1) Bake the graham cracker crust only to drop the whole springboard pan when transferring from one table to another. A bigger no is dropping it all over your fleece and in your slippers.
2) Overbeat the cream cheese. When it’s smooth, it’s done. Stop watching the pretty ribbons form.
3) Attempt a water bath by pouring the water from a boiling pot of water. Note to self, boil the water in a kettle and then pour out the water from the nozzle. If you do the former, you’ll end up doing what we did- pouring the boiling hot water onto the cheesecake.
4) Don’t attempt to spoon the boiling water out of the cheesecake. Just slide it back into the oven, take off your gloves, and lay your palms flat against each other pointing upwards. Then proceed to pray that the water evaporates (it does).
5) Pray that the cheesecake doesn’t crack because that’s what happened to us. Cracking is an understatement; it looked like the parting of the Red Sea in five different areas.
6) Check the temperature at which the cheesecake is suppose to bake at. Don’t assume its at the same temperature that you bake the graham cracker crust at because you’ll overshoot by 50 degrees and end up with burnt edges on the surface of the cheesecake.
The cheesecake was supposed to look like this:
Instead, it looked like this…
At least it still tasted good…
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
From Not So Humble Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 cup (5oz) finely ground graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Topping for Swirl
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 packages (32 ounces total) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- Triple Sec liquor (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Using a food processor, grind up the graham crackers until they’re powdery-fine. You could also use your hands although this might take awhile. Another option is to seal the crackers up in a zip lock bag and pound them with a mallet. Then, melt butter in the microwave and drizzle over the graham crackers. Mix it with a fork until it clumps up and then spread evenly on the springboard pan. Bake the crust until set, roughly 10 minutes and then allow it to cool on a wire rack.
Reduce your oven’s temperature to 325°F.
Purée the raspberries in a blender and add 2 tablespoons of sugar. You can choose to keep the seeds or strain them. Then, pour into a small sauce pan and bring the mixture to a bare simmer over medium low heat. Let it thicken a bit for 1-2 minutes and set aside to cool.
In a giant bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed with an electric mixture until smooth and fluffy (roughly 5 minutes). Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and add the 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a slow steady stream. Beat in the salt and vanilla and then on low speed, beat in the eggs, one at at time. Adding the next after the first has been incorporated. Take care not to over mix as the eggs can trap air in the batter and this leads to all sorts of cheesecake trouble. At this point, we tasted the batter and thought that it could use a bit of some orange liquor, aka Triple Sec.
Once you’ve mixed in the last egg, pour the batter into your prepared crust. Dot the top of the batter with drops of the raspberry sauce and with a knife or wooden skewer, swirl the surface of the batter to create the marbled effect. We used a chopstick which was a bad idea in retrospect because it thinned out all that raspberry. We’ll probably use a knife next time.
Bake in the oven for approximately 60-65 minutes or until the middle stops jiggling. Set on a wire rack to cool for a couple of hours. Then chill in the fridge over night.