Raspberry-Kissed Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate graham crackers are the most addicting substance on the planet.

When I decided to make a cheesecake for my roommate’s 21st birthday, I immediately got excited about the crust, which is my favorite part of anything with a crust (pies, toast, cheesecakes…).  The crust gave me an excuse to buy chocolate graham crackers, and as soon as I got home I ripped open a bag and shoved a sheet into my mouth.  This is why I don’t buy junk food.

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I then had the joyful task of crushing the crackers with a rolling pin, which gave me an excuse to eat more graham crackers in the form of crumbs.

Anyways, this cheesecake is adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s raspberry swirl cheesecake, which is admittedly much more beautiful than mine.  I did not have aluminum foil to wrap my pan with or a pan deep enough to serve as a water bath for my cheesecake, so it suffered from extreme cracking and it fell in the middle. I didn’t stress about it because the plan was to cover it all with chocolate ganache anyways!

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I actually don’t mind the fallen center, it gives a natural pit for chocolate to fall into and raspberries to fill.

I decided to call this “raspberry-kissed” because there isn’t enough raspberry in the cheesecake to call it a straight-up raspberry cheesecake, and it also isn’t swirled.  Plus, who doesn’t want a raspberry kiss?

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Raspberry-Kissed Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

for the crust:

2 cups of chocolate graham cracker crumbs

6 tbsp melted butter

For the filling:

32 oz cream cheese (left at room temp to soften)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

raspberry jam

For the ganache:

4 oz semisweet chocolate (roughly chopped)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

raspberries (for decoration)

Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the crumbs with the melted butter and press them into a spring-form cake pan, making sure to cover the bottom and go up the sides to within an inch of the top.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Make the filling: Whip the cream cheese with an electric beater until fluffy, then add in the sugar and beat until incorporated. Add in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next.

Pour the filling into the crust and dollop spoonfuls of raspberry jam on top.  Drag a knife through the jam dollops to incorporate them more into the filling.

To avoid cracking and falling (unlike me), place the cheesecake in its cake pan in another pan deep enough for you to pour boiling water about halfway up the side of the cake pan.  Put the whole thing in the oven before you pour the water in, so that you don’t get sloshing during the trip from counter to oven.

Bake the cheesecake for about 60-65 minutes. It will be light golden brown on top and a little jiggly in the center.  Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.  Once fully refrigerated, make the ganache by bringing the cream to a boil, then removing from the heat, adding in the chocolate and stirring until it’s all melted.  Pour the ganache on top, smooth it out, decorate with raspberries and then put back in the fridge for the ganache to set until you’re ready to serve!

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