper and slide the cheesecake to a serving plate.
  9. Garnish with remaining raspberry swirl, heavy whipping cream, and chocolate curls.
Share this Recipe

 

SHAREEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

One comment

Leave a Reply