Thursday, December 9, 2010

Double-Decker Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

This is a really great tasting cheesecake that I learned in my high school culinary class/catering company where we'd make 20 of these at a time.  Trust me when it comes to cheesecake, its always worth the time and effort to actually bake one instead of some instant thing that comes out of a bag.  Your guests, and taste buds, will thank you.

Double-Decker Raspberry 
White Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients
Crust:

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

Filling:

1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, juices reserved
6 ounce good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 Tablespoons whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Topping:

White chocolate curls (optional)

Directions
  1. For crust: Preheat oven to 325*f. Butter 9-inch spring-form pan with 2 3/4-inch high sides. Double-wrap outside of pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place cookies into 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.
  2. 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 different small metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water until just melted and smooth; set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour raspberry batter in prepared crust; place springform pan in a 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 50 minutes. Remove roasting pan from oven; let raspberry layer cool 5 minutes to firm slightly.
  5. 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.)
  6. Cut around pan sides with small knife to loosen cheesecake; release sides. Garnish with white chocolate curls if desired.

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