Okay, so first of all: I'm Sorry. I know, I know. These are the Worst Photos Ever. But here's the thing. I would like nothing better than to spend all my time making beautiful, photogenic desserts, and taking photos of them with various gorgeous props, from several angles, under ideal light conditions. While sipping a glass of Dom Perignon, and laughing gaily at the incredibly witty remarks being made by the terribly efficient person who is cleaning my house. For free.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, I actually put the finishing touches on this cheesecake five minutes before leaving the house to take it to a friend's house for dinner, after having spent all afternoon at my daughter's friend's sixth birthday party, after having spent all morning making a stuffed elephant for said daughter's friend's present. Yeah.... Gorgeous, well-thought-out photography is not something I often get a chance to do, especially for what I like to call "right-now" desserts. Cookies I can keep for a few days until I have a chance to take a few snaps of them. Cheesecakes not so much.
So anyway. When The Hungry Australian announced the theme of this month's Sweet Adventures Blog Hop - "Berry Nice To Meet You!" - I was thrilled. I love berries, and I especially love raspberries. Plus I'd been wanting to make a cheesecake for ages. There are an awful lot of raspberry cheesecake recipes about, but strangely enough, I find that most of them are actually plain cheesecake recipes with a raspberry puree swirl. And there's nothing at all wrong with that, but it just wasn't what I had envisioned. I wanted my cheesecake to have a dark chocolate base, a contrasting pretty pink filling, and a sweet raspberry tang all the way through. And it did!
370g plain chocolate-flavoured biscuits (eg Chocolate Ripple)
120g butter, melted
3 teaspoons powdered gelatine
500g cream cheese
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp icing sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp powdered gelatine
First, line a 20cm diameter springform cake tin with plastic wrap (this makes it easier to get out later).
To make the base: Process the biscuits in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and blitz again briefly until combined. Press the mixture onto the base and sides of the prepared tin, and refrigerate one hour.
To make the filling: Heat the 2 cups of raspberries in a saucepan until they boil, then press them through a sieve to remove all the seeds. Set aside. Mix the gelatine into the water in a heatproof cup or bowl. Stir over a small saucepan over simmering water until the gelatine has dissolved. Let it cool for a minute or two and then stir in 3/4 cup of the raspberry puree.
Beat the cream cheese and caster sugar in an electric mixer until soft and smooth. Beat in the cream, then stir in the raspberry mixture. Pour filling into the crumb base and refrigerate overnight.
To make the topping: Pick over your raspberries, and set the best ones aside (about half of them). Heat the remaining raspberries with the icing sugar, then sieve them to remove the seeds. Mix the water and gelatine as was done for the filling. When dissolved, cool slightly and mix into the raspberry puree (you will probably only get about 1/4 cup). Pile the photogenic raspberries onto the top of your cheesecake, and pour the gelatine-y puree over the top. This step may be done just before serving (in which case the puree will behave a bit like a sauce), or ahead of time (in which case you will pop the cheesecake back in the fridge and the raspberry puree will set into a jelly. This also "glues" the pretty raspberries to the top, which is useful if you are transporting it to someone's house for dessert).
Be sure to check out everyone else's Berry Nice Desserts, too - just check out the links below!