When I saw that the Daring Bakers challenge for this month was cheesecake, I knew Andrew would be so pleased, he likes cheesecake a lot, specially this one with a touch of raspberries. What I didn't expect was that even I would enjoy this pie (cheesecake is a pie, not a cake, right?) so much. I made cheesecakes before, but this one turned out extra creamy and tasty.
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
At first I wanted to try something new and different like a savoury cheesecake or a tropical one with mango and papaya flavours. At the end, I decided to make what was Andrew's favourite: raspberry swirl cheesecake. Besides from the use of raspberries, the only other change I made from Jenny's recipe was to use chocolate gram crackers for the crust. There are two things that I believe is important for making a good, creamy cheesecake:
First is to start with all ingredients at room temperature. The second important thing to do is to scrape the bowl of the mixer many times, so there are no cream cheese lumps or eggs that aren't fully incorporated.
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake with Raspberry Swirl Recipe:
I didn't use a pan with removable bottom (springform pan), as my past experiences proved that they leak. I used an 8x3 inch cake pan. To get good results with a regular cake pan, butter it well and cover the bottom and the sides with parchment paper before pouring the batter. When it's time to release it, dip the bottom of the pan into hot water for about 30 seconds, remove the paper form the sides of the pan. Cover the cake with wax paper and invert it into a platter like a cake. This video helps a lot to visualize it.
For the raspberry swirl, I like to save some for serving along side the cheesecake.
You will need:
For the crust:
2 cups / 180 g chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tablespoons / 24 g sugar
1 teaspoon. vanilla extract
For the cheesecake:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
For the raspberry swirl:
8 oz of raspberries, fresh or defrosted if frozen
3 tablespoons of sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
To make it a raspberry swirl cheesecake:
Place raspberries in a food processor and blend it until all combined. Pass it through a fine mesh and discard the seeds. Add sugar and mix well to incorporate it. Use about 2/3 of the sauce on the batter and the rest as a sauce to be served on the side.
Incorporate the sauce to the batter after pouring the batter into the pan. The best way of doing this is by the tablespoon full, going around the cake pan. After this is done, use a chopstick or a knife to swirl the sauce in the cheesecake until it creates a nice pattern. Proceed with the recipe.