Wednesday, 6 November 2013

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

This is the only no bake, no gelatine cheesecake recipe I use, and it's very adaptable.

In my humble estimations, nothing beats cheesecake. I've made dozens, and been victim to everything and anything that might go wrong. Sometimes they deliver on flavour but have a dry, floury and eggy texture (baked) or just don't set (gelatine-based). You can't really 'taste the calories'. A good, moist baked cheesecake comes up trumps over gelatine, but is prone to having a soggy bottom.

So here are my top tips for the perfect cheesecake:

1. Soggy bottoms: Do bother, but bake it in the oven for 10 minutes prior to filling as so: As Nigella suggests, blind bake the base for 5 minutes on 150c, brush the base with beaten egg white, then bake for another 5 minutes then cool before adding the filling. The egg wash makes a layer separating the two, so your base should remain crisp!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

2. Bain-marie?: Not worth it. I have only ever failed with bain-marie baked cheesecakes. There is a tad more moisture, but its a lot of effort wrapping the spring form tin in layers of foil, and the bottom is soggier than ever! I can't confess to have tried it in combination with the soggy-bottom fixer.

3. Full-fat or low fat?: Ditch the diet for a day. I have overcome the 'everything must be low fat' stage, and realised that when it comes to cheesecake, its full fat or the highway, frankly. My reasoning? Firstly, the flavour is so much more full, rich and creamy (hence why you don't compensate by eating more), and full fat contains less water, therefore more dense and much more likely to hold the cheesecake together, if it is gelatine based. 

4. Don't overbeat the filling, cheesecakes are fragile and should be dense. And an aerated cheesecake is again, calories over substance.

5. If you haven't got a spring form tin, line your tin with two sheets of cling film enough to cover all the sides, so you can carefully lift it out.

White Chocolate curls

All that said, you don't need to pussyfoot around with this recipe. While for health reasons I would not advise anyone to eat it regularly, this is by far the biggest dessert hit amongst friends. I know my cheesecakes and I know my friends. Quite simply you must try this one. A friend and I came across an identical tasting cheesecake at a great community social enterprise café - the Crocus Café  - in Nottingham, but they were serving it in such minuscule portions, so rather than break the bank I went on a long hunt to replicate it. Finally UKTV came to my assistance, so here is an adapted version of theirs. I've also made a milk chocolate ginger version which turned out beautifully.

Now comes the fun. This recipe is also a good starter to play around with other flavours and textures. There is a lot of chocolate, but that is needed to help the cheesecake set. So don't cut down on that too much, and if you do, add a bit more sugar.


- Base: Toasted, chopped nuts, desiccated coconut, mixed spice, cinnamon, ground ginger, or a different biscuit.
- Filling: Different types of chocolate, other fruits, flavourings such as almond or peppermint essence, a few tablespoons of peanut butter, a dash of alcohol, malt powder, honey, citrus zest, swirl in fruit puree, citrus curd or caramel, crushed cookies
- To decorate: Top with praline, chopped up chocolate bars, honeycomb, fresh, caramelised or stewed fruit.

A helpful way to get your creative juices going is to think themes. For instance, take your favourite xxx and re-invent it. It might be a cocktail, a dessert, a chocolate bar, ice-cream flavour, a memory from travels. Who knows?

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

For the biscuit base
150 g digestive biscuits, crushed
150 g gingernut biscuits, crushed
115 g butter, melted

For the filling
420 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
55 g butter
1/2 vanilla pod
300 g cream cheese
250g mascarpone
35g caster sugar
180 ml whipping cream
1 punnet raspberries, (plus a few more to decorate)

For the chocolate ginger version: Add 1tsp ground ginger to base, 1tsp ground ginger to filling and 1 cup chopped crystallised ginger, use 200g dark and 100g milk chocolate in lieu of white chocolate.

1. For the biscuit base: combine the biscuits and butter and press onto the base of a 23cm spring form tin.

2. For the filling: place the chocolate, butter and vanilla pod in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering (not boiling) water until melted. Allow to cool slightly.

3. In another bowl mix together the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar and whipping cream to a smooth consistency.

4. Remove the vanilla pod from the melted chocolate mixture and stir into the cream mixture. Gently stir in the raspberries, being careful not to release the juice.

5. Spoon the mixture on top of the biscuit base and place in the fridge to set for 8-24 hours.

6. To serve: remove from the tin and place on a serving plate. Decorate with a few whole raspberries and extra white chocolate.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous made this for a family barbeque and got top marks from everyone


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