White Chocolate Heart Cheesecake

Inspired by a photo from Cooking Classy and always in search of an improved cheesecake recipe, I put together the following recipe with beautiful and delicious results.

Servings: 16 slices

6 oz. raspberries
5 Tbsp. butter, additional for greasing the pan
1-1/2 lbs. cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream

1-1/4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
25 Oreo cookies
1/8 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. white chocolate

Make cookie crust
Melt 5 Tbsp. butter and set aside. Use additional butter to grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan and place pan in the refrigerator while making the crust. Separate the Oreo cookies and scrap off the white icing filling, discard the filling. Place the cookies in a large, sealed Ziplock bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the cookies to fine crumbs, should yield approximately 1-1/2 cups crumbs. Combine cookie crumbs, 1/4 granulated sugar, salt, and melted butter in a small bowl and mix to combine. Pour cookie mixture into the chilled greased pan. Press crumbs into the bottom and half-way up the sides of the pan. Cover the outside of the pan with two layers of aluminum foil in preparation for the water bath during baking. Place the pan in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the cheesecake.

Make raspberry sauce
Dissolve 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar and cornstarch in 1/3 cup water in a small pot. Add raspberries to the pot and heat over medium heat, bringing to a boil and reduce heat. Stir constantly while mixture simmers and thickens, approximately five minutes. Push raspberry sauce through a fine sieve and discard seeds. Set mixture aside to cool.

Make cheesecake filling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees-F. Beat cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Reduce mixer speed to low and add melted chocolate, mixing for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup granulated sugar and beat mixture for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each eggs. Add vanilla, heavy cream, lemon zest, and sour cream, and mix on low until incorporate.

Assemble cake and bake
Transfer 2 Tbsp. of raspberry sauce to a container that can be used to drop raspberry sauce on top of cake such as a medicine dropper or frosting decorator and set aside. Place spring form pan in a roasting pan and start a kettle of water to boil on the stove. Pour one-third of cream cheese filling into the filled cookie crust. Pour remaining raspberry mixture on top of cream cheese layer. Pour another one-third of cream cheese filling top of raspberry layer. Use a toothpick to swirl the mixtures together. Carefully pour the final one-third of cream cheese filling to completely cover the raspberry mixture so the top of the cake is cream cheese only. Use the raspberry sauce set aside for decoration to drop circles on top of the cake in a spiral, starting in the center and gradually increasing or decreasing the size of the circles as desired. Use a clean toothpick and start just above the the circle and drag through the center of the circles in a continuous line through the spiral. Transfer roasting pan to the preheated oven and carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan for the water bath.

Bake for 60 minutes or until sides are set and center jiggles slightly. Turn off oven and prop oven door open with a long-handled spoon. Leave cake in the oven for an additional 60 minutes. Transfer cake to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature in the pan, about 2 hours.

Chill and serve
Cover cake with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to set overnight. When ready to serve, slice and serve immediately. Store cake in the refrigerator.

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