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Daniel's Pizza Pasta Cafe-style White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

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Crust Ingredients:

  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray for greasing pan

Filling Ingredients:

  • 32 oz Philadelphia brand cream cheese, room temperature

Topping Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • Block of white chocolate, at room temperature (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter the inside of a (10-inch) springform pan, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap the outside bottom and sides of the pan in two layers of aluminum foil. Set aside. Also have ready a baking dish large enough to hold the springform pan in a bain marie, or water bath.
  2. Crust: Spread slivered almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan gently every 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.
  3. In the bottom of the springform pan, combine almonds, graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and almond extract, and mix until well-combined. Lightly pat crumb mixture onto bottom only of pan, spreading evenly across the surface.
  4. Filling: With a mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time; do not over-mix. Add vanilla and sour cream, and mix just until well-blended. Fold in white chocolate. Pour mixture into prepared springform pan.
  5. Pour jam on top in a spiral pattern, then gently stir in jam, leaving swirls visible.
  6. Place springform pan in baking pan, and fill baking pan with water to a depth of 1 inch. Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes until set and lightly browned. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool, overnight if possible. Run knife along sides, and loosen sides of springform pan.
  8. Topping: In a bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, raspberry jam and water until smooth. Spread on top of cheesecake. If garnishing with white chocolate, carefully shave off curls with a cheese plane or vegetable peeler, and scatter curls over top of cheesecake.
  9. Makes 12

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