Oh dear me. If cheesecake wasn't so high in fat and calories, I could eat it every single day. Have you seen the episode of Friends where Chandler and Rachel eat cheesecake off the hallway floor because it's so wonderful? I share those sentiments with Chandler and Rachel. This is one of my favorite episodes!
It's so wonderful. But don't try and fool me into eating one of those crap-no-bake cheesecakes. I know the difference. And it's not good. Every year, around July 30, the Cheesecake Factory celebrates their anniversary with specially priced cheesecake. Last year we were in route to MI when the celebration rolled around. I tried to incorporate a Cheesecake Factory stop into our trip, but it would have been something like 2.5 hours out of our way and Lance wouldn't have it. So last year I had to miss out. But this year I got my cheesecake. Yes, I had a wedding rehearsal that I was helping with until 8 pm, but I would not be deterred. We went at 9 pm instead :) That's dedication.
My favorite kind is White Chocolate Raspberry. Hands down, wonderful. See my delight? What is your favorite? My coworker said she was going to get plain cheesecake. I think that if you are going to Cheesecake Factory, you cannot get plain. That's just wrong.
Lance went with the gooey Snickers cheesecake. I still prefer mine.
Look how pretty that pink swirl is? I could eat tons of this. It is so good.
I wonder if I could recreate ... I probably could. Here's one copycat recipe I found here. I'm not sure if I am ambitious enough to try and replicate perfection.
1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs or 20 crumbled Oreo cookies (filling removed)
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/4 cup water
4 8-ounce pkgs. cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chunks
2 ounces shaved white chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats. This will be your water bath.
2. Combine the raspberry preserves with 1/4 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 1/2 minutes on high in your microwave. Stir until smooth. Strain to remove the raspberry seeds (toss 'em out), then let the strained preserves sit to cool, then put the bowl in the refrigerator until later.
3. Measure 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (or crush 20 Oreo cookie wafers -- with the filling scraped out -- in a resealable plastic bag) into a medium bowl. Mix in 1/3 cup melted margarine. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake in the water bath. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.
4. Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs.
5. Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle 4 ounces of white chocolate chunks onto the bottom of the crust. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into the crust. Drizzle the raspberry preserves over the entire surface of the filling. Use a butter knife to swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese. Just a couple passes is fine, you don't want to blend the raspberry and cream cheese together too much. Pour the other half of the filling into the crust.
6. Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool. When the cheesecake is cool, use the foil from the bottom to cover the cheesecake and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
7. Before serving, sprinkle the entire top surface of cheesecake with 2 ounces of shaved white chocolate. To serve, slice the cheesecake into 12 equal portions. Apply a pile of canned whipped cream to the top of each slice and serve.
Makes 12 servings.