Happy almost Valentine’s Day!
Before Salt Cellar and Sugar Pot, back in the days of culinary school, Brit had started a side business making cakes. Her cheesecake was one of her most requested recipes. People would come from all over and ask her “Brit, may I have your cheesecake recipe? I must have it. I swear I will tell no one!” But Brit would refuse. This was her money maker. Her culinary baby. She had spent many, many hours perfecting it!
As Brit was cooking her famous cheesecake in the kitchen the other day, Kim could sense a deep personal struggle. Brit would intermittently murmur to herself, “I don’t know if I want to give it up!”, as she mixed her cream cheese. Flashing through her head, as she put her secret cheesecake recipe in its last private bath of water; she reminisced the memory of receiving an order for 21 cheesecakes for a wedding one year. Ah, the memories.
So here we are, to post her pride and joy or to not post it? That is the question. Brit is struggling, even up till now I’m not even sure if she is going to do it. I guess if you scroll down and see no recipe, you have your answer.
So lets see…
8.5 ounces crushed graham crackers (2 packages)
6 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
(4) 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup sugar + 1 Tbsp sugar (for crust)
Blackberry Cream Cheese Sauce Ingredients:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/8 cup buttermilk
1 cup blackberries
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp sugar Raspberries and Blackberries for topping
Chocolate Drizzle Ingredients:
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp avocado oil or vegetable oil, additional oil may be needed to get smooth consistency
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Coarsely crush the graham crackers in a food processor. Place crushed graham crackers into a medium bowl and stir in sugar, then add in cold butter. With gloved hands work the butter into the crushed graham crackers until you have a crumble.
- Press the crumble into the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan and halfway up the side of the pan. You can press the crust flat with your hands or a measuring cup. (As shown below)
- Bake for 10 minutes (after 10 minutes remove from oven and let cool).
- While crust is baking, in a large bowl whip the 4 packages of cream cheese with a hand held mixer. Add sugar and mix again completely. Add vanilla and lemon juice, mix until combined. Add one egg at a time, mix thoroughly between each egg added. Cheesecake filling should be smooth. Cream cheese should not be lumpy.
- Add cheesecake mixture to cooled graham cracker crust. Pour the mixture into the center of the crust and let it flow out to the side of the crust. With a spatula smooth cheesecake filling evenly into the crust. Tap the springform pan against the counter to work up any air bubbles that might be trapped.
Now We Cook! - Cooking the Cheesecake (Tips and Tricks)
- Wrap the outside of the springform pan in a single large piece of foil. The foil must be large enough to cover the bottom of the pan, as well as extend up the sides to prevent water from getting into the pan. There should be no tears in the foil.
- Place the springform pan (with foil) in a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with hot water till it reaches halfway up the side of the springform pan.
- Carefully place the roasting pan into the oven. Take care not to slosh the water around in the pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Center of the cheesecake should still jiggle, while the outer edges should not move when you tap the side of the pan.
- Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven.
- With hot pads pull the springform pan out of the roasting pan. While holding onto the springform pan remove the foil from the springform pan over the roasting pan in case water made its way into the foil.
- Place the springform pan on cooling rack. Let the cheesecake cool for 10 minutes. Then run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to keep the cheesecake from sticking to the pan while it cools. This will help prevent the cheesecake from pulling and cracking while cooling. Continue to let cool for an additional 1 hour before placing in refrigerator.
- Refrigerate overnight. The jiggly center will firm up during this time.
Blackberry Cream Cheese Sauce
- While cheesecake is cooking, in a medium bowl mix together cream cheese and buttermilk. Once mixed thoroughly add powdered sugar, and mix again till combined. Set Aside.
- Wash your blackberries, then place them in a saucepan along with water and sugar on low heat. Cook till blackberries have reduced, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl. Once blackberries have reduced, pour the reduced blackberries into the fine mesh sieve and then push the blackberries down into the sieve with a spoon or a spatula. The juice from the blackberries will go into the bowl.
- Let the blackberry juice cool for two minutes then pour into the cream cheese mixture and mix together.
- Place in refrigerator overnight.
Make The Chocolate Drizzle
- The next day, after your cheesecake has set overnight, you can make the chocolate drizzle.
- Combine chocolate chips and 2 Tbsp of avocado oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 10 second increments at 40% power. After each 10 seconds check on chocolate and stir. Place in the microwave again and repeat until chocolate is of a smooth consistency and will easily drizzle off of your spoon. Chocolate should not be chunky. Add additional oil to get a smooth consistency if needed.
- Note: different types of chocolates melt differently at different temps. You must check on the melting process of your chocolate in small time increments. Do not overheat your chocolate as it will cause it to be hard and lumpy. Also prevent any water from coming in contact with your chocolate as it will cause it to seize.
- Transfer the smooth chocolate into a disposable piping bag (a ziplock bag can be used).
- Remove cheesecake from refrigerator and remove the ring from the springform pan.
- Take your chocolate drizzle and snip a small piece off the end of your disposable piping bag to allow the chocolate to come out. Pipe the chocolate around the edge of the cheesecake, allowing the chocolate to run down the side. This chocolate will harden and will create a barrier to keep the blackberry cream cheese sauce from flowing over the edge of the cheesecake.
- Once the chocolate has hardened, pour the blackberry cream cheese sauce onto the top of the cheesecake till it is flush with the edge of the chocolate.
- Layer with berries around the edge of the cheesecake.