White Mocha Raspberry Cheesecake

Once in a while I get handed a mission for a very special project like say…..White mocha raspberry cheesecake for Miko’s 25th. Before we go further on this subject I have a a major complaint. Why would a white “mocha” raspberry cheesecake not have an ounce of cocoa powder or chocolate syrup? I mean, isn’t that what makes mocha……mocha? It’s like those weird street names that always make you wonder, who the heck came up with Shades of Death Rd (New Jersey), or Convict Hill Rd (Austin), I mean hello it just doesn’t make any sense but I guess life will go on.

Another analogy: Making cheesecake is similar to making sushi. You just don’t appreciate it until you know how much work goes into it but like all the best things in life, they take patience and the wait is always worth it. Here we go.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 9-ounce package chocolate wafer cookies, coarsely broken
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, meltedΒ 

Filling

  • 1 12-ounce package frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, juices reserved
  • 6 ounces good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • White chocolate curls (optional)

Let’s cook:

  1. Crust: Preheat oven to 325Β°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Double-wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place cookies ing processor and blend until coarse crumbs form. Add butter and process until evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and halfway up sides of prepared pan. Bake crust 8 minutes; cool on rack.
  2. Filling: Press raspberries and juices through fine strainer into small bowl. Measure 1/2 cup puree for filling (reserve remaining puree for another use). Stir white chocolate in small metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water until just melted and smooth; set aside.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Beat in flour, then eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in whipping cream and vanilla. Transfer 2 1/4 cups batter to medium bowl; stir in melted white chocolate. Stir reserved 1/2 cup raspberry puree and almond extract into remaining batter in large bowl.
  4. Pour raspberry batter into prepared crust; place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of pan. Bake until raspberry filling is softly set in center and beginning to puff at edges, about 50 minutes. Remove roasting pan from oven; let raspberry layer cool 5 minutes to firm slightly.
  5. Starting at edge of pan, spoon white chocolate batter in concentric circles onto raspberry layer. Smooth top. Bake until white chocolate filling is set in center, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate cake uncovered until cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead; cover and keep refrigerated.)
  6. Cut around pan sides with small knife to loosen cheesecake; release sides. Garnish cheesecake with white chocolate curls, if desired.
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