Last week, I pulled up 6 cake recipes that sounded luscious to me and asked V to choose the one he would like for his birthday cake this year. 3 were for layer cakes (one was layered with a tangy lemon curd, one had milk chocolate and peanut butter frosting and the third was inspired by tiramisu) and 3 were for cheesecake (one embedded with brownie chunks, one with a pumpkin flavor and the last with raspberry swirls). He shortlisted the tiramisu cake and the raspberry swirl cheesecake and then agonized for a couple of days over which one he liked best ("I need to sleep on this"). Decisions, decisions. Finally, the lure of creamy New York style cheesecake was too hard to resist and here we are at Recipe #25: Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake.
As regular readers of this blog know, I am not any kind of daring baker. I am an everyday baker of the banana bread variety, so this one was definitely a challenge for me. This was my first time making cheesecake, and my first attempt at stylish(!) swirls.
The cheesecake was made using this excellent recipe. The recipe comes with many helpful tips. I read them half a dozen times to minimize goof-ups. All in all, this cheesecake is very easy to make once the logistics are in place.
I decided to bake mine in a springform pan, and those are notoriously prone to leaking, so I lined it with heavy duty foil. To create the water bath, I had to run out and buy a large foil roasting pan (although it is designed to be disposable, I'll be reusing it again and again as a water bath). I'm very glad I chose the springform pan because the mixture would never have fit into one single round cake pan.
The recipe calls for 3 components- the raspberry sauce (for the swirls and to serve on the side), the chocolate graham cracker crust and the cheesecake filling. I followed the recipe very closely and got excellent results.
Here are the swirls, made by spooning blobs of raspberry sauce on the batter and then dragging a skewer around and then from edge to center. I was quite thrilled at how they looked...
...until the cheesecake was done baking and the swirls were no longer as impressive. They sank in and cracked at the surface! C'est la vie.
Looks aside, the cheesecake was fantastic. The smooth silky texture of the filling was to die for. The crust was the perfect foil to the filling and the tangy raspberries.
The local bakeries just lost a customer; from now on, I'll be making my own cheesecakes when the occasion calls for a decadent treat.