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White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake
Could there be anything more decadent and delicious than the combination of chocolate and raspberry and cheesecake? Especially at Christmas! Like Olive Garden's, only homemade!
I found out that white chocolate & raspberry cheesecake from Olive Garden is my friend's favorite cake, and she turned fifty this month. I belong to a group of wonderful friends who get together once a month and celebrate birthdays. I volunteered to make the cake this month. Here is the recipe I used, and a bonus recipe for chocolate cookies, which are needed for the crust. The cake was yummy -- a great success.
White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake
For the crust:
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter
For the sauce:
1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
For the filling:
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
3 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) after you have prepared the crust, the sauce, and melted the white chocolate chips.
Grease a 9-inch spring form pan.
To make the crust: In a medium bowl, blend the cookie crumbs*, 3 tablespoons of sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the pan.
To make raspberry sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch and water. Bring to boil. Continue boiling until sauce is thick and clear. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds**. Set aside.
To make the cheesecake: In the top of a double boiler, heat white chocolate chips and half-and-half, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate chips. Pour half of batter over crust.
Spoon 3 tablespoons of raspberry sauce over batter and carefully smooth with the bowl of a spoon. Pour remaining batter into pan. Spoon another 3 tablespoons of raspberry sauce over the top of the batter. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set.
Allow to cool, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan.
Serve with remaining raspberry sauce***.
* About the cookie crumbs, I intended to buy cookies from the grocery store and crumble them up to make the crust, but couldn’t find any chocolate cookies. I made them from scratch using the following recipe and they were really good. I made them the day before. You won't use them all for the crust so you will have some extra for the family to eat.
2 ½ sticks of butter, set out in a bowl and softened to room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla and combine. Mix the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt together in another bowl, and then gradually add to the mix and continue until all is thoroughly mixed together. Roll the dough into two logs, each about 1 foot long, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, slice the cookies, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes. Now, I myself just scooped the cookies up by the heaping tablespoon and baked them without rolling and chilling first and they turned out well.
To use these cookies as a crust for the cheesecake, you might want to break them in half and let them sit and dry out a bit so that they are easier to crumble.
** About this raspberry sauce, I cooked it as directed for quite some time, and it did get thick, but it never got to be what I would call “clear.” When I deemed it to be thick enough, I removed it from the heat and I “attempted” to strain it to remove the seeds. I wasn’t all that successful; a lot of the sauce remained with the seeds and wouldn’t drain through the sieve. I pushed it through as best I could with the bowl of a spoon. I got enough to follow the first two steps, placing some in the center of the cheesecake and some on the top, but . . .
*** there was not enough sauce left to serve with individual slices. It was quite good. I wonder, though, if you might find a seedless raspberry sauce in a jar at the grocery store that would work just as well.
About 30 years ago, I came across the most wonderful cookbook you can imagine, a book of desserts that has a chapter devoted to cheesecakes. There are over 200 recipes in this book, for cakes, cookies, pies, cheese cakes, cake rolls and pastries. I personally have tried many of her cheesecake recipes and I can attest to the fact that they are superb!
Grandma Rose's Book of Sinfully Delicious Cakes, Cookies, Pies, Cheese Cakes, Cake Rolls & Pastries, was written by Rose Naftalin of Rose's restaurant fame, whose desserts became the most sought-after in the Pacific Northwest and shipped all over the country. The book is available on Amazon.