There comes a time when you try out a new dessert and it's so good; well it's almost like your mouth is having an orgasm. My latest cheesecake recipe is one such sweet dish...completely decadent and luscious.
For the holidays, it's not unusual for me to be making cookies, brownies and cheesecakes to give as gifts. Normally I stick to my two favorite cheesecakes, "Mint Chocolate" or "Toffee Shortbread", but I had several bags of white chocolate chips leftover from cookie making and felt inspired. I perused several baking books and online recipe sites for ideas; common ingredients were kept on the list, unusual ones discarded. Baking temperatures were anywhere from 325F to 450F, so I kept to my normal 350F and water bath (bain-marie)baking technique. As to time within the oven, the 60 minutes allows the cheesecake to bake entirely while the center still looks jiggly; yet it firms up completely once it sets overnight in the refrigerator.
The taste, however, is absolutely, without a doubt, completely decadent. Rich, creamy, smooth and just the yummiest concoction your mouth could experience. Nevermind the holidays, this would make a great dessert for Valentine's Day or any other special romantic occasion. Enough said, lets get to the recipe for an ultimate cheesecake experience.
White Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake
2 cups ground graham crackers or Nilla wafers
8 oz unsalted butter, melted
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
8 oz white chocolate, melted
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
Spray the bottom of an 8 inch springform pan with nonstick baking spray; line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with the spray also. Mix together the crust ingredients; press into bottom and slightly up sides of pan. Place in refrigerator while preparing the filling.
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth; gradually add one egg at a time until incorporated. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat until fluffy; mix in the sour cream, melted chocolate and vanilla extract well.
Take pan out of refrigerator and place on aluminum foil which can be drawn up sides of the pan. Pour the filling over the crust and spread out evenly. Place pan into a roasting pan and pour warm water halfway up outside of pan. Bake for 60 minutes; turn off heat and prop oven door open slightly. Let cool for 45 minutes before removing springform pan and place in refrigerator overnight.
Loosen sides of cheesecake with knife before releasing lock on pan; lift off ring. Put large round plate over cheesecake and invert; remove bottom of pan and parchment paper. Flip cake onto another plate to cut and serve.
Option: puree mixed berries (strawberry, raspberry, black raspberry) and spread over top of cake; grate or shave white chocolate over puree.
Makes 8 servings.