White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

This pretty cheesecake is one of my very favorite Pinterest finds. I came across it last month while I was looking for ideas for Valentine’s Day and immediately knew I needed it in my life. Not only was I completely mesmerized by the spiral heart pattern Jaclyn of Cooking Classy had created, but I’m also a huge fan of the combination of chocolate (especially white chocolate!) and raspberry – and to put them together in a cheesecake? Well, it just doesn’t get much better than that!

This was my first time making cheesecake in a pie plate, and it couldn’t have turned out better. There are so many things to love about this recipe. As I mentioned, the cheesecake is made in a pie plate rather than a springform pan, and it’s not baked in a water bath. While I don’t think baking in a water bath is necessarily difficult, it’s kind of a hassle, and I’m always a little worried that no matter how many precautions I take, water might seep into the pan and ruin my cheesecake. Also, unlike just about every other cheesecake I’ve made, I had zero issues with cracking on this one. The baking time is just over 30 minutes, which in the world of cheesecakes is definitely quick!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

I’ll be honest, I had my doubts about whether I’d be able to pull the heart pattern off. I figured there was no way it could be as easy as it sounded in the instructions. With the right tools, I’m positive it would have been. The basic idea is that you pipe circles of raspberry sauce over the cheesecake filling and drag a toothpick through them to make the hearts. Jaclyn suggests using a syringe to pipe the circles (I think a squeeze bottle would also work well) but I didn’t have either handy so I tried to do this with a piping bag. It didn’t offer me nearly enough control over the placement or size of the circles so my heart pattern was far from perfect, but I still loved it. I was beyond excited that the hearts remained intact so nicely in the oven; the cheesecake basically came out looking the same as it went in.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

There’s nothing worse than a dessert that looks good, but disappoints when you try your first bite. Fortunately that’s not a problem here – this cheesecake tastes just as good as it looks! The white chocolate flavor comes through nicely and its sweetness works well with with the tang of the cream cheese and the slight tartness of the raspberry sauce. The cheesecake has a great creamy texture too. If I could only make one dessert for Valentine’s Day this year, this would be it. Cheesecake, chocolate, raspberry, the hearts – it just screams Valentine’s Day to me!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
slightly adapted from Cooking Classy

{Note: you won’t need all of the raspberry sauce for this recipe. You can serve the leftovers drizzled over slices of the cheesecake or ice cream, or even use it for other baking projects.}

Raspberry Sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries

Crust
24 Oreo cookies, crushed (about 2 cups crumbs)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch salt

Filling
12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg white, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream

To make the raspberry sauce: In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the water and whisk until combined. Add the raspberries and set the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the raspberries break down and the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes, whisking almost constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Set aside to cool.

To make the crust: Using a fork, stir together the Oreo crumbs, the butter, and the salt until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer the pie plate to the freezer and chill for about 30 minutes, or until firm.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 F. To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and the egg white, followed by the vanilla and lemon juice, mixing just until combined.

Combine the white chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30-second bursts on 50% power, stirring in between each until the chocolate is melted and smooth. (Be careful not to let the chocolate get too hot, white chocolate is so finicky!) Allow the melted chocolate mixture to cool slightly, then add to the cream cheese filling mixture, beating until combined and smooth.

Pour 2/3 cup of the cheesecake filling into an even layer in the chilled crust. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce over the filling (no need for an even, perfect layer here). Now, ladle the remaining cheesecake mixture over the raspberry sauce, covering the sauce completely. It’s important to ladle so you can do this gently and ensure the raspberry sauce is completely covered. If necessary, gently shake the pan to level the filling.

Fill a squeeze bottle or a syringe with the remaining raspberry syrup. Starting in the center, pipe circles in a spiral pattern, extending all the way to the edge of the cheesecake. Increase the size of the circles slightly as you move out from the center. Insert the tip of a toothpick into the circle in the center of the cheesecake, and without lifting the toothpick from the cheesecake, drag it through the center of each circle to make a heart, moving outward in a spiral pattern through each circle you piped.

Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted 1-inch from the outer edge registers 165-170 F. Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake in it for 5 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator and chill until you’re ready to serve it (if you’re going to cover it with plastic wrap, spray the plastic with nonstick cooking spray first or it’ll stick to the top of the cheesecake). Run a knife under hot water then dry it before cutting to help the cheesecake slice easily.