Monday, February 16, 2009

Grace's Birthday Cheesecake:

Modified from the Wilton recipe, and pretty dang fabulous:-)

1 1/2 cup (or more) crushed chocolate cookies (pulsed in the food processor until fine),
1/2 (+/-) cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
Mix all ingerdients, and press into bottom and sides of spring form pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes, cool.

8 oz good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped (or milk chocolate, whatever floats yer chocolate boat)
1 cup whipping cream

Place chocolate in medium oven safe bowl. Heat whipping cream in saucepan or in microwave just to boiling point (or until bubbles start to form around edges of pan). Remove from heat, pour on top of chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute, then stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside on counter.

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (do NOT use low or fat free, which would be sick and wrong and would ruin the whole concept of decadence you're striving for)
3/4 cup sour cream (see above)
6 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp real vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 pint fresh raspberries (or frozen, it matters not;-)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and add eggs, one at a time. Beat in sugar and flavoring extracts until mixture is smooth. Spread thin layer of ganache over the crust and top with the raspberries, saving some for garnish. Place spring form pan on baking sheet. Pour cheese mixture over raspberries. Place a small pan of water on bottom rack of oven. Bake cheesecake 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until set(the middle might be slightly soft).
Turn oven off and leave for one hour.
Cool and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Spread remaining chocolate (kept at room temp or remove from fridge a good 2 hours before using) over cheesecake, refrigerating at least 30 min to allow ganache to become firm.
Garnish with fresh raspberries.

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