Celebrate Valentine's Day with your special someone by baking this decadent white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. This dessert is tart, creamy and absolutely delicious.
1 1/4 cups finely ground shortbread cookie crumbs
1/4 cup ground almonds (about 1 oz.)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons (or more) unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
3 (8 oz.) packages. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 pound Neufchatel cheese, room temp
5 larges eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
7 tablespoons whipping cream
8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup raspberry jam, melted and strained
toasted sliced almonds
fresh raspberries (optional)
1 (12 oz.) bag frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, pureed and strained
FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Blend in enough butter to bind crumbs. Press mixture firmly onto bottom of 10" springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
FOR FILLING: Melt chocolate in double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Using electric mixer, beat cheeses in large bowl until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in sugar, flour, vanilla and almond extract. Stir 1 cup of mixture into lukewarm white chocolate; mix into remaining filling in bowl.
Pour filling over crust. Bake until cheesecake is firm around edges but still moves slightly in center when pan is shaken, about 40 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Brush jam around sides of cheesecake. Press almonds onto sides, covering completely. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Arrange raspberries in center of cheesecake if desired. Serve with raspberry sauce.
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