National Cheesecake Day is right around the corner. On July 30, to be exact. So what better way for Clevelanders to celebrate than with a homemade cheesecake that combines rich chocolate and a creamy cheese texture with luscious, sun-kissed raspberries! Visit your local farmers’ market to choose the freshest, most delicious raspberries available.
But before we get started, here are some interesting cheesecake facts you might not have known:
- The writer Athenaeus is credited with writing the first-ever Greek cheesecake recipe in 230 A.D.
- Cream cheese was an American addition to the cake, and it has since become a staple ingredient in the U.S.
- New York is not the only place in America that puts its own spin on cheesecakes. In Chicago, sour cream is added to the recipe to keep it creamy. Philadelphia cheesecake is known for being lighter and creamier than New York-style cheesecake, and it can be served with fruit or chocolate toppings. The St. Louis version features a gooey butter cake, which has an additional layer of cake topping on the cheesecake filling.
Ready to get started on a particularly delectable version? Here’s one recipe that is sure to become a family favorite:
CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE
Calorie and fat content of this cheesecake can be adjusted by using regular, low-fat, or fat-free cream cheese. The raspberries add beautiful, elegant color and sweet-tart berry flavor to contrast with the rich chocolate cheesecake.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cool time: 9 hours
Makes 16 servings
20 chocolate wafer cookies
2 tablespoons butter
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
2 8-oz packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 6-oz packages raspberries
1 2-oz bar of semi-sweet chocolate
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Place cookie wafers in a zip-top freezer bag or double bag. Crush with fingers or roll with a rolling pin or food can to make about 1 cup fine crumbs.
Melt butter in a saucepan or medium bowl in the microwave. Stirin crumbs until evenly blended with butter.
Press crumbs firmly on bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake 5 minutes. Cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Beat cream cheeses in a large bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Beat in sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla, starting on low speed then increasing to high, until thoroughly mixed.
Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping bowl well after each addition. Gently stir in 1 cup raspberries. Pour mixture into pan.
Bake 60-70 minutes or until just barely set in center. Edges may crack slightly. Turn oven off and leave in oven 1 hour with door ajar. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Run a knife around edge and remove rim.
Top cheesecake with remaining raspberries. Hold chocolate bar over cheesecake; firmly slide a sharp vegetable peeler along edge of chocolate allowing shavings to fall on cake.
* Lighten up the recipe by using use four 1/3 less fat packages of cream cheese, or two 1/3 less fat and two fat-free packages. Cheesecake will be denser. Omit crust and coat pan with cooking spray.
Recipe courtesy of Driscoll’s. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.