We LOVE cheesecake, especially during the holidays. This raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake is a show-stopper and will definitely add a little pizazz to your holiday table. People will think you slaved away making this… and they will be right!

We had mentioned back in October that we were going to take it easy on you because we wanted you to save your baking energy for the next few months. Well, you will need some time and a little energy for this one.

‘Tis the season for giving… cheesecake!

If you are all about making holiday gifts, this will be a nice, sweet treat to give to someone special. Cheesecakes are always on the expensive side when buying them at the store and that’s probably because cheesecake ain’t cheap to make! With no flour, and lots of cream cheese, berries, and white chocolate, you might be a little shocked at the checkout when buying the ingredients. But ‘tis the season for giving! And it’ll be less expensive and even better than store bought. Well worth it.

Tips, tricks, and short cuts

Now we take a few shortcuts and allow room for more. You don’t have to make, bake, and cool cookies for the crust; buy some chocolate wafer cookies instead. If you don’t want to try making your own jam you can use store-bought. (You’ll want one without seeds for the best texture). You can also use store-bought whipped cream, but by now you likely already know how we feel about that.

One thing you must pick up at the store if you don’t already have it, is a springform pan. You cannot make this without one. If you’re making this for Christmas, it is very easy to break up the steps. You can make the jam up to two weeks in advance and the crust up to a week in advance (both kept refrigerated). The finished cheesecake will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing fridge odors. If you need to make it even earlier than that, you can freeze the whole thing and later, the leftover slices as well. Thaw them in the fridge for 6+ hours before serving.

Get creative

We decorated ours with our leftover jam, whipped cream, sugared raspberries, and white chocolate shavings, but you can get as creative as you wish. Throw on some dehydrated raspberries, drizzled white chocolate, crushed chocolate cookies, or pieces. The options are endless.

Cheesecake baking tips:

• All ingredients should be at room temperature (eggs, cream cheese, and sour cream)

• Don’t mix the batter on a high speed. Unlike other desserts, you want to incorporate as little air as possible. If there are air bubbles, they can rise and cause it to crack. If there is too much air, it can cause the cheesecake to rise then collapse.

• Use a water bath. Boil water and pour it into the roasting pan with your cheesecake in it. I find this easiest to do after putting it in the oven. As opposed to picking up a heavy pan of boiling water praying it doesn’t spill.

• Do not open the oven while it’s baking, this can lead to cracking.

• Let the cheesecake cool gradually by turning off the oven after it has baked and leaving the door closed for about half an hour. Then crack the oven door for a couple of hours.

 

Chocolate wafer crust 

ingredients

1 9oz package of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
1/4 cup melted salted butter

Raspberry jam

10oz frozen raspberries
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup of sugar or more to taste
2 tbs corn starch
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

Cheesecake

1 cup granulated sugar
32oz (4 packages cream cheese, full fat, room temperature)
2 tbs cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
8oz Ghiradelli White Chocolate (or other high-quality chocolate)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream (room temp)
4 large eggs (room temp)
1 cup raspberry jam

Whipped cream

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 – 1/3 cup of confectioners’  sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Instructions, crust

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  In a food processor blend the wafer cookies into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix until combined. Press the cookie crust into your 9” springform pan. Using a flat-bottomed measuring cup work the crumbs up the sides of the pan.  About an inch or so. Bake for ten minutes and then set aside to cool.

Instructions, raspberry jam

Combine all the jam ingredients in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Stir often and while smashing/crushing the raspberries. Add more sugar if desired. Keep stirring for about ten or so minutes as it simmers gently. Once the mixture thickens, immediately pour it through a fine mesh strainer with a bowl underneath. Stir with a rubber spatula until mostly seeds remain. Discard seeds. Store jam in the fridge until ready to use.

Instructions, cheesecake

Wrap your springform pan in heavy duty aluminum foil, place it in roasting pan and make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. (This is a good time to boil your water for the water bath).

Oven should be at 325 degrees.  In a double boiler combine white chocolate and heavy cream together and stir until smooth; set aside to cool. Or use a microwave for this step. We don’t have one, so aren’t sure how to instruct!

Using a stand mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth; about one minute. Add cornstarch and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add the cooled white chocolate mixture and then the sour cream.

Add the eggs one at a time and only mix until just combined. DO NOT OVER-MIX! Pour the batter into your springform pan. Spoon dollops of jam around the top of mixture (about 1/4 cup). Use a toothpick or a long wooden skewer to swirl the jam throughout the cheesecake.

Baking the cheesecake

Place roasting pan with the cheesecake in your oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan 1/3 of the way up the side of the springform pan being very careful not to splash any water on the cheesecake.  Bake for 90 minutes until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly. Turn the oven off and let sit for half an hour. Crack the door and let sit for another 2 hours. Carefully remove from oven. Using a hot knife, go around the sides of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan. Place the springform pan in the fridge and allow the cheesecake to cool for at least 4 hours.

Whipped cream

Add whipped cream ingredients into a mixing bowl. It helps if the bowl, beater, and heavy cream are very cold. Whisk on high for about one minute until stiff peaks form and then decorate the cheesecake!

Happy Holidays to all!

Olivia and Caroline are enthusiastic foodies and bakers who are constantly in the kitchen, as well as explorers who create their own adventures in our area – and did we mention they are mother and daughter? Follow Olivia on Instagram to see her many creations at @oliviawvalentine.