Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Recipe Review: New York Style Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

 Recipe Review: New York Style Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

1 ½ cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 ½ (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside of pod and reserved
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces melted semisweet chocolate, cooled slightly
2 ½ cups of quartered raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and the butter and mix well. Press onto the bottom of spring-form pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, remaining cup of sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and beat until light and creamy. Add the flour to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and sour cream and mix well. Add the eggs, 1 at a time,, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the center is almost set. Run sharp knife around the rim of the pan and allow cake to cool on a wire rack before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Cheesecake may be made up to 2 days in advance before serving and will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.


Ease of Preparation: This recipe is definitely the hardest I’ve ever attempted; however I knew that going into it. This cheesecake is listed as an “intermediate” level recipe but it really wasn’t too hard! I have made cheesecake at home with my mom before so I already knew what I was doing a little bit but if you go slow and follow the directions carefully you should be successful. Unlike the past recipes I reviewed, this one has a lot of little details that you need to pay attention to or you will mess the whole cake up.

Quality of Recipe:  Some of the directions could have been a little clearer. It doesn’t tell you how fine to make the chocolate wafer crumbs or, for those who are new to cooking, how to best crush the cookies. At home, my mom and I use a food processor to chop the cookies up into a fine powder.

Also, the ingredients include melted semisweet chocolate; however, once again it doesn’t give the best way to do this. If you have a double boiler at home you can use that by filling the bottom portion with water and bringing it to a boil and then placing the chocolate in the top pot until melted. Another way, the way I had to do considering we don’t have such luxuries in a sorority house, was to bowl a pan of water and place a china bowl in the water. I then set the chocolate in the bowl until it was smooth and melted.

The recipe could’ve included these small descriptions in order to allow not only intermediate level cooks, but also newer cooks to make this cheesecake.

 Taste: Considering cheesecake is my favorite dessert I obviously loved the taste of this! The chocolate mixed with traditional cheesecake flavor muted the sour taste a bit and added another level of decadence. The pieces of real raspberry inside the cheesecake created a contrast in texture between the smooth creamy cheesecake and the crunchy tartness of the fresh berries.

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