8/2/10

white chocolate cheesecake w/ cherries and a mini-vacation

white chocolate cheesecake w/ cherries & double crust

Happy August! I'm excited to see August here. July was a funky month for me and it was too HOT weatherwise. So I'm excited to see what August will bring me, in a positive way, and hopefully better/cooler weather. Before we get to this wonderful cheesecake I just want to let everyone know that I am taking a little break from blogging--a couple weeks at best. I'll still be around tweeting and poking around.
I know, just get to the cheesecake already!
First off, I think I've stressed to you all that I am one of those people that loves a thick double crust in my cheesecakes. For me, it's the best part. So as you'll notice the crust is thick. Duh!
We all know that cherries and white chocolate pair purrfectly together. So why not in a cheesecake--plus I'm pretty sure this cheesecake has been done before; no big news there. But the flavor of this cheesecake paired with the sour cherries is just amazing. Almost like a sweet creamy milkshake with a hint of sour cherries--that's how I would describe it best. And then there is the crust. Oh how I love my cheesecake crusts thick and full of flavor. Please see my cook notes on what to do with the crust the next time.
I'll be back in a couple weeks. Hope everyone has a good rest of the summer. Did anyone go away for vacation? If so, where? Love to hear about it. Any foodie adventures?

white choco cheesecake w/ cherries & double crust

white chocolate cheesecake w/ cherries & double crust
from vanillasugarblog.com
print recipe

crust
12 oz. graham crackers, crushed fine
1 stick salted butter, melted
Tiny pinch of sea salt

cheesecake filling
4 - 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
9 oz. white chocolate, chopped (use high quality white chocolate-see cook notes)
4 large eggs AND 2 egg yolks
1 ts good quality vanilla extract

cook notes:This makes a lot of crust for the 10-inch pan, but I like to have it thick, so if you don’t like it thick you could probably halve it. But with the remaining leftover crust I just put it in a bag and freeze or make a mini cheesecake. There will also be leftover cheesecake batter—haven’t figured out how to scale it down yet. But with the leftover crust and batter you can easily make 2 mini cheesecakes if you have the mini springform pans. I do not have a mixer, I know, everyone always ask how I do it, but I do, been that way for decades. So I just use a food processer, works perfectly. Please use a high quality white chocolate, trust me it is worth it. Don’t use the Toll House white chips like I did once—they DO NOT melt, only turn into oil. Use a high quality ones like Lindt or Perugina. The next time I make this I think I would like to add in a pinch of cinnamon to the crust or even almond, just see what it would taste like.

Preheat your oven to 375°F.
In a measuring cup, crack open the eggs and egg yolks, set aside until ready to use.
Spray a 10-inch springform pan with non stick spray. In a food processor grind up the graham crackers into a fine crumb. In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, a pinch of salt, and the melted butter. Mix, then press into the bottom and partially up the sides of the springform pan. (I use a flat bottomed glass to press it in evenly). Recipe & photos by Dawn Finicane of vanillakitchen.blogspot.com
Note: there will be some crumbs leftover; I normally use more crumbs than the average cheesecake because I love a thick crumb.

Bake for 12 minutes, set aside and let cool. Reduce the oven heat to 325°F.
I used my food processor to make the cheesecake batter—I suppose you could use a mixer, but I don’t have one (I know, weird). With the food processor, mix the cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Add in the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Start on the white chocolate Ganache.
Bring the 1/2 cup of heavy cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Add in the white chocolate chunks and stir, keep stirring until the white chocolate is nice and melted. Once it looks like it’s just about melted, take off the heat, keep stirring a bit while letting it cool. Then add it to your cheesecake batter, slowly, by pouring it in with the food processor running. Once the white chocolate is combined then add in the eggs one at a time until all is mixed well. Then add in the vanilla extract.

baking:
Most people like to do a water bath for their cheesecake. I never do, I find all too annoying. But if you want to do this please feel free; it’s best to bake your cheesecake how ever you feel most comfortable.
I baked this cheesecake at 325°F for one hour then at 300°F for an additional 40 to 60 minutes or until the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

cherry sauce:
Is nothing more than chopped up cherries (about ¾ lb to 1 lb of red or black cherries) with one freshly squeezed lemon, a few tablespoons of sugar (about 3 depending on how sweet or not sweet you like it); mix this in a sautee pan over low heat. Bring to a boil then add in about 1 tablespoon of sifted cornstarch to help thicken the sauce a bit. If you don’t sift the cornstarch you’ll get lumps in the sauce, not good. Sautee for about 10 minutes or so, until thick; remove from heat, let cool, then store in fridge to let it set up.

92 comments:

  1. Y-E-S! Seriously the best looking cheesecake ever!

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  2. droool- looks amazing. Love the looks of the crust and the topping especially. I will miss you during your break- but totally understand the need for one. I hope August is a fantastic month for you

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  3. This looks perfect. The crust is my favorite part of the cheesecake, so I love the idea of it being doubled!

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  4. Wow - that crust is amazing!

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  5. I recently made raspberry white chocolate cheesecake but I think cherry would be even better! This looks amazing. Super thick crusts are hands down the way to go.

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  6. I don't think we get sour cherries here. That is a bummer because I don't really like cherries in dessert but I think if they were less sweet I would. You did such a beautiful job here. And I totally hear you on the double crust. It's the only way to go. We will all miss you around here so don't be gone too long!

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  7. This sounds absolutely incredible! Gorgeous cheesecake :).

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  8. What good food porn!!!!!

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  9. Fabulous! This type of crust is my favorite. As always, great pictures. You are talented!

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  10. that cheesecake is stunning. STUNNING!

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  11. Blogging breaks are the best! Haha. Will you fed-ex me some cheesecake please?!

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  12. Gorgeous cake, I love the mound of cherries

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  13. I want some of this now. Holy yum.

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  14. I *neeeed* a slice of this cheesecake. It's stunning! Enjoy your break!

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  15. Que delicia, y encima de chocolate blanco, que más se puede pedir.

    Saludos

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  16. So where should we go on our vacation? I am up for anything fun to start off our August. This cheesecake is perfect with the thick crust and i agree it is the best part of a cheesecake. You do the best food photography and the cheesecake itself is perfectly baked. Awesome!

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  17. I can't believe it's August already. Time has just flown. But thankfully, there's still time to make this lovely cherry cheesecake with fresh cherries. ;)

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  18. I say the more crust the better! Looks delicious, enjoy your break.

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  19. Okay. First and foremost why on EARTH is this my first time on your blog? Holy heck! A-Mazing! Will not be my last time here that's for sure!
    xo tash

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  20. WOW- love the photo, the cheesecake looks so thick and amazing... I agree white chocolate and cherries are great!

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  21. keep in touch regardless and have fun....

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  22. I love the thick crusts too - your cheesecake looks just fabulous!

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  23. Best looking and best flavor cheesecake I've seen!!! I hope I'm your neighbor. I would've asked for a slice!

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  24. That cheesecake and the sour cherry toppping looks amazing Dawn. I hope you enjoy your time off. BTW, this should be our new header!

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  25. Yep - this is my official favourite cheesecake recipe now. I didn't even realize that there was such a thing as double crust.... you just gotta love it.

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  26. The evil that is Dawn lives on - this most decadent dessert would cause me to swoon - if I could have a bite.

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  27. Have a great vacation!

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  28. this is not good, i just had dinner and you make me feel like wanting dessert

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  29. I like to use ground nuts for my crusts & I'm thinking pecans would be spectacular here! Definitely going to try your baking method - always looking for a way to make it simpler & easier (read: lazy!). Have fun on your break, chica!

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  30. This is by far the best recipe I have seen in a long time! Yummy!

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  31. wow, yum. love the cherry topping. i'm so bummed i missed sour cherry season this year. enjoy your time off!!

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  32. i'm ALL for the thick crust--it's usually the best part. that's not the case here though--i'm stuck trying to decide if the white chocolate or cherries are more appealing!

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  33. Dawn, why must you live all the way in the east coast? hehehe...

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  34. Sounds like a great flavor combo for a cheesecake!! But then again, I've never met a cheesecake I haven't liked :-)

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  35. Love the idea of the double thick crust. That is my favorite part too. That pool of the cherries on top is irresistible. Have a fun break!

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  36. Gorgeous looking cheesecake!!!

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  37. WOW! Could this dessert get any better? It looks amazing Dawn. Have a great mini-vacation.

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  38. How nice of you to leave us a gift before you go on vacay! Enjoy your time away.

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  39. this is everything i dream about.

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  40. Can't beat a good Cherry Cheesecake. It's classic! Looks great.
    Stop by my blog for more recipes and great baking tips!
    www.form5artisan.blogspot.com
    Cheers!
    Christina.

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  41. Your cheesecake is SOOOOOOO AWESOME!

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  42. I absolutely love the double crust in this! Looks amazing!

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  43. Sour cherries are making my mouth water! Enjoy your break! (Bet you can't stop thinking about food though...) I visited Dublin with my daughter this summer and all I did was take pics of food and tea shops!!!

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  44. Beautiful Dawn!!
    I could taste it from here:)
    Enjoy your break!

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  45. i love the crust. i really enjoy thick crusts on cheesecake - they remind me more of a cookie crust of sorts, and not a pie crust (which i'm not the biggest fan of...). so i'll have to try this.

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  46. enjoy your vacation! I think I'll try and enjoy some cheesecake :)

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  47. Great looking cheesecake! White chocolate works well in cheesecake and that cherry topping would be amazing on it!

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  48. I do that too! I make a double crust, forming it into the thickest thing ever, so that it's like a nice big cookie on the bottom.

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  49. The cheesecake looks great! I love the combination of white chocolate and cherries.

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  50. Your cheesecake looks so perfect! Yum!

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  51. I too love a thick crust and it's been ages (maybe 10 years?!) since I've eaten a cheesecake. This one looks delicious and I'd love it if you could mail me a piece...I'm sure that crust is sturdy to hold up to a few thousand miles!! Yummm.

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  52. I LOVES me some cheesecake, and this flavor combo looks amazing! You photos are gorgeous, BTW!

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  53. This cheesecake sounds fabulous. I have a serious obsession with sour cherries (must be the Russian in me) so I know I would LOVE this. :)
    Btw, I'm hosting a yogurt giveaway - check it out! :D

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  54. A great vacation includes beautiful and relaxing places and especially good foods. I think this white chocolate cheesecake with cherries is good dish for a very great vacation.

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  55. hey dawn... i cant wait to try this one out. looks so good.

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  56. Cherry cheesecake is my favorite version, and the addition of white chocolate sounds sinful. Love the double crust idea!

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  57. i'm all about the double-thick crusts too. sometimes i like the crust better than the cake.

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  58. This looks realllllly good. But I am one of those weirdos who loves a thick crust, but not a thick cake. 2 8" pans might do the trick... just have to double the crust.

    Be good on your break - don't do anything I wouldn't do. Well wait a minute that really leaves nothing at all...

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  59. Beautiful pics - looks amazing! I hope you have a great vacation!

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  60. GORGEOUS!!! Does not get any better looking than this.

    I hope you're enjoying your vacation. =)

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  61. Love the double crust. It looks phenomenal. Hope you have a great vacation!

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  62. How delicious...I love the height of your cheesecake. Mine are always so squat and messy!

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  63. I love the crust too. I could have mainly graham crust with a little cheese cake to go with it. I keep meaning to get sour cherries. This sounds heavenly Dawn.

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  64. Beautiful!! Looks delicious. Love the added crust.

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  65. Now this is a cheesecake! I love thick crusts too, of course they're the best part! Enjoy the break girl;)!

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  66. oh my word. my good word. please do come to ATL and make me one now! i only eat my dad's cheesecake, but girlfriend you won me here!

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  67. Wow! In love with your cheesecake! Your photos are very beautiful!

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  68. Beautiful cheesecake! Hope you enjoy your vacation.

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  69. What a gorgeous cheesecake! The white chocolate and cherries sound like an ideal combination.

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  70. Enjoy your break Dawn and I'll just drool and enjoy your your fabulous looking cheesecake!

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  71. I really wish I was eating a piece of this cheesecake right now!

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  72. serendipity - i just made something similar not a week ago. i like my crust to run all the way to the top around the cake. not too thick, but i have to push it up the wall to the very top. i also have a meyer lemon in mine, and less chocolate. otherwise, pretty much the same stuff. i freely attest this is my fave cheesecake to date! :)

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  73. I love a good cheesecake & this one looks fabulous! Wow, the topping looks like I'd have a difficult time not just spooning off onto the plate. Beautiful!

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  74. That looks absolutely delicious. great photos too

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  75. what a beautiful shot. amaizing cheesecake.the crust looks so yummy.

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  76. Ooo this looks delicious! Yum!

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  77. Waw, Dawn! Your white cheesecake with the cherries looks fenolmenal, incredible & ooh so mighty tasty!

    Enjoy your break! Happy times!

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  78. I hope your vacation is WONDERFUL : )
    I went to visit a blogging friend last night and she said 'i have been too busy living this summer to blog' and I thought that was perfect. Living is always better than blogging. Much, much better : )

    The cheesecake sounds DELICIOUS!

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  79. Beautiful cheesecake...love it with cherries on it :-) Great pictures!

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  80. I would love nothing more than to have a giant slice of this straight from the fridge! Divine.

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  81. Wowsers! How do you stay so skinny eating all these scrumptious goodies on your blog! Wish I were your neighbor....Mmmm! xo

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  82. that is a gigantor cheesecake! awesome!

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  83. This cheesecake will be mine! Oh, okay, I suppose I should share! lol
    Love this cake...got to break in my new springform pan and this is a great place to start.

    Hope you've enjoyed your time off!
    jessyburke88@gmail.com

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  84. Have a great vacation hon.

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  85. I love white chocolate and really love cheesecake. This looks amazing. Excuse my drooling.

    Plan B

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  86. This sounds AMAZING! Oh yum!

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  87. this just looks heavenly!

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  88. Wow, it looks amazing! Thanks for sharing, I'm gonna try to make it myself!

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  89. It's in the oven now! I haven't baked a cheesecake in years, we've opted for the quickie varieties or just splurged on a slice now & then when eating out. But no more! Now that I've reacquainted myself with the cheesecake process I am feeling confident. Thanks Dawn for yet another inspiring and delicious recipe. You ROCK!

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