Regular readers will know that this past week was our wedding anniversary. Fourteen years since we said "I do" in a tiny English chapel in front of the wonderfully stereotypically English Father Steptoe.
Two and a half pounds of cream cheese.
A true monster.
It took much of the day to make, and truly I still didn't leave enough time for it to set up properly, which meant it was much better the next day, and the day after.
If you want to recreate this monster, here's all you need:
Raspberry and Chocolate-Topped Monster Cheesecake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tbs melted butter
5 packages of cream cheese (2 1/2 lbs), room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
3 tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
7 oz bittersweet chocolate
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tbs butter
3 6oz packages fresh raspberries
1 cup raspberry jam
Feel free to use a different fruit or topping to suit your tastes.
Wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan in foil so that it doesn't leak water. Spray the inside of the pan with nonstick spray. Place about 1-2 inches of water in a roasting pan. Put the roasting pan in the lower part of your oven and preheat to 350F. Hopefully you have brought your eggs to room temperature. If not, switch off the oven, swear a few times, and read a magazine while the eggs sit on the counter. Come back to kitchen, turn oven back on, and continue.
Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and press into the base of the springform tin.
Now to make the filling with my fab KitchenAid mixer. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and put in a large bowl with the sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until it is fluffy. Lower the speed a little and add the eggs, one at a time, and then the egg yolks. Once they are all blended, add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla.
Pour over the cheesecake base and put the tin in the water bath (roasting pan) in the oven. Leave to bake for about 90 minutes. My oven runs a little hot so it only needed the 90 but you may need up to half an hour more. It should be firm but still a little loose in the center.
Turn off the oven and leave the door open for about an hour with the cheesecake still in the water bath. This lets the cheesecake set up without cracking.
Leave the cheesecake in the fridge for an hour and then it is time to add the topping. Pulse the chocolate in a blender until it resembles crumbs. You don't have to do this but it makes the mixing quicker. Heat the cream and butter for a few minutes until the butter has melted. Remove from the stove and add the chocolate, stirring until it has melted to form a nice thick sauce. Cool for about 15 minutes before pouring on the cheesecake.
While that is cooling, remove the cheesecake from the fridge. At this point, I removed it from the springform pan, because there was no more space in the tin! Pour the cooled chocolate topping over the cheesecake, allowing it to run down the sides.
Back to the fridge for at least four more hours. I would say longer is better.
When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, mix the berries and jam and spread over the set chocolate. Remind yourself that there is time to diet next week (because let's face it, you'll be eating leftovers for a while).