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

Crust Ingredients:

  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray for greasing pan
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp almond extract

Filling Ingredients:

  • 32 oz Philadelphia brand cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups high-quality sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup quality raspberry jam, thinned with 3 Tbsp water

Topping Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Block of white chocolate, at room temperature (optional)

Preparation:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pour jam on top in a spiral pattern, then gently stir in jam, leaving swirls visible.

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.

Remove from oven and let cool, overnight if possible. Run knife along sides, and loosen sides of springform pan.

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.

Makes 12

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