Celebrate Today with a White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake!

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Let’s Hear it for White Chocolate!


Today, September 22nd, is National White Chocolate Day!

White chocolate was first invented in the 1930s by Henri Nestle.  White chocolate gets its pale yellow color from its primary ingredient, cocoa butter.  White chocolate is made of cocoa butter, milk and sugar.  The FDA requires true white chocolate to contain at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, 3.5% milk fat and less than 63% sugar. There are some that feel that since white chocolate does not contain cocoa solids, it is not true chocolate.  We feel differently.  In the world of fake chocolate, a product that contains the essence of the cocoa bean qualifies as chocolate.  It’s the ‘chocolates’ that contain alternative fats that we call the imposters!

This recipe from the Santacafe in Santa Fe, New Mexico celebrates white chocolate and its unique ability to combine so beautifully with fruits and flavorings elevating the sum of the parts of a recipe into something spectacular.

Don’t wait for a special occasion to try this delicious dessert.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust:

1 cup slivered almonds

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (7 ounces)

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

8 ounces fine-quality white chocolate

4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

4 whole large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups fresh raspberries (11 ounces)

Garnish: Fresh raspberries, mint sprigs and raspberry coulis

Make crust: Finely grind almonds and crumbs in a food processor and add butter, blending until combined. Press over bottom and 2/3 up side of a 10-inch springform pan.

Make filling: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth, and remove from heat.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, then beat in sugar. Add whole eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, beating well at low-speed and scraping down bowl after each addition.

Beat in flour and vanilla until just combined, then add melted chocolate in a slow stream, beating until filling is well combined.

Arrange berries in 1 layer over crust and pour filling into crust. Bake in middle of oven until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly when pan is gently shaken, 45 to 55 minutes.

Run a thin knife around edge of cake to loosen, then cool completely in pan on a rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Cooks’ note: Cheesecake can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.

Makes 16 servings.

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