Monday, August 3, 2009

Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake





I didn't have a certain occasion when I made this. It just happened that I have 5lbs of cream cheese and plenty of fresh raspberries in the fridge. You know already my love towards raspberries and I could never passed on picking one or two baskets whenever and wherever I see them, especially at this time of the year. You will see my fridge full of assortment of berries, cream cheese, which is one of the staples, and heavy cream. Those are some of the things that I always have ready in my fridge. You can practically make countless possibilities of cakes with just these few things (considering you always have eggs, butter, flour too :D).

Sometimes, I just didn't think what I wanted to do with the berries especially, when I bought them. Unfortunately, they have a very short shelf life and I often found myself forgetting them and ended up throwing most of them away :(. It's not that I purposely neglect them but a lot of times, I came home really late and didn't get to open the fridge for a few days :(.

This time, it was yet another time that I had to come up with something to use the raspberries that were really threatened to die. Sometimes, I really think it's a good thing. At least this way, I always have to think of what to do with them, or else I would not bake as much. It wasn't difficult at all this time to come up with something. The idea of making white chocolate raspberry cheesecake came instantly when I opened my fridge and saw all the ingredients for cheesecake right in front of me. Besides, I've been wanting to try this recipe for the longest time. I made some adjustment though, I used different almond crust recipe from the previous mascarpone cheesecake I made before and I multiplied the whole filling by 1.5. Looking at the recipe, it looks like the end result would not be high enough, two 8-oz of cream cheese for 8" springform pan. I like my cheesecake a little higher than that, although not as high as NY cheesecake, so I decided to increase the amount of batter. I substitute one 8-oz cream cheese with mascarpone cheese that I had on hand, hoping that it would give a softer texture and creamier taste. I also decrease the amount of sugar, I forgot by how much (need to look at my notes).



Here's the original recipe:

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake
Source: Epicurious

Crust
  • 18 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 cup almonds, toasted
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Filling
  • 4 ounces imprted white chocolate (such as Lindt), chopped
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries or frozen unsweetened, thawed, drained
Topping
  • 1 8-ounce container sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2-pint baskets raspberries or one 1-pint basket strawberries
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
Use a good white chocolate as you won't be able to taste it of you use the cheap kind. I used Callebout and I might want to add more to the batter next time. I did omit the raspberry jam though. I also thought it would taste better with vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. I did go a little overboard on the lemon zest. I have this habit that whenever I used lemon zest to make any kind of dessert, I always rub them with the sugar using my fingers to release the oil from the zest. It makes all the difference in the world. However, I wasn't thinking obviously at that time, that the lemon zest would overpower the subtle taste of the white chocolate. The white chocolate taste wasn't as pronounced as I would like them to be, and I'll blame it on the lemon flavor :P. But overall, I really recommend this recipe though. The texture is smooth and creamy. I would leave out the zest completely next time and use probably 1/2 pod of vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract.

I shared it with my coworkers at work and we all loved it (yes, that would be including me :D)




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