This recipe reflects a weakness of mine. No, it's not cheesecake, raspberries, or even white chocolate. Quite frankly I like my cheesecake with strawberries, raspberries belong on top of cake, and white chocolate... well it's never welcome in this house. Seriously now- it needs to stop being referred to as a form of chocolate.
Unfortunately, it's no exaggeration. One of the key factors that persuaded me into switching from a droid to an iPhone was the photography app Picfx; it has a heart filter lens. Pathetic, no? Clearly our sweet Autumn deserves to be covered in hearts in every picture that we take of her. Ack, her cloud-paws are too darling.
You can imagine my illogical delight when I saw this adorable idea for cheesecake; it was so powerful, that somehow I overlooked the white chocolate part until in the midst of mixing ingredients. How did white chocolate get in my kitchen? Oh that's right... cute little hearts.
Making these hearts is not as difficult as it looks; it's all about having the right tools. First, you make a raspberry puree and dot the unbaked cheesecake with dim-sized spots of the puree. I found that my hand was not steady enough to pipe on the dots very symmetrically so I resorted to a plastic squeeze bottle. There are varieties that come with changeable tips as well. The firmness of the bottle provides a better sense of control.
Once you decide on the pattern in which you wish to decorate the pie, drag a sharp point (i.e. a knife or a tooth pick) down the middle of the raspberry dots to create a tiny heart. I went with a connected pattern so I simply dragged a knife and gently spun the pie until all the dots were connected. They're not all going to come out perfect- a raspberry seed can sneak in there or a little cheesecake can build up on your knife. Honestly, the first time that I tried to make this pattern, I bombed miserably and turned it into a marble look. Be patient- it takes a little practice.
As for the cheesecake itself... it was not my cup of tea even though the fella's swore up and down that they liked it. I might be a little biased because of the whole "anti-white chocolate" thing. My biggest issue was the use of lemon zest in the batter. It's an Oreo crust with cheesecake, a swirl of raspberry puree in the middle, and white chocolate incorporated in the batter. Nowhere does citrus add up in this equation. I understand it would brighten up the flavor of the cheesecake but it's already competing with white chocolate and already has a bite from the raspberry. Should I ever make this again, the lemon is staying out.
Per any fruity cheesecake, this was made in celebration of Brandon's birthday. He's one of my favorite and most stressful people to cook with (we'll get to the cinnamon + broccoli incident another day) and always makes my culinary efforts feel appreciated. Just look at that goober's face- who wouldn't want to make this man some pie! You're wonderful kuya!
For the full recipe as well as a step-by-step illustration on how to make the heart design, check out Cooking Classy's, White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake.