With Valentine’s Day just around the bend, I turned to my cake-baking buddy for a favorite holiday recipe. “Finish this sentence,” I said to her. “The way to a man’s heart is ….” She immediately replied: “Cheesecake!”
She explained. “Cheesecake is always a good finale for a romantic dinner. It’s smooth, soothing and tangy. And this recipe kicks it up a notch with chocolate—white chocolate.”
In need of material for a Valentine blog, I texted: “Perfect! Send recipe.”
Back came her variation on an old stand-by from Kraft along with a few words of explanation. “For Valentine’s Day, I don’t want to experiment. I want something tried and true.”
Hmm. . . was she talking about her husband or a recipe? Or both? I read on.
“For this great cake, I always use the best white chocolate I can find, usually Ghiradelli. To make it a true eye-popping, heart-throbbing dessert,” she wrote. “I cover the top with raspberries, placing each atop the cake as I hum Crazy for You. I’ve made this cake for years for lots of occasions and it’s been a hit every time I’ve served it.”
It wasn’t just my friend’s fondness for this fluffy bit of culinary fantasy, there were other on line advocates. The blog AllRecipes had nearly 2200 comments about the dessert, most of which gave it a 5-star rating.
White Chocolate Cheese Cake
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla, divided
- 1 cup flour
- 4 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
- 3 pkgs. (4 oz. each) white chocolate, broken into pieces, melted, cooled
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
Heat oven to 325°F.
Cheese Cake Do’s and Don’ts
For those who might be intimidated at the thought of making a cheese cake, here’s a few things to remember:
1. Best to use a well-greased springform pan with removable side and bottom.
2. To avoid cracking, make sure ingredients for the batter are at room temp before mixing. If cake does crack, you can always cover it with sauce or berries.
3. Don’t overwork the batter, especially when adding the eggs.
4. Avoid over-baking. The center should be just slightly moist when ready to be removed from oven.
5. For ease in removing, line bottom of springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap the outside of your spring form pan in foil and place it in a jellyroll pan with about a half-inch of water. The French call this process a bain marie—Mary’s bath. (The foil keeps the water from seeping into the cake pan. See below.)
6. When the cooking hour is up, turn off the oven, leave the door slightly ajar and allow to cool for another hour before removing.
7. Do not refrigerate right away. Allow to cool first.
8. For perfect slices, run a long, thin knife under hot water. Quickly dry it off and slice straight down and out. Repeat for every slice. I know that’s a pain, but you do get beautiful slices every time.
9. Baked cheesecakes freeze well wrapped in heavy-duty foil or plastic wrap.