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WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE

Ingredients

The Crust:

30 Oreo cookies

¼ cup butter, melted

 

The Raspberries:

12-ounces fresh raspberries

1/3 cup water

2 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch

¼ teaspoon salt

 

The Cheesecake:

2 cups white chocolate chips

½ cup half and half

3, 8-ounce bars cream cheese, very soft at room temperature

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

4 eggs, room temperature

 

The Topping:

2 cups heavy cream

¼ powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened

2 ounces white chocolate, grated or chopped

1 cup fresh raspberries

Mint leaves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Wrap a 9” springform pan, on the outside, with several layers of foil to keep moisture from leaking into the pan when baking in a water bath.

Process the Oreos in a food processor until they are fine crumbs.  Add the butter and pulse several times until well combined and the crumbs start to come together and form ‘clumps’.  Pour the crumbs into the prepared springform pan and spread them evenly over the bottom of the pan and press them halfway up the sides.  Use a flat-bottomed measuring cup or glass to firmly press the crumbs into a flat even layer over the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Place the raspberries in a large saucepan with the water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring, until the raspberries have cooked down and a thick sauce has formed.  Pour this mixture into a mesh sieve over a bowl and press the mixture with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula to extra all of the juices into the bowl and discard the seeds.  Set aside.

Place the white chocolate chips in a bowl with the half and half and microwave for 1 minute.  Stir until smooth.  Set aside

Place the cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until very smooth for about 3-4 minutes, scraping down occasionally with a rubber spatula.  Add the sugar and flour and mix until combined.  Add the white chocolate mixture and the eggs to the bowl and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides once to ensure everything is incorporated.  Do not over-mix the eggs.

Pour half of the cheesecake batter into the Oreo crust and dollop half of the raspberry gel mixture on top.  Using a knife cut through the dollops in swirly motions to spread it throughout the cheesecake mixture.  Place the rest of the cheesecake batter on top and repeat the dollops and swirling with the remaining raspberry mixture.

Place the springform pan in a large baking dish or high-rimmed baking sheet and carefully pour hot water into the baking dish about 1/3 of the way up the side of the springform pan, careful not to splash the water or get any in the cheesecake.

Bake for 1 hour and check the cheesecake.  It will probably take another 10-20 minutes, but at this point check every 5-10 minutes until the cheesecake is mostly set but the center is still slightly jiggly.   Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven, with the door cracked open about 2″, for 2-3 hours until room temperature.  This ‘slow cooling process’ will help to keep the top from cracking.  Remove from the oven and, when it is completely cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To make the whipped cream, place the heavy cream in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high until semi-stiff peaks begin to form. Reduce the speed to low and add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese to the bowl and beat for another minute.

Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and place it on a cake plate.  Sprinkle shaved white chocolate over the top and decorate with raspberries and mint.  I like to pipe the whip cream all around the edge, but you can also dollop it on each individual serving.  The cream cheese in the whipped cream helps to stabilize it so it will last a couple of days in the fridge without ‘falling’.

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