I made this cake for my Mother’s birthday by combining three of my favourite things: cheesecake, chocolate and raspberries. The basic recipe for the cheesecake is my Mom’s: she’s been making it since I was a child and I’ve always loved it. I changed it up a little bit when I started making it a few years ago: instead of the usual graham crust, I make mine a bit spicier with ginger snaps, cinnamon and nutmeg. I decided to add fresh fruit to the cake because it’s summer and it seemed appropriate, but you could just as easily switch it up or omit the fruit all together (the way my Mom normally makes it). The final touch is the chocolate ripple, it’s a very easy technique that I’ve been helping with since I was little but it makes your cheesecake look beautiful and taste delicious.
2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs (I like ShaSha Co. brand cookies when I can’t find a traditional Swedish brand)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
3 packages of Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp almond essence
3/4 pint raspberries
2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
Stove safe bowl
Spring form pan
First, pulse your cookies in the food processor until they are fine crumbs. If you don’t have a processor, you can always place the cookies in a ziploc bag and roll over them with a heavy rolling pin. Mix your cookie crumbs in a bowl with the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly combined then press into your spring form pan. Refrigerate while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
Next, beat the cream cheese until smooth then add your sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond. Continue to beat until there are no lumps, scraping the sides occasionally.
Rinse your raspberries and carefully fold them into your cake mixture.
Pour your cheese cake filling over your prepared crust and set aside. Preheat your oven to 325 F. Melt your chocolate over a bain marie (half fill your sauce pan with water and bring to a boil with the stove safe bowl on top). Once your chocolate is melted and silky, drizzle over your cheesecake.
Using a butter knife, carefully draw an abstract design through the chocolate and cake: as much or as little as you’d like. The key to a beautiful cake is a light hand; you want to just barely break the surface of your cake with the tip of your knife. Once your design is finished, place your spring form on a baking tray to catch any cake drippings.
Bake your cake for 70-75 minutes until firm, then cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.