My husband is gone for work a lot, and when that happens, making dinner or baking things gets kind of pointless. During his times away, I become a frozen food queen, and my fridge is at straight-up bachelor(ette) status. Microwaved burritos and pre-made pastas are my go-to and my oven gets a much-needed break.
But, when he comes home, I like to get back into the swing of things by making one of his favorite dinners and baking up a special dessert, like I'm the freakin' Barefoot Contessa. This time, he requested shepherd's pie and cheesecake. And though I could take or leave the shepherd's pie, I was beyond ecstatic about this cheesecake.
Tyler really likes white chocolate, so I decided to try to incorporate that into the cheesecake, and then I figured I'd keep it simple by making a New York-style topping (oh my gosh, this is straight up Ina Garten status, isn't it?). I settled on raspberries because I thought they'd go well with the white chocolate flavor and also thought they'd be fun and red in time for Valentine's Day, which is one of my favorite holidays. We spent his first night home gorging ourselves on meat pie and decadent cheesecake, and then in the resulting food comas, and all was right in the world.
for the ganache
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 20 oz. white chocolate, chopped
for the filling
- 2 lbs cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup flour
- 5 eggs
- 1 T vanilla
- 1 T lemon juice
for the crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter
for the topping
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 T cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a small bowl and stir to combine, until the whole mixture is wet with the butter. In the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan, press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place in oven and cook 5-8 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Over the stove in a large saucepan, heat whipping cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and add white chocolate, stirring until it is all melted and consistent.
- Pour ganache over graham cracker crust and put in freezer about 20 minutes or until firm.
- Once ganache is firm, remove from freezer and preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at low speed.
- With the stand mixer still running, add in sugar, sour cream, flour, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice one at a time and beat until blended, with no chunks.
- Pour cheesecake batter into springform pan over crust and ganache. Wrap bottom and sides of pan in foil to prevent leakage.
- Take a large roasting pan and fill the bottom with about two inches of water to create a water bath. Place the roasting pan in the oven and place the cheesecake in the water bath. This will prevent cracks and help the cheesecake cook evenly.
- Bake the cheesecake at 400°F for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and cook for another 35-45 minutes. The center of the cheesecake should be slightly jiggly, but firm.
- Place cheesecake inside the fridge and let set for four hours or overnight.
- Once cheesecake has set, take a butter knife and run it around the edge of the springform pan and then remove the sides of the pan.
- Combine topping ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until simmering. Place raspberry mixture in a blender or a food processor and pulse. Drain seeds if desired. Let topping cool, then pour over cheesecake. Slice and serve!