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 chocolate cheesecake w/ cherries & double crust
12 oz. graham crackers, crushed fine
1 stick salted butter, melted
Tiny pinch of sea salt
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.
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.
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.