Do you like cheesecake? I tend to associate cheesecake with North America and especially with the New York style. So, it was with a little surprise that I learn that the joy of making cheesecake was already popular among the ancient Greeks, way before the Romans adopt this dish. Seriously, I can’t stop to be amazed by the Greek civilization. It seems they just ‘been there, done that’ all the time. Isn’t that incredible? I think I need to dig some more on the Greek cuisine, to go beyond Greek salad, baklava or yogurt. Maybe I should start researching about Aegimus and the book on the art of making cheesecakes.
In the meantime, I dig around my kitchen and try this white chocolate cheesecake that came out just like you see in the picture above in that pretty neutral color. I could paint my walls in this color or, better, I could add this name to a paint color chart. “I want that soft white chocolate cheesecake color for my kitchen please.” Oh yes, I would remind this cheesecake forever!
Soft and creamy are the words. Not only this cheesecake is the best cheesecake in white color I ever made (I have to exclude some with dark chocolate and save it for a later oh-so-delicious-post), but the sea salt caramel topping is the perfect pairing. I’m in love with caramel with salt and the way it makes its flavor overload.
Hum, apologies from moving subject from Greek cuisine to paint colors. I know, it’s too weird, who would think about that?
Now, if you excuse me I have just one word for this recipe: heavenly!The Family Kitchen)
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 – 35 minutes Serves 14
To make the crust: 3/4 cup Maria cookies (or graham cracker) 1/2 cup walnuts 3 tbsp. butter 1 tsp cocoa powder
To make the filling: 8 oz. white chocolate chips 1 1/2 lb (three 8 oz/250 g packages) cream cheese 1 cup sugar 3 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour 1 tsp. almond extract
3 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To make the crust, combine the Maria cookies with the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. Add the butter and cocoa powder and pulse again until all well mixed. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 10 Inch Springform Pan that previously has been lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with butter. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set it aside. Turn the oven up to 425°F. Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave (in 30 second intervals until well melted; this prevents the chocolate to get burned). Set aside to cool slightly.
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, flour and vanilla and beat it again, just until it’s smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Beat in the melted chocolate. Pour the batter over the crust.
Bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 250°F and continue to bake for another 30-35 minutes. You can tell when the cheesecake is done when it’s barely firm around the edges and the center is just slightly jiggly. It will firm up as it cools. Immediately run a thin knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan, but allow it to cool completely and then refrigerate it for at least an hour before you remove the sides of the springform pan. Slice with a sharp knife dipped in hot water, then wiped dry before each slice.
Sea Salt Caramel
1 cup of brown sugar 1/3 cups whipping cream 1/4 cups unsalted butter 1/2 tsp almond extract 1/4 tsp sea salt
In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar, whipping cream and butter to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in almond extract and sea salt. Let it cool and serve on top of the cheesecake.