White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

This recipes is only to be made when you want to pull out all the stops. I made this for the first time in 1996, and it has been a great dessert to serve every since. My least favorite things about cheesecakes is when they crack, and this one is no different. But you just put the white chocolate layer on top, and viola – no cracks!

For an incredible addition, “paint” the undersides of some small washed leaves with chocolate, then refrigerate and peel off the leaf to make chocolate leaves for the top and garnish. Crazy but so impressive!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Serves 8

Crust:
1 cup vanilla wafer or chocolate cookie crumbs
½ cup almonds, ground
2 T. sugar
1/8 t. almond extract
3 T. butter or margarine, melted

Filling:
4 oz. white chocolate, chopped
16 oz. cream cheese
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
2 t. flour
1 t. vanilla

Glaze:
¼ cup heavy cream
4 oz. white chocolate, chopped

Sauce:
12 oz. frozen raspberries
½ cup white wine
1/3 cup sugar
fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For crust: combine all ingredients in small bowl. Mix with fork until resembles course crumbs. Press in bottom of 8 or 9 inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

For filling: melt white chocolate in double boiler or low microwave. Cool to lukewarm. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in sugar, flour, and vanilla. Gently but thoroughly blend in melted white chocolate. Pour over crust. Bake until cheesecake is firm around edges, but still moves slightly in center when gently shaken, about 40 minutes. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

For glaze: in a small saucepan, bring cream to simmer over low heat. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Spread glaze evenly over cheesecake. Refrigerate until set.

For sauce, thaw raspberries in a sieve placed over a bowl, reserving juice. In a small saucepan, boil wine and sugar until reduced to ¼ cup, about 10 minutes. Puree thawed berries in a food processor. Press puree through a sieve to remove seeds. Sweeten puree with 2 T. wine syrup and raspberry juice, adding more to taste.

To serve: spoon a pool of sauce on each plate. Place slice of cheesecake on top of sauce. Garnish with fresh raspberries and sprig of mint if desired.

What do you think?