I made this as a Valentine’s treat, in part because the picture on Sweet Treats & More is just so cute. I mean look at this cheesecake:
Thee are three parts to this cheesecake (crust, cream cheese filling, and raspberry sauce), and surprisingly all of them are relatively easy to make. I’ll start out with the crust. Unlike the one pictured above, I decided to go with a dark chocolate crust, based off of a Bon Appetit recipe I’ve made a few times. You’ll need:
– 1 package Famous Chocolate Wafers (either pulverized in a food processor or smashed up with a rolling-pin)
– 1 stick melted butter
– about 1/3 cup sugar.
Combine all three ingredients in a bowl and mix until the cookie crumbs are throughly saturated with butter.
Next is the raspberry sauce. This sauce is used here as a swirl/topper for the cheesecake, but the recipe actually comes out as a wonderfully thick, full sauce which I used on brownies and would be excellent as a raspberry sauce for just about any occasion (ice cream, pancakes…). Here’s what you’ll need:
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
– 1/3 cup water
– 1.5 cups raspberries
And here’s how to transform those ingredients into a thick sauce:
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a pot.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes while whisking.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. If you want a smooth sauce you have to strain the seeds out by pushing the sauce through a fine wire mesh. I tried to smooth mine out a bit by throwing it in the blender for a spin, but while this gets rid of any lumps due to pulp, the seed will stick around.
And finally, all that’s left is the cream cheese filling. While still relatively easy, this part does call for a few more ingredients and (gasp) a mixer.
– 16 oz cream cheese
– 1 egg
– 2 egg whites
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 1 1/8 cup white chocolate chips
– 1/4 cup cream
1. In a small bowl, combine the cream and chocolate. Melt the chocolate by putting this in the microwave for 30 second increments (stir in between to ensure the cream is incorporated and the chocolate doesn’t burn).
2. Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl. Mix until smooth.
3. Add the egg and egg whites.
4. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate/cream mixture. Try to avoid splashing the chocolate onto the edges of the bowl during this stage because that can result in solid flecks of chocolate throughout your cheesecake.
The filling is done! Now, to put it all together…
1. Press the chocolate crust into the bottom of whatever container you are making this cake in (spring-form pans work well though you may need to wrap the bottom in foil. As you can see here I’m using a combination of cupcake and mini cupcake tins).
2. Ladle in some of the cream cheese mixture – for the mini cupcakes I just filled up the forms. For the regular cupcakes I filled them halfway so I could include a swirled raspberry center.
3. (Optional) Spoon in a layer of the raspberry sauce, then cover with the remainder of the cream cheese mixture. Use a toothpick to swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese (do not let the red show through though or you won’t be able to visualize the hearts as easily).
4. Put a dot of raspberry filling in the center of each cupcake. Pull a toothpick through it to make a heart shape (For the best control over this shape, you really do have to strain the seeds out of the sauce. Otherwise it’s just to thick to work with).
5. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. When done, turn off the oven and let the cheesecakes rest in there for 5 minutes before removing.
6. Refrigerate and enjoy! (sharing is optional)
Final thoughts: My cheesecakes turned a little more golden that I would have liked – I’m not sure if this is because I put them in for the full 40 minutes despite using smaller molds, or if it is because unlike most cheesecake recipes, this one does not call for a water bath, which typically keeps the humidity high while the cakes are baking. No matter, both the mini and regular cupcake versions were delicious. I preferred the larger ones because swirling in that extra raspberry layer really made a huge difference in flavor…I can’t wait to try this as a full-sized cheesecake in the summer when I can get my hands on fresh raspberries to swirl in! (This recipe would probably also work great with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and a multitude of other fruits for anyone who wants to get creative.)