Raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake

by Jeanne on August 14, 2007

in Baking (sweet), Dessert

20070722_raspberrywhitechocolateche I will make a recipe for a number of reasons.  Sometimes, it’s because I have tasted something in a restaurant and fallen in love, and then try to recreate it at home.  Sometimes, it’s because I have an unfamiliar ingredient in my fridge and a particular recipe seems to be the perfect way to try it out.  Sometimes, it’s a desperate attempt to use up some stuff in my overflowing fridge.  And sometimes it’s simply because the picture accompanying the recipe is so pretty that I just can’t resist making it.  Most of my cooking falls into the first three categories, but a couple of weeks ago we had people over for lunch and I decided that, in keeping with the lovely weather (a rarity this summer!), I would make something totally girly and pretty and summery, and I could picture in my mind’s eye the old magazine clipping containing the picture of white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.

I must admit up front that I’m a cheescake virgin.  It’s one of the cakes I have always enjoyed eating, far more so than, say, chocolate cake.  But it is also the cake that I’ve always been too intimidated to make.  I remember being brought up as a bit of a cheesecake snob.  Long before my contemporaries had even moved on from messy wedges of chocolate cake, I would be eyeing out the cheesecake on menus and would ask the waitress “is it baked or not?  I don’t want it if it’s not baked”.  Well, excuuuuuse me!  To me, gelatine-based cheesecakes were not really cheesecakes at all.  They were… fridge cakes, fridge tarts, whatever – but they lacked the consistency that made me fall in love with cheesecakes.  Ordinary cakes had an airy springiness.  Gelatine cheesecakes had a disturbing wobbliness.  But baked cheesecakes just have this incredible airless, wobble-less creamy density that I absolutely loved.

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So it should come as no surprise to you that when I embarked on my first-ever cheesecake, it was definitely going to be a baked one.  As I said, the sheer summery exuberance of the picture is what attracted me to the recipe and reading through the recipe I was struck by how simple it seemed.  There were really only two things that marred my cheesecake perfection:  firstly, the fact that our crummy local supermarket (I hate it but it is the closest to our house…) had no fromage frais when we went shopping.  Instead, I guessed at ricotta for a substitute.  Now I don’t know what the difference in water content may be between the two, but the centre of the cheesecake never quite set as solidly as the edges and I am left with the sneaking suspicion that this may not have been the best ingredient substitution.  Secondly, the recipe calls for the cheesecake to be allowed to cool naturally in the oven.  Sadly, in my kitchen, there is only one oven and it was needed for making sweet potato wedges that day, so the cake half-cooled in the oven and then spent time in the fridge.  Not sure this was exactly the way forward either – next time I will plan  my time better.

But those two concerns aside, I must say that this recipe was a total breeze and a big favourite among the guests.  It took all my willpower not to eat the filling mix straight out of the mixing bowl as it was absolutely, decadently delicious.  Although I find white chocolate too sweet, it is offset here by the tartness of the raspberries and the two balance each other perfectly.  If you feel the chocolate curls are too over the top, you can choose to omit the topping and serve the cake uniced (pictured top left) – it looked equally lovely topless ;-)

 

If you love cheesecake, then have a look at these cheesecake recipes by other bloggers:

 

 

WHITE CHOCOLATE AND RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE 20070722_raspberrywhitechocolatec_4
(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
FOR THE BASE:
50g unsalted butter
225g gingernut biscuits (ginger snaps), finely crushed
50g chopped pecan nuts of walnuts

FOR THE FILLING:
275g mascarpone
175g fromage frais
2 eggs, beaten
45ml caster sugar
250g white chocolate
225g fresh raspberries

FOR THE TOPPING
115g mascarpone
75g fromage frais
white chocolate curls and raspberries to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 150C. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat, then stir in the crushed biscuits and nuts.  Mix well and press the mixture evenly and firmly into the base of a 23cm springform cake tin.

For the filling, beat together the mascarpone and fromage frais, then beat in the eggs and caster sugar until smooth.

Break the white chocolate into smaller pieces and place in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water (or use a double-boiler if you have one).  Stir occasionally to check for lumps and remove from the heat when chocolate has melted completely.

Stir the melted chocolate into the mascarpone mixture, then carefully fold in the whole raspberries.

Pour the filling into the springform cake tin and spread it evenly.  Place the springform on a cookie sheet with raised edges – my filling seeped out of the join between the sides and base of the springform and made a mess in my oven.

Bake for about 1 hour or until just set (you can stick a skewer into the centre to check, or just gently shake the tin to see how wobbly things are).  Switch off oven, but leave the cheesecake where it is and allow to cool until completely set.

Release the springform tin and lift the cheesecake onto a plate.  Mix the remaining mascarpone and fromage frais in a bowl and spread carefully over the top of the cheesecake.  Decorate with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls (these are easy to make with a vegetable peeler) and serve.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia Scarpin August 14, 2007 at 1:42 pm

I’m a cheesecake virgin too, Jeanne!
Yours looks sinfully delicious, I love raspberries and white chocolate.

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Pille August 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Great – and very girly – cheesecake!
We cook for pretty similar reasons:) I’ve made cheesecakes for years, and for a long time didn’t want to hear anything about the unbaked cheesecakes. I’ve warmed to them recently, however.
PS I love the new picture on the sidebar!!

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kat August 14, 2007 at 4:00 pm

Hi Jeanne
My mom gave me a great cheesecake recipe which is sort of …semi-baked… and also sets as it cools in the oven. (She was for a long time a baked-cheesecake snob too, which probably derives from the heaps of very bad fridge-cake type imitations (a la peppermint crisp tart!) which abounded in our SA childhoods!)
I found in dopey Dublin where cream cheese (especially smooth plain ones not full of chunky bits or unexplained greenery!) is hard to come by in every supermarket, that something called Quark is effectively a Fromage Frais suited to cheesecake making, even if it is possibly a little more watery than I’d like. (Then again our problem may just be different consistencies of supposedly the same ingredients in different countries?) My mom’s recipe uses lemon juice to aid the setting, and I think next time I will try more of that.
Your cake looks divine! And I can imagine the raspberries being the perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the white chocolate.

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deinin August 14, 2007 at 4:30 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever even had an unbaked cheesecake, but at these temperatures the thought of one is certainly very appealing. Beautiful baked one, though!

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Anne August 14, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Oh man – that looks absolutely wonderful! No wonder you couldn’t resist making it – I don’t think I can, either!

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Kit August 14, 2007 at 7:55 pm

That looks divinely delicious, but in the absence of raspberries, mascapone and fromage frais I’m going to have to drool from afar. When you next visit SA you’ll have to go to Fairview Wine Estate where they do a gorgeous baked cheesecake. I’ll come and have lunch with you there!

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Robert August 14, 2007 at 9:28 pm

This looks like a fantastic recipe and one that I will definitely be trying out as soon as someones birthday rolls by.
As to the fact that the centre of your cheesecake did not set quite as well as you had hoped, it has been my experience that often cheesecakes require slightly longer baking than indicated in the recipe. I normally let mine go for about 20 minutes longer and it seems to do the trick. I bake cheesecake quite frequently as donations for various fundraisers and the odd birthday.
Ricotta was actually a good substitution, and assuming it was the stuff that comes packaged in plastic tubs would have been fairly ‘dry’ too.

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Lydia August 15, 2007 at 1:36 am

Beautiful cheesecake! And congratulations on being Typepad’s featured blog today.

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Ivonne August 15, 2007 at 4:02 am

What a beautiful cheesecake!

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african vanielje August 15, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Hi Jeanne, the cake looks great. A perfect combination. My husband loves cheescake and we have a glut of raspberries at the moment so I think I’ll give this a try. You may find your centre was runny if you used low fat cheeses. The lower fat ricotta and cream cheeses have more water content which would definitely affect the set, and some whipped or low fat cream cheeses have added chemicals that also react adversely when cooked. Cheesecakes need to be cooked until still slightly wobbly in the centre as they continue to set whilst cooling. Try to plan your cooking so that this is the last thing so that you have time to allow it to totally cool in the oven. This is also important to your set, a bit like meringues. Cooking it longer will just result in Grand Canyons in your cake when it cools down. Gosh! sounds like a lecture, sorry to be so bossy. Just the observations gleaned from cooking thousands of cheesecakes – my mom’s restaurant in Cape Town was famous for it.

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beenz August 15, 2007 at 5:13 pm

I still think unbaked cheesecakes are glorified fridge tarts! You can’t compare the two – not in my book, anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I like fridge tarts – I just prefer cheesecake. I have a super recipe for a ginger and lemon curd cheesecake if you’re interested.
And since I am always on the scrounge for new cheesecake recipes to feed my addiction, I’ll definitely be trying out your white chocolate and rasberry cheesecake. It looks yummy!
Thank you for such a lovely blog – your writing and your personality are contagious and I’m quite disappointed if I don;t find a new post each day. No pressure though, just keep doing what you do. :)
PS: Is there any way of finding Bill’s roquefort quiche recipe?

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Jeanne August 16, 2007 at 12:52 pm

Hi Patricia,
Delicious – check! Sinful – check! All the ingredients for a good dessert :o)
Hi Pille,
It’s not often that I do girly baking, so I thought let’s just go OTT ;-) And I’m glad to hear somebody else cooks not because “it’s their all-consuming passion” or whatever, but for more practical reasons. Glad you like the pic – I was giving my little nephew a piggy-back rude and we were both laughing like crazy.
Hi Kat,
Thanks for all the tips! I have often wondered what the variations in “the same” ingredients in different places might do to the end product. I also have to admit to not always haveing ingredient substitutions clearly sorted in my own mind before I go shopping!! I had never thought of quark as a substitute, but will make a note. I think the main problem was not being able to leave it alone in toe oven long enough to cool properly. And re. fridge tarts – hey, don’t knock good old peppermint crisp fridge tart! It’s sinful and yummy… but definitely not a cheesecake ;-) Watch this space, you’ll never know when yuo might see it…
Hi Deinin,
Unbaked cheesecakes are usually made with cream cheese, gelatine and cream or evaporated milk (plus flavourings). They set because of the gelatine, rather than a baking process like traditional baked cheesecakes. They can be delicious, but they have that gelatine wobbliness that a real cheesecake would not have. There is room for both in my universe, but I wouldn’t call them cheesecakes :)
Hi Kit
Oh, now you are reminding me of the thigns that used to annoy me about SA! Berries are not big, although I suspect you could successfully substitute tart Cape Gooseberries in this cake. And I do know you can get mascarpone there (Woolies??) – my sister in sleepy Port Elizabeth can get it! And like me, you’ll have to research an effective substitute for fromage frais. Come to think of it – why not ask Fairview?! On that topic, I do so love Fairview but have never eaten there (other than the cheese tastings!). And nothing would please me more than meeting up with you there. Between vous et moi, I’ll be in Cape Town in mid-Feb so this may just become a possibility!
Hi Robert,
Oh, I can’t recommend this highly enough! Just bake it. Thanks for the tips. I think, from all the comments, that the problem probably wasn’t the ricotta as much as the baking/cooling time because otherwise none of the cake wudl have set. Next time, I’ll have learned my lesson!
Hi Lydia
Thanks! Glad you like the cheesecake and I for one am pleased as punch at the Typepad feature!
Hi Ivonne,
Thanks! Very flattering coming from an accomplished baker like yourself :)
Hi African Vanielje
Oh, please go ahead and lecture! As a cheesecake newbie all advice is welcome :) I don’t think I used low fat anything (I have a pathological dislike of low fat products), but the more I hear the more I think the cooling thing was the problem. My cheesecake was in fact a bit wobbly in the centre, so maybe if it had had enough time, it would have set. C’est la vie!
Hi Beenz,
You are definitely right – I like both fridge tarts and cheesecakes – just don’t pass one off as the other! And yes, I would LOVE your ginger & lemon curd recipe. Two of my absolute favourite flavours. Thank you also for your VERY kind words on my blog. Believe me, if I didn’t have this awful time constraint called “work”, you WOULD have a new post to read every day. But then I also wouldn’t be able to afford to eat, so we will soldier on with 3 or 4 posts per week… I will chat to Bill and try and pry the recipe out of him – it was a seriously fabulous and simple quiche.

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Holly August 16, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Ooh, fantastic timing there. I’ve been meaning to try baking a cheesecake for the past few days, but I’ve never even tasted one – I was a cowardly child who feared the idea of cheese in cake, and somehow I never got around to getting over the aversion, since there were always so many other brilliant cakes to try. This looks like a pretty good bet for finally curing me of my fussiness (raspberries are always a good start for me, of course).

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keiko August 16, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Jeanne – I love your new portrait, you look gorgeous in pink! and this cheesecake! It MUST be delicious, could you make it for me next time I come to see you? :)

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Susan from Food Blogga August 16, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Thanks for the explanation, Jeanne. I’ve never actually made a cheesecake, though they were always a staple at our family get-togethers. Yours is so dainty looking–I just love it. And you’re right; she looks great topless too. ;0

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brilynn August 17, 2007 at 7:01 pm

I’m not a huge white chocolate fan, I’d take dark over it anytime, but I really enjoy the combo of white chocolate and raspberries and this cheesecake looks heavenly!

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Sal August 18, 2007 at 10:02 pm

A friend gave me your recipe for Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake. It was wonderful. I’ve been browsing your blog and I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Great blog. Keep it up.

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Nora August 23, 2007 at 9:19 am

Hello
Greetings from Singapore, I am just passing by and i think your site is wonderful. Brilliant recipes and photos – I got to make this cheesecake!
thanks for sharing
Nora
http://www.kuihrecipes.com

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Coffee & Vanilla August 29, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Hi,
It looks delicious, I must try this recipe and I will report back.
Greetings from N19,
Margot

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Coffee & Vanilla August 29, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Hi,
It looks delicious, I must try this recipe and I will report back.
Greetings from N19,
Margot

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Coffee & Vanilla August 29, 2007 at 10:32 pm

Hi,
It looks delicious, I must try this recipe and I will report back.
Greetings from N19,
Margot

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Jennifer July 2, 2009 at 6:54 am

One of the reasons your cheesecake didn’t set up in the center properly is because since the recipe baking time is set out for you to bake it then let it cool in the oven the warmth from the turned off oven is supposed to continue cooking until it completely cools off.
Cheesecakes usually firm up in the 3 hours after they are done baking and should be a bit jiggy when pulled out of the oven. What struck me as odd was the baking temp and time of this recipe. A lot of time you see the recipes call for a high cooking time for the first 10-20 minutes and then dropping the temperature down for the next hour.
Just keep playing around with it! Looks great

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Alex Newhouse July 2, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Maybe someone already posted that, but the top of your cheese cake should not be golden like it is. A good bake cheese cake is suppose to be the same colour (and thus texture) from top to bottom.
To acheive this, you need to cook your cheese cake in a bain-marie in the oven. You need to use big aluminum foil in order to seal the base of your clamp mold. And then you put it in a bain-marie. You don’t need more than a inch and a half of water in your large pot.
And yes, the cooling in the oven before refregiration is important, that’s what prevents the cake from cracking in the middle.
A golden top cake is still very good, but I thought you might want to know how restaurants do it.

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