Thursday, April 28, 2011

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake with Chocolate Cookie Crust

I made this cheesecake for Easter (along with a plethora of other desserts).  I’d have to say this was one of the prettiest looking desserts I’ve made and I was happy with how it turned out.  I want to make it again soon.  We had some family over for dessert on Easter and the cheesecake was the first to go and it went fast. 

DSCF4875

I had never tried to swirl all pretty like this before and I was really happy with it, especially because I made the raspberry puree on my own, instead of using preserves as the recipe I sort of followed suggested.  I added half the cheesecake mixture to the prebaked chocolate (animal crackers) crust, then swirled some puree in the middle.

DSCF4850After adding the rest of the cheesecake mixture to the top, I put the remaining puree in a piping bag with a small tip, I carefully dripped dots of puree over the top.  Most of the dots of puree were about the size of a dime.  I then took a toothpick and ran it around the puree one time, which made a fun heart-shaped swirl.  I didn’t quite use up all the puree, and next time will make sure I put more in the center.  There was probably about 1/4 cup of puree left.  I think even a swirl like what I did in the center of the cheesecake layer would be pretty on top, too.   Kevin and I both thought the chocolate crust was a little thick and next time I make this, we both agreed the traditional graham cracker crust would be good, though I’m glad I tried the chocolate crust and I wouldn’t rule it out another time. 

I made the chocolate cookie crust one other time recently with the Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie I made a few weeks ago.  I like the chocolate animal crackers as they aren’t too sweet and a big bag of them is only about $2.   

This is not your traditional, rich, (fattening) cheesecake, it’s lighter and much easier to make.  And sometimes, those kind of cheesecakes are just fine—and good!  I adapted this from a recipe I found on the Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk website.

DSCF4878 

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake with Chocolate Cookie Crust, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

8 ounces (1 pkg.)  1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened (you can use regular, too)

14 ounces (1 can) fat free Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (you can use regular, too)

1 large egg

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Prepared pie crust:

2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (4-5 cups whole cookies)  I used chocolate animal crackers

1/4 cup dark brown sugar (light is fine, too)

6 tablespoons Bestlife butter, melted 

Raspberry puree:

2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare cookie crust by pulsing cookies in a food processor until they are finely ground crumbs.  Add the brown sugar and pulse again.  Pour in the melted butter and pulse until all the crumbs are wet.  Press into an 8 inch springform pan or a deep dish pie plate.  Decide on how thick you want the crust, you may not need all of the mixture.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Cool.  Reset the oven to 300 degrees.

While the crust is cooling, clean out the food processor bowl, pulse the cream cheese in it until smooth.  Add the condensed milk and pulse again until smooth.  Scrape sides of bowl.  Add the egg and lemon juice and continue pulsing in the food processor until well combined and smooth.  Pour half the cream cheese mixture into the cooled crust.  Pour the rest into another medium sized bowl and set aside.  Clean the food processor bowl again (or use a blender for the raspberry puree).

Puree the thawed raspberries with the sugar and lemon juice.  Strain them in a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.  You’ll get somewhere between 2/3 cup and 1 cup of puree.  Spoon all but 1/4 cup of puree over the cream cheese mixture that is already in the crust.  Swirl it around with a knife.  Evenly pour the remaining cream cheese mixture over the raspberry swirl.  Put the remaining 1/4 cup puree in a piping bag fitted with a small roun tip (or a plastic zip top sandwich bag with a little corner snipped off).  Dot the top of the cream cheese mixture with the puree.  Run a tooth pick around the dots of puree to swirl them.

Bake in 300 degree oven for 50 minutes until the cheesecake is set.  Cool in pan on wire rack until room temperature.  Chill the cheesecake for a couple hours.  Remove from fridge for at least 15 minutes before serving. 

DSCF4879 Little bit of Easter egg coloring last Saturday---

DSCF4860

Little bit of the Easter loot.

DSCF4862  

And look at this fish tank!  Kevin has worked long and hard on this and it’s finally up and running.  He doesn’t have all the fish we’ll eventually get in there as well as more coral and anemone, but it’s running and the fish that are in there are happy!

DSCF4906

24 comments:

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

wow what a beautiful cheesecake and love the fish tank

Lisa said...

Those hearts on your cheesecake are so pretty and I love that raspberry chocolate combo.

Amanda said...

Oh Katrina I LOVE the hearts! Not only do the flavors sound amazing, but this looks so very pretty!

Jennifurla said...

you did so great with the cheesecake pattern, I LOVe it. Great tank too. I kinda want one myself.

Katrina said...

I didn't really intend to make hearts or realize that was what was about to happen, but it certainly is nice, huh. Perfect for V-day next year, but I think it looks great for any occasions.
Thanks, all.
Jennifurla--just know that tank IS A LOT of work for my husband (I just sit back and admire and bake cookies. ;) AND it aren't cheap!!! whew. ;)

Lana said...

Love this cheesecake, Katrina! So pretty and the flavors are one of my favorite combinations. Gotta give this one a try for sure.

Maria said...

Such a pretty cheesecake!

briarrose said...

Beautiful job. I love the design and the flavor looks so tempting.

Twila said...

Love the top of your cheesecake! I have a raspberry white chocolate one that we really like, and I'd like to try that swirl on top, but want to make sure I understand how you did it. Do you put the toothpick in the white part, right outside of the the raspberry part, or right in the raspberry circle and swirl. I'm afraid mine will just look like swirled circles!

Katrina said...

Twila--I just dragged the toothpick around the whole circle of dots without lifting it for each circle. Does that make sense? I started with the toothpick in the middle of one of the raspberry dots. Hope that helped.

The Addicted Baker said...

Beautiful!

natalia said...

Ciao Katrina, you cheese cake sounds and looks so good I want to make it now ! I love your kids shots too . It looks as if they had lots of fun !

Kerstin said...

Those hearts on top are so pretty - love it!

And what a cool fish tank, I'm jealous!

Emily said...

That fish tank is awesome!

Aww I love reading about your family! You guys are so perfect.

Raspberry cheesecake is the only kind I like. Did you know that? This looks goooood!

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

You've got the swirl thing down. Very cool. Glad you told us how to do that. I got a laugh from your comment, "the recipe I sort followed."

Julie said...

That really did turn out SO pretty! I'm sure it's delicious too :)

Baking Ribbons said...

What a beautiful and delicious looking cheesecake-like a work of an artiste!

Megan said...

Your cheesecake turned out awesome! I love the pretty swirls. You also have a pretty cool fish tank. I'd be extremely happy if I were your fish.

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food said...

The combination of flavors you've used in this cheese cake looks simply out of this world, Katrina! And oh heavens is it pretty with those glowing, perfect red hearts and swirls.

Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! said...

Love how your swirls look like hearts. This would be a good recipe for Valentine's Day, too.

spike. said...

beautiful design for the cheesecake- perfect for easter!

Leslie said...

Oh oh..love love love the new fish tank!!!
Such a pretty cake..you should be proud!

Natalie said...

your swirl is PERFECT!

Shelby said...

It is so pretty! I actually saw a recipe that had the heart swirls on it today in the Fine Cooking magazine. My first thought was I had to make it for a special occasion it was so pretty!