Chocolate Wafer Cookie Crumb Crust baked in a 9-inch springform pan with sides at least 2-3/4 inches high, cooled.
2 C chocolate wafer crumbs (9-ounce package)
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted (may be too much)
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
2. Put the cookie crumbs in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir the mixture until the crumbs are evenly moistened with the butter. Transfer the crumbs to the buttered baking pan. Using your fingers, press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan. If using a springform pan, press the crumbs 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Check to see that the crust isn't too thick where the sides and the edges of the pan meet. Bake the crust for 6 minutes.
3. Cool the crust thoroughly before filling or freezing it. Crumb crusts can be baked a day ahead, covered, and stored overnight at room temperature.
1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries or unsweetened frozen raspberries, defrosted and drained
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Puree the raspberries in a food processor. Use the back of a spoon to press the raspberries through a strainer to remove the seeds. Measure 1/2 cup strained puree into a small bowl and mix with the 1 tablespoon sugar and the lemon juice. Set the sauce aside and save any additional puree for another use.
White Chocolate Cheesecake
8 ounces white chocolate, Callebaut or Baker's Premium preferred, chopped
2 pounds cream cheese, softened 3 to 4 hours at room temperature (60 degrees to 70 degrees F if measured with a food thermometer)
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup fresh raspberries, for serving with the cheesecake
1. Wrap the outside of the springform pan with crust with a large piece of heavy aluminum foil and place it in a large baking pan with sides at least 2 inches high.
2. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees F. Place the white chocolate in a nonreactive ovenproof container and melt it in the oven, 8 to 10 minutes. As soon as the white chocolate is melted, remove it from the oven and stir it smooth. Add cream to keep fluid. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the white chocolate aside to cool slightly.
3. Put the cream cheese in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the 1-1/4 cups sugar and mix until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour. Add the eggs, two at a time, mixing smooth after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl twice during this mixing. Mix in the vanilla and almond extract. Mix in the whipping cream. Stir in the melted white chocolate. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
4. Use a small spoon to drizzle the raspberry sauce over the batter, leaving a 1-inch plain edge. Dip the spoon gently into the batter and swirl some of the sauce into the batter, leaving some swirls of sauce on top of the batter in a marbleized pattern. Do not disturb the crumb crust.
5. Put the cheesecake in the oven and pour hot water into the large baking pan to reach 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan. Bake about 1 hour, or until when you give the cheesecake a gentle shake, the top looks firm.
6. Cool the cheesecake, covered loosely with paper towels, in the water bath for 1 hour on a wire rack. Carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Remove the paper towels and cool 1 hour more. The cheesecake should feel cool to the touch. Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Lightly sweetened raspberry sauce adds more raspberry flavor to the cheesecake than unsweetened raspberry puree.
If using frozen raspberries, defrost them before pureeing them.
Swirl the raspberry sauce gently into the cheesecake batter, being careful not to disturb the crumb crust.