Saturday, July 21, 2012

DJL Dishes Dessert: Raspberry and Honey Cheesecake

So it's been awhile since my last Dish on Dessert, and it just so happens that this meeting for Culinary Club features recipes from Warren Brown's United Cakes of America.  The recipe I chose to attempt was his Raspberry & Honey Cheesecake representing the state of Wyoming.  I do have to say, Brown's assumptions about bakers are a wee bit on the presumptuous side (while I would LOVE to own one someday, not all hobby bakers can afford a stand mixer like a Kitchenaid).  Beyond that, I found a lot of his recipes very creative as representations of each state.  I haven't made a great many cheesecakes in my day, and this particular recipe sounded challenging without being TOO difficult.  On to the recipe!

Crust Ingredients:
- 5 oz. Graham crackers (9 full crackers)
- 3 tbsp Superfine granulated sugar
- 3/4 stick Unsalted butter melted
- 1/8 tsp Salt

Filling Ingredients:
- 16 oz Cream cheese
- 16 oz Fresh Goat cheese
- 1/2 cup Superfine granulated sugar
- 1/2 Crystallized or raw honey
- 4 Eggs
- 1/4 cup Sour cream
- 1/4 cup Heavy cream
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Raspberry puree (<--I substituted raspberry filling since I don't have a blender.)


1. Preheat the oven to 300F and place the rack in the middle position.  Grease a 9-by-3-inch round pan and line the bottom with parchment.
2. Crush the graham crackers in a bowl or food processor into very fine crumbs.

3. Using a fork, toss all the crust ingredients in a bowl until evenly combined.  Press the mixture firmly into the prepared pan.

4. Bake until fragrant, 10-12 minutes.  Set aside to cool while you make the filling.  Leave the oven on.
5. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cheese on medium speed to break up and soften them. (I used a hand mixer because I don't have a standing mixer.)
6. Reduce the mixer to slow speed and add the sugar and honey in 2 additions each, beating until they dissolve, about 3 minutes total.
7. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each to combine before adding the next.
8. Mix the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla together until smooth.  Pour into the mixer slowly.

9. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.  Drizzle up to 1/4 cup of the raspberry puree randomly on the batter and swirl it with your finger.
10. Bake, uncovered, until the center of the cake is only slightly wobbly when the pan is shaken, about 1 hour.

11. Turn off the heat and leave the oven door ajar for 1 hour.
12. Cool the cake for 4 hours, until it reaches room temperature.  (It cracked because I didn't follow the recipe about the water bath, but it didn't make the cake any less delicious.)

13. Cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight.
14. Set the pan in warm water to loosen the cake.  Run an offset spatula around the edge if necessary.  Invert the cake onto a flat plate, then turn it right side up onto a decorative plate for serving.  Smooth out any tears on the sides with an offset spatula.  Add a cluster of raspberries to the top of the cheesecake if you like.

Well, the end results were received pleasantly at both the Culinary Book Club meeting on Wednesday and among the staff.  I wish I could have taken a picture of what the pan looked like following the library "feeding frenzy."  I was told that one of my work friends was scraping the crust that got stuck in the pan, which made me smile.  This is one recipe I wouldn't mind making again, but it's really a once in awhile recipe considering the price of fresh goat cheese.

Bon appetit! ^_^


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