Friday, September 2, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

I thought about making a different cake for my hubby's birthday this year.  I found a recipe for a chocolate layer cake with pink raspberry buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache that was just calling out to me.  But the suggestion that I might be making a different cake (but maintaining the chocolate and raspberry elements) was met by heartfelt disapproval by the birthday boy, so I scrapped my delicious pink plan and stuck with what I knew.

It was the right thing to do.  Why mess with perfection?

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

For the crust:
1.5 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter

For the filling:
2.5 8-ounce packages cream cheese (Neufchatel works perfectly)
1 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
3 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces melted semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Mix cookie crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and butter and press into bottom and sides of pan.  Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds in an electric stand mixer until light and creamy.  Add flour and mix.  Add chocolate and sour cream and beat until well blended.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed until well incorporated after each addition.  Pour into pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour and ten minutes, until center is almost set.  Run a sharp knife around rim of pan and allow to cool on wire rack before removing rim.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Don't worry if there are a couple of small cracks in the top - it will taste so good nobody will be able to see anything anyway.  And you'll put some homemade raspberry jam on top to complete the magic experience, which will fill in any possible cracks!

For the raspberry topping:
2 pints fresh raspberries, rinsed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch

Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat 15-20 minutes until thickened.  Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cool completely.

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