Saturday, November 5, 2011

White Chocolate Cheesecake

I rarely make dessert, but this one was by request.  It's one of the first desserts I ever made and has stayed with me as a no fail, go-to sweet.  What I like about it?  It's not too sweet, it can be made ahead of time, it's beautiful, and I have been successful every time I made it.  Short on measuring, long on delivering.  

White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberries and Raspberry Sauce 
Oreo crumb crust
10 oz white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream at room temp
1 lb cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs at room temp, yolks and whites separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries
Raspberry sauce

For the crust:
18 Oreos
2.5 tbsp butter, melted
Break Oreos and crush in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Stir in butter and mix well.  Press crust into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool.

For the filling:
Heat oven to 325, rack set in the middle of the oven.
Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water, or use a double boiler.  Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream until combined and smooth.
Place cream cheese, sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Add in the chocolate mixture and the vanilla and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.  Use a rubber spatula and fold in half the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.  Then fold in the remaining egg whites in the same manner.
Pour filling into the prepared crust.  
Bake for 50-55 minutes until top rises and is light golden brown.  Turn off oven and leave the cake in the oven with the door closed for another hour, or less depending how your oven retains heat.  Mine does incredibly well, so I took the cheesecake out at about 45 minutes.  In my old oven, I left it for the full hour.
Transfer to a rack to cool completely.  The cake can be made a day ahead, refrigerated, and then brought out a couple hours before serving to get it to room temp.  I prefer my cheesecake to be a little cool, not straight from the fridge, but maybe an hour or so out.
Serve the cheesecake with the fresh raspberries on top and raspberry sauce on the side.

Raspberry Sauce:
1 Package frozen raspberries
1 tbsp Grand Marnier
Sugar to taste
In a food processor with a metal blade, puree the raspberries with the Grand Marnier and sugar.  Remove the seeds using a fine mesh sieve.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

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