Monday, December 07, 2009

Birthday (Cheese)cake

It is V's birthday today and since the birthday boy has a massive sweet tooth, the occasion calls for a homemade cake!

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.


  1. Nupur, I have never baked a chhesecake at home too! Infact just like you, I am a timid baker myself.
    The cheesecake looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing the recipe, I think I will be trying it when I feel brave.

    (and a big slice of the cheesecake for meeeeeeeeee!!)

  3. The cake looks awesome Nupur. I bet it tastes awesome too. I think swirls look very impressive both before and after baking. You are so creative.
    Happy Birthday to V!!

  4. Many Many Happy returns of the day to V. Those swirls look very good, not like a novice at all, Good job Nupur. I'm like you when baking, I read the recipe at least a dozen times and run around the kitchen like a mad scientist to make sure that I do everything right..

  5. I baked cheesecake for the first time 2 weeks back.. the process is daunting but when u look at the end product, one feels so happy... that's an awesome cheesecake.. my favourite from the cheesecake factory is the raspberry swirl cheesecake :)

  6. Ooh - raspberry, chocolate, and cream cheese - you can't go wrong with that combination! Happy birthday, V!

  7. OMG- this cake looks so yummy. I thought I was over cheesecake- but your pictures have gotten me craving a piece(more than a piece actually). The swirls in the first pic look soo pretty- though I kinda like how they look after the cake was baked too..:)

    Happy Birthday to V!!

  8. Happy Birthday to V!!!
    Impressive cake indeed! A very beautiful cake Nupur. Hats off. :)

  9. You should try wrapping the springform pan from the outside in heavy duty versus lining it from the side. That way you will have no water seeping and a smooth straight edge. Works for me every single time!

  10. OMG you ARE a daring baker Nupur. I have never seen a cheesecake with such beautiful swirls.

    Happy B'day to V. What a lucky b'day boy he is

  11. Oh my, what a pretty cheesecake! As I was reading the cake list, I was hoping you'd share recipe for either the tiramisu cake or the raspberry cake.

    Happy birthday to V!


    P.S.: Your yoghurt-mayo dressing is a hit at home - I made it 2 days in a row and now have to make a fresh batch of mayo as I've used up all of the previous batch.

  12. Happy Birthday to V !!!
    I loved these swirls looks beautiful :)
    So was the menu Indo chinese as last time ;)

  13. My friends still rave about this cheesecake...I might make it agan for Xmas. So glad you liked the recipe, your cheesecake looks great!

  14. happy birthday (belated) to V... the cheesecake looks so good... i wouldnt have noticed the cracks if you didnt mention them....and am very impressed with the swirls...

  15. Looks wonderful and perfect...send me one piece want to eat:-)

  16. Happy birthday to him...
    Lovely cheesy cheesy cheese to hv a slice in it..

  17. I am so impressed! And I think the "after" shot is just as beautiful.

    I can totally relate to baking fears. I am a fearful baker, but a good savory cook. However, at the special request of a dear friend for his 50th birthday, I baked a chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting this weekend. Yowza! Serious frosting anxiety. It looked a bit lop-sided (hey - it's home-made!) but tasted great. Phew!

  18. Such lovely swirls! I've yet to make a cheesecake with a pretty top, but now I'm inspired to keep trying. Happy birthday to V, too!

  19. Congratulations! That looks marvellous...I think it looks gorgeous after baking too.

  20. Wishing V a Very Happy Birthday!!!!

    Your cake looks delicious and so pretty with the beautiful swirls.......awesome.......

    Best Wishes for your 40 receipes project.......


  21. Happy Birthday V!

    And great cake Nupur... Cheesecake is a little scary

  22. And yaa.. can u post a pic of a sliceif it is not too much trouble? (and if theres any left still :)) I want to see how the swirls look... thanks!

  23. AWESOME! Those swirls are so pretty. Nupur I bet V is thrilled. Happy Birthday to him!

  24. Happy birthday to V ! Does he know how lucky he is - what an amazing cake that is !! I love the swirls even after its baked - they look so pretty...I just read on your posts on the little corks - they looks so great - you are amazingly creative !!

  25. Mona- Once you have the ingredients and equipment organized, it is easier than many other recipes we make on a regular basis- give it a shot!

    Manasi- Thank you my dear :) that recipe is totally worth bookmarking.

    Apporva- The swirls are very easy to make, they look quite fancy with minimal effort :)

    Pavani- LOL That's exactly how I was, running around frantically trying to make sure that I did not forget a crucial ingredient or step!

    Indhu- I've never been to the cheesecake factory but that's good to know!

    Chaitanya- No, you really can't go wrong with that combo, it worked like a dream :)

    Lavanya- Oh it will be a happy day when I am over cheesecake (from the "moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips perspective") :D

    Sonia- Thank you!

    Anonymous- Thanks, I'll try that next time since I am now more confident that the crust won't let leaks through. I did not mind the jagged edge on this one too much though.

    Bong Mom- Yeah, he's lucky but I made him share the cheesecake ;)

    Mamatha- So your tastes lean to the same flavors?! The dressing is a hit here as well, but unlike you I take the lazy route and use jarred mayo :)

    Bharti- Thank you!

    Kanchan- LOL No, this time I made simple rajma-chawal, was too tired from cheesecake making to make any kind of feast!

    Rita- Thank you so very much for sharing the recipe. This one is a keeper! Your detailed notes were very helpful for the first-time cheesecake baker.

    arundati- Once I tasted the cheesecake, I did not care about the swirls or the cracks ;)

    Rekha shoban and Prathibha- Thanks

    Diane- That's exactly how I feel, I am always much more confident about savory stove-top cooking. I think homely frosted cakes represent so much love and care!

    Xiaolu- The swirls are ridiculously easy to make! Now I am looking for more recipes that need swirls ;)

    Reva Garde- Thanks :)

    Rujuta- Thanks :)

    Cooking Foodie- I'm afraid the cake was polished off to the last crumb within hours of cutting it, so I have no slice to show you.

    Anjali- Oh yes, he was pretty thrilled with how it turned out!

    Arch- Thank you, the corks have been given off to my co-workers :)

  26. Impressive Nupur! I feel sorry for your local bakery. He might be losing some of his customers too if you wanted to try you hand at being a baker :)

  27. Happy belated birthday to my fellow seggie. He shares his bithday with my mom and almost with me. Mine is today and mom made my favorite cheddar cheese parotha. I am sure like me V feels so special and lucky to be pampered in such foodie sort of way.
    The cheese cake looks amazing but I liked most was the process you two went through of lists and short listings and agonizing on the birthday treat!

  28. Lovely cheesecake Nupur! And happy Birthday to V! My first time posting a comment here though I've been an ardent follower of your blog for a while now.

    P.S. My disposable roasting pan was also purchased for my first cheesecake attempt and has now seen me through many more cheesecakes, "Bhappa Doi's" (Bengali cheesecake) and flans:)

  29. Havent read the other comments (am in a rush of sorts) but am sure I'm echoing others when i say that your swirls look better on the baked cheesecake! Yumyumyum! Lucky V! :)

  30. Gosh looks amazing and sinful :) very very well done.
    what is nearest substitute for graham's crackers? I don't I can get them my place.

  31. Oh lady what a sinful indulgence.

  32. Happy B'day to V! This is one lovely cake, Nupur! And those swirls, they totally set my heart aflutter! BEAUTIFUL!

  33. Belated happy birthday to V. I am sure he must be very happy for such a delightful treat.
    Love those swirls. They are very neat.

  34. Nupur,
    The cheesecake looks so fantastic, you are such a cooking diva! I never knew you could make a cheesecake at home, now I know! Belated wishes to V! He sure is a lucky guy.

  35. indosungod- LOL sweets I might make, but the artisan bread in my local bakery is to die for, so I'll forever be their customer for that alone!

    Punita- Happy Birthday to you! Cheddar cheese parotha sounds divine and perfectly celebratory. I hope you had a wonderful day.

    Jyoti- Ooh, I'll have to look up how bhappa dois are made. Yes, I'll be using my roasting pan for future flans as well!

    Shyam- I'm glad you think so :)

    BlueMist- I don't know what kind of cookies/crackers are available where you live, so I'm afraid I don't know what you could use as a substitute.

    Sreelu- Yes, luckily I got only a tiny slice ;) so it was not all that sinful!

    musical- Thank you, my dear!

    Shilpa- Yes, now he is asking for cheesecakes all the time ;)

  36. Namita- Not only can you make cheesecakes at home, but it is totally easy and do-able with a bit of planning! I'm now excited to try all the tempting cheesecake recipes out there :)

  37. this is my fave kind of cake but never tried it at home!

  38. happy birthday to V.

    I think the final swirls look good too :)

  39. Hey nupur,

    Has anyone ever told you are the best!!! Just incredible. I usually try a lot of your recipes the moment it exites me. I am also a banana bread,muffin baker. Will need to summon a lot of courage before I attempt this one:)


  40. Happy birthday to V (belated!) And you are married to a fellow Saggitarius, that is just so great!

  41. Belated bday wishes to V. Looks fabulous to me Nupur!Great job.

  42. Nupur, I use the " Bhapa Doi" recipe from here:

    Bhapa Doi literally means steamed yogurt. Its really an Indian Cheesecake! Turns out great every time and the taste is quite similar to Shrikhand. Bake it small ramekins and it makes quite an impression at any gathering.

  43. belated happy birthday to V. The cheesecake looks fantastic. Never tried making it at home. Maybe for Aswin's next birthday. This year I made orange and almond cake.

  44. What a beauty!! You make the entire cheesecake-making process sound so simple :)
    Belated b'day wishes to V..

  45. I was planning to make the Tres Leches cake for my sis's b'day. After looking at your cheesecake, I can't decide which one to make now...will definitely try it some time.

  46. Nags- It is easy enough if you do decide to try it.

    Raaga- Thank you :)

    Priya- LOL why, thank you! Don't worry, you need only a small amount of courage to make a success of this one.

    Kalyn- My circle of family and friends is simply crawling with Saggitarians- what is it with you people?! :D

    Madhuli- Thank you so much!

    Jyoti- Thanks for the link; it looks just terrific. I'll have to try this soon.

    Mandira- Ooh, orange and almond cake sounds so good, I love both those flavors.

    Preeti- That's because it IS simple :)

    Mekhala Nag- Ah, tres leche cake is another one that is on my must-bake-someday list!

  47. wow, isn't it gorgeous, belated happy birthday to V!, i am definitely going to try this one, BM'ed it

  48. it looks pretty as a postcard!..i just LOVE probably its biggest living fan..but sadly we dont get creamcheese whr i live so i have to make do with subs...paneer.

  49. Hi Nupur,
    What a wonderful birthday cake. Great job! I have been reading ur blog for a while now, but never posted a comment. I tried out The pita pocket, suggested in ur st louis east, I happen to be in St louis too. Just love all your recipes and have tried a few, pavbhaji was the recent one. Keep up the good work, We r here reading!!

  50. I love the swirl and I bet the cheesecake tasted fantastic with all the raspberry - just the thing to celebrate a birthday

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