February 17, 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake (A Late Valentine's Day)

 Whew!  My husband and I are mostly moved into our new house...mostly.  Well, at least we've unpacked essentials like pillows, blankets, the computer, the cat, and the Kitchenaid.  I'm getting used to the new kitchen, which has a gas oven instead of an electric one (weird).  So far, I've managed to tackle a couple small baking projects, and I'm finally ready to post about a scrumptious raspberry cheesecake, which I originally made for Mr. Buttercream for Valentine's Day.

I unpacked the Kitchenaid before plates or silverware.

My husband has been pestering me about making a cheesecake for a while now.  Although I've made cheesecake cupcakes a couple times, I'd never tried a cheesecake cake before.  This is for two reasons: one, I had this idea in my head that cheesecake was super hard to make.  Two, I don't really like cheesecake - it's a little rich for me, and so a small mini-cupcake-sized bite is about all I can handle.

Mr. Buttercream, however, can't get enough of cheesecake.  When I've made cheesecake cupcakes in the past, he's eaten way too many of them and made himself sick.  I thought that this would make an excellent Valentine's Day treat for him (provided I enforce some rationing).

Most cheesecake recipes call for graham crackers or oreo cookies for the crust.  I didn't have either of those things, and didn't really feel like a special trip to the grocery store to get them, so I made some chocolate wafer cookies for the crust instead.  In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I cut the cookies into heart shapes and served the extras on the side of the cheesecake.

Well, my husband definitely liked this cheesecake, although he would have preferred a stronger raspberry flavor.  The cheesecake was creamy and rich, and the homemade chocolate crust was particularly tasty.  I'm sure there will be more pestering for me to make this again soon.

Happy (late) Valentine's Day, everyone!

Raspberry Cheesecake (With a Chocolate Cookie Crust)
Makes a 6" round cheesecake.  Cookies for the crust adapted from Food.com.  This recipe makes about 2x the cookies you need for the crust - I served the rest as a side to the cheesecake.  Note that the cookies in the crust can be substituted with graham crackers or oreo cookies to save time.

Ingredients for the Crust Cookies
2 ounces chocolate
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for the Cheesecake
2 ounces  (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 ounces raspberries (frozen or fresh)
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2 eggs

  1. To make the cookies, preheat your oven to 400° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or over a double-broiler.  Set aside to cool a little.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, cream the softened butter.  Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  5. Add the chocolate, milk, and egg, and beat further until combined.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, scraping the sides of the bowl and fully incorporating each time.
  7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Mix together the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon and set aside.
  8. Roll out the dough on a floured board until it's a little less than a ¼-inch thick.  Cut the dough into any shape you like using a cookie cutter or just a knife - the cookies should be about 2-3 inches in diameter.
  9. Place the cookies on the baking sheet, prick with a fork in a couple places, and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove and transfer to a wire rack.
  10. To make the cheesecake, lower your oven to 325° F.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 6" springform pan.  If your pan doesn't completely seal, wrap the outside of the bottom and sides with aluminum foil to keep water out.  Test the water-tightness of your pan by pouring water into a larger pan and placing your springform pan into it.
  11. Transfer 4 ounces of the chocolate cookies to a large ziploc bag.  Crush them into small crumbs using a rolling pin (or your fists).  
  12. In a small bowl, combine the crumbs with the melted butter.  Press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
  13. Bake the crust in the oven for about 7 or 8 minutes so that it's set.  Remove and allow to cool.
  14. Press the raspberries through a strainer to remove any seeds.  Set aside.
  15. In a medium bowl, using a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes.
  16. Slowly add the sugar and beat for a minute more on medium-high.
  17. Sift the flour into the mixture (sifting avoids clumps of flour), and add the salt and vanilla extract.  Beat until well combined.
  18. Turn the speed down to very low.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Beat until just incorporated - you don't want to get too much air in those eggs or your cheesecake might collapse.
  19. Transfer the cheesecake mixture to the springform pan.  Use a spoon to drop dollops of raspberry on the top of the cake.  Swirl with a toothpick to create any design you want.
  20. Put the springform pan in a larger baking dish or pan (a 12" round pan worked for me - but any bigger pan should do it).
  21. Transfer both pans into the oven.  Pour boiling water into the larger pan, until it reaches a little more than halfway up the side of the smaller pan.
  22. Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the cheesecake looks like it's mostly set (although the middle might still wiggle a little).
  23. Allow to cool to room temperature, and transfer to the refrigerator.  Refrigerate for a good 2 hours (or overnight) before removing from the pan and eating.


  1. Congrats on a whole year and completing an average post per week!! (Giving yourself 3 vacation weeks, naturally).

    How much of your life and time has this dominated to pull that off?

    1. A fair bit - I try to do a new baking project every weekend. There's also quite a bit of work that goes into the photography and writing. I enjoy it all though!

  2. Carrie PierceMarch 17, 2013

    This one looks super yummy Laura. May have to try it.


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