Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chocolate raspberry cheesecake

You all know this, but the internet is a wonderful thing. I never expected to make so many friends from this blog and from other online forums. About a year or two ago, I started following a figure skating blog and became online friends with the author. She and I frequently commented on each other's skating updates, and we were excited to find out that we were both planning on competing at Adult Nationals in April.

I finally met my online skating friend, and we had a blast cheering each other on in Hyannis. She and I continued to keep in touch after Nationals. My coach told me about an adults-only skating seminar that wasn't too far from my house in mid-August. I told my skating friend about the seminar, and she said that she wanted to attend with me. She booked her flight and planned on staying with me for the weekend.

She also told me that her birthday was the same day of the seminar, so I told her to go ahead and pick a dessert that I could make to celebrate her special day. We finally decided on this chocolate raspberry cheesecake since chocolate and raspberries were one of her favorite flavor combinations.

This was, hands down, one of the best cheesecakes I have ever eaten. My husband said that it was much better than the chocolate cheesecake we made earlier this summer. I think the quality of the chocolate plus the addition of the raspberries, intensified the dessert. My skating friend really enjoyed her birthday dessert and even got stopped at the security checkpoint for trying to bring the leftover cheesecake home. Thankfully, the TSA agents let her take the cheesecake through, but only after they joked that it would return to her in a smaller piece.

Chocolate raspberry cheesecake
Crust
  • 1 and 1/2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers, crushed (note that this is 1 and 1/2 cups of crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • 4 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks), melted
Cheesecake
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Raspberry puree
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
  • 4 TBSP granulated sugar
Ganache
  • 8 ounces Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Directions
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Line the exterior of a standard 10" springform pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the crushed graham crackers, almonds, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottoms and up the sides of your springform pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Set aside 1 and 1/2 cups of the mixture into a medium bowl.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat on the stovetop, boil the 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Turn off the stove and take the saucepan off the heat. Add the chocolate chips and swirl around so the cream covers all the chocolate. Set aside for 5 minutes. Then whisk well until the mixture is smooth. Add the chocolate mixture into the large bowl with the cream cheese mixture. Transfer the chocolate cheesecake mixture into the bottom of your springform pan.

In a separate small saucepan set over medium heat on the stovetop, combine the frozen raspberries and the sugar. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Strain the raspberries over a mesh strainer and discard the liquid (or keep for another baking project). Stir 1/2 cup of the raspberry seeds/puree into the small bowl with the reserved cheesecake batter. Mix well. Carefully add the raspberry cheesecake mixture on top of the chocolate cheesecake mixture and smooth the top with a spatula.

Bake in your preheated oven for 60-75 minutes or until the cheesecake has set. When it is done, the sides will pull away from the pan a little bit, and the middle of the cheesecake may still be jiggly (but not liquidy). Allow the cheesecake to cool on the counter or in the refrigerator.

Once the cheesecake has cooled, make the ganache.

In a small saucepan, heat up the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream over medium heat. Allow it to come to a boil. Then turn off the stove and take the saucepan off the heat. Add in the chocolate chips and swirl around so the cream covers all the chocolate. Let it side for 5 minutes and then whisk until combined.

Pour the ganache over the cooled cheesecake and transfer the cheesecake to your refrigerator and allow everything to cool. Once the cheesecake is cold, it is ready to serve. If desired, garnish with fresh raspberries, chocolate curls, whipped cream or white chocolate shavings.

Cheesecake should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep for about a week. It can also be frozen and thawed.

Yield: One 10" cheesecake, about 10-12 servings

Source: Allrecipes.com

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