Raspberry Swirled Cheesecake
You guys, I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know how to begin this post because my mind is utterly boggled at how this could have even happened. Here’s the story from the very beginning.. Boyfriend loves baked cheesecake. He loves it so much that it was kinda sorta one of the main reasons he wanted to bring me to Florence last month, because apparently the best cheesecake in the whole world lives there. Not unreasonable, right? So off we go to Italy, stop off in Florence & try this so-called best cheesecake ever. Let me tell you, it was hands down the best cheesecake I have ever tried. It was so good that I’m not even ashamed to tell you that Boyfriend & I went back to that very restaurant three times over the course of our three day visit. That’s how good their cheesecake is.
We became cheesecake addicts. On one of our visits – after having had a delicious lunch filled with antipasto platters & a large carafe of wine – our hopes & dreams were crushed when we were told there was no cheesecake left. They ran out the night before & the fresh cheesecake needed to rest for 10 hours. I’m not entirely sure how any normal people would have reacted to this information, but Boyfriend & I reacted by asking exactly what time it would be ready at & could we please come back & get two slices for takeaway? You would think we’d be embarrassed by our obvious desperation, but our cheesecake love knows no bounds.
Since we returning home, we’ve been scouring the streets of Dublin in search of anything that might even be on the same scale, all to no avail. Our quest moved to the next level when I started riffling through every single cookbook I own (which is a lot), & finally, when I took to the internet. I had already researched every little detail that goes into making the so-called perfect cheesecake, so when I came across the recipe for Smitten Kitchen’s ‘Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake’, I knew it was The One. I took a giant leap of faith & made this cheesecake for the very first time for an important family gathering (if that isn’t blind faith then I don’t know what is). I am here to tell you that after all the requests for large slices & second helpings, there was not a crumb to be found at the end of the meal.
Deliciously light & airy, this cheesecake ticked all the boxes. It didn’t crack even a little bit. See that smooth surface up there? Yeah, that’s all down to the water-bath & I am so never making a cheesecake without one again. There was a biscuit base that didn’t interfere with the flavour or texture of the cheesecake because it was so thin (aka perfect). The filling itself was heavenly. A pure cream cheese filling whipped until silky smooth gave us the consistency of whipped cream almost, that crumbled on your fork & was so crazy light. (Can you tell I am totally in love with this recipe?) I made a blueberry & raspberry sauce to go over the top of mine, which just added to the flavours. 10/10 from around the table, although I can’t help thinking that maybe this cheesecake would have tasted even better if we all lived in Florence?
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake | Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the crust:
- 250g finely crushed digestive biscuits
- 85g salted butter, melted
- 40g granulated sugar
For the raspberry swirl:
- 150g fresh raspberries
- 25 grams caster sugar
For the cheesecake filling:
- 900g cream cheese, softened to room temp
- 300g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, homemade
- 4 eggs
- boiling water, for the water bath
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wrap the exterior of a 9-inch spring-form tin tightly in three layers of tin foil, ensuring there are no rips or crevices for water to sneak through; set aside.
- First, the crust. In a large bowl, mix together all of the crust ingredients. Using your fingers (or the base of a measuring cup), press the mixture firmly into bottom & up the sides of your prepared tin. Bake the crust until set, about 10-minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack & reduce the oven temp to 160°C.
- Next, make the berry swirl. In a food processor, whiz together the raspberries & the sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour the puree through a fine sieve into a small bowl; set aside. Discard the solids.
- Now, the cheesecake. In a large bowl, use an electric whisk to beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 3-minutes. With mixer on low, add the sugar in a steady stream, scraping down the edges of the bowl as you go. Add the vanilla extract & mix thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, mixing each until just combined & scraping down the bowl.
- Pour the filling over the par-baked crust. Use a piping bag (or something similar) to dot the raspberry sauce over the top of the filling & use a skewer to swirl the sauce decoratively through the filling. (If you have any spare sauce, keep it to garnish the finished cheesecake with!)
- Place the uncooked cheesecake inside a large roasting tin. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting tin until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cheesecake tin. Very carefully transfer the whole thing to the preheated oven. Bake until the cheesecake is still slightly wobbly in the center, but is mostly set, 65-70 minutes. (A toothpick inserted near the center should not have wet, thin batter on it when removed.)
- Once cooked, transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack, remove the tin foil, & leave it to cool entirely to room temperature. When cooled completely, refrigerate the cheesecake – uncovered – for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Before cutting the cheesecake, run a knife around the edges of the tin & gently unmold it. Serve the cheesecake in generous wedges, topped with the leftover raspberry puree.
- I mixed my leftover raspberry puree on the hob with small amounts of raspberries, blueberries, sugar & lemon juice.