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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blackberry White Chocolate Tiered Cheesecake


I was asked to bring a cheesecake to a friend's house this year for Easter.  My friend even texted me a raspberry cheese cake recipe she found on epicurious.com for 'inspiration'.  But I couldn't find any fresh raspberries, so I needed to make some substitutions. The recipe I am sharing here is the result of a bit of tweaking of that original recipe.  



My inspiration for the cheesecake I ended up making was this patch of violets growing in among some chocolate mint in my herb garden.  I used both the violets and mint for garnish.  It turned out fairly light  (as cheesecakes go) and the flavor was spot on.  I hope  you'll be inspired to try making one soon.

~photo courtesy of Jean K.~

Ingredients:
1 (12.8 oz) package shortbread cookies
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
4 large eggs
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract in an equal amount)

6 ounces Ghiardelli white chocolate chips
1/2 Cup blackberry jam
1/2 teaspoon blackberry extract (optional)
Fresh blackberries, violets and mint leaves for garnish


Preparation: 

For the Crust: 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Process shortbread cookies and butter in a food processor until crumbed.  Press into bottom and partway up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.  Bake crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven and cool on rack.

For the Filling:

Using a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in flour, then eggs, one at a time, heavy cream and vanilla bean paste.  

(You can substitute vanilla extract in an equal amount, but the paste will give you the nice flecks and a superior vanilla taste, so I highly recommend buying some paste. I hardly ever use extract anymore when I bake.)

For the Tiers:

Separate 2-1/4 Cups of the batter into a medium bowl and stir in white chocolate chips.  Stir the blackberry jam and blackberry extract into the remaining batter.

Pour the blackberry batter into the prepared crust.  Fill a cake pan with water and place on the bottom rack of the oven, then place the cheesecake on the middle rack.  

Bake for one hour, or until edges begin to puff. and center is almost set.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Spoon the white chocolate batter on top of the blackberry layer.  Smooth the top.  

Return to the oven and bake until set, about 30 minutes.  
Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, at least 4 hours and up to two days (cover after four hours if storing longer).  

Just before serving, run a sharp knife around the edge to loosen and release the side of the springform pan.  Garnish the cheesecake with mint leaves, violets and fresh blackberries. 



Serve immediately.
~photo courtesy of Jean K.~

~photo courtesy of Jean K.~

~photo courtesy of Jean K.~



Need Blackberry Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste ?
  



22 comments:

  1. That not only looks wonderful but is a feast for the eyes. So lovely!!

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  2. I've never baked a cheesecake, but this looks fantastic!

    Happy Friday! :o)

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    1. Linda, it's really easy and really delicious. Try it !

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  3. Barbara - Wing Shadow FarmApril 13, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Oh my gosh, Lisa! Are you kidding me!??!! This looks incredible and the garnish is gorgeous!! Thanks for posting. I need to give this a try when the blackberries out back ripen.

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    1. Barbara, I have made alot of cheesecakes but this one is really truly worth making. I have started using the Sandies instead of graham cracker crumbs for the crust of all my cheesecakes and its a nice twist also.

      Let me know if you do make it. With fresh blackberries it would be great - unfortunately our blackberry bush is only a 2 foot tall stick right now so I had to use storebought !

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  4. Lisa - you are too funny! When does the illustrated cookbook come out? I have one slice left - I suppose I should save for when Gary gets home? Or NOT!

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    1. Oh so NOT ! Just eat it. Would you believe I made another cheesecake yesterday so I could get some more 'progress' photos ? Great excuse to bake another one - and now we've got a whole one in the frig for dessert tonight ! You're welcome to come over - we'll share.

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  5. Beautiful cake! Looks delicious, wonderful recipe. Not trying to start anything argumentative, but Keebler uses GMO Products in their ingredients:(
    The brand "Back to Nature" does not use any GMOs, and has an awesome California lemon cookie that would be a great sub for the Sandies:)

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    1. You know, I do try and eat healthy, I don't buy all organic although I know I should, but I do try and grow as much as we can ourselves. I have just started thinking about the GMO vs non-GMO and need to read up a bit more about it and what to avoid. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I have seen that brand. I'll have to check out their cookies :))

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  6. It looks delicious but what I really want is a HUGE bowl of those plump berries! They are so expensive to buy and we can never find any growing wild these days :( My Gramma used to have a huge patch and we would eat our fill, sure miss being able to do that!

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    1. Oh me too Henrietta ! And as kids we used to pick a bunch and then set up a stand and sell them in front of our house. Good memories. We just planted 6 berry bushes this spring so try and grow out own.

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  7. That is one gorgeous cheesecake. We grow our own olallieberries, and I love white chocolate. I'm pinning this one!

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    1. Thank you Debby ! You are like my foodie mentor, so coming from you, this is a HUGE compliment !

      I do love to bake - I'm not nearly the chef you are but I try !

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  8. Yummy and pretty too. I hope you will link it to my hop on Thursday Hugs!

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  9. WOW! what a stunning cheesecake! If you get a minute, please link this to my linky party: http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/2013/04/sunday-linky-party-3.html

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Thank you so much for linking up. I will be featuring this on my next party. Hope you can share more recipes soon. :)

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  10. Thank you for linking up to Tasty Tuesdays! No lie, this has to be the most beautiful cheesecake I have ever seen. Have a great weekend. :)

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  11. What a BEAUTIFUL cheesecake! Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers!

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  12. Used this recipe to make my sister's wedding cake last summer, but skipped the white chocolate and left the top layer as plain vanilla. It turned out AMAZING. I decorated with mint, blackberries, and Johnny Jump-Ups! I'll be making a fresh top layer next year for their first anniversary. =)

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/534733_461168470602254_760146325_n.jpg

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Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl
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