Chocolate raspberry cheesecake is the perfect choice for a stay-at-home dessert-only date night. Who wants to go trekking out into the snow on Valentine’s Day, anyway?
Hello! I’m one of Camille’s new contributors. My name is Chelsey and I run Budget Girl, a blog about learning how to do stuff on your own (though admittedly, I spend most of my time talking about food). I live in Atlanta, GA with my husband and two cats. I love to knit and play board games with my husband. I’m also learning embroidery, so maybe you’ll be hearing about that in the near future. 😛 I’m so excited to be writing for Growing Up Gabel! So let’s get started. 🙂
For the first three and a half years of our marriage, my husband was in grad school and we were basically living off of his stipend. We didn’t have much money. Which means that even if we had wanted to, going out for Valentine’s Day–or any day, for that matter–wasn’t something we could really afford. So we got really good at coming up with stay-at-home date nights. (In fact, I listed them in my Date Night Jar post.)
We’re also huge homebodies. So a “dessert only” dinner with a movie is right up our alley. Of course, what I love about Valentine’s Day is all the red (my favorite color!), so I had to find a way of incorporating red into my dessert. But one day I was at Kroger and I stumbled upon this chocolate raspberry wine from ChocoVine that was just perfect. What goes better with raspberries than chocolate? I dare you to think of something.
If you can’t find the chocolate wine, raspberry liqueur (Chambord or schnapps, for example) will work, as well.
The wine has the consistency of chocolate milk–in fact, that’s kind of what it tastes like. It’s not much like a wine. So if you don’t drink, you can substitute the wine with chocolate/raspberry syrup or regular chocolate milk.
For the crust, I used chocolate raspberry Milano cookies, because I LOVE using cookies in my cheesecake crusts. I think it gives the dish more pizzazz than an ordinary graham cracker crust. Plus it’s fun to eat any cookies that are leftover. (Speaking of which, I used a whole bag of Milanos minus 2. I had to be sure they would work as a crust! 😉 )
The recipe calls for a food processor to pulse the cookies into crumbs. However, I hate digging out my food processor for small things like that, so I just used the flat side of my meat tenderizer to pulverize them. It was actually quite therapeutic.
I would recommend either making this cake a couple days ahead of time, if you’re planning it for something. It takes quite a while to make (what with all the setting it needs to do). I started it late in the evening and it took me about 2 days to finish. If I had started earlier and made the ganache while the cake was setting, I would have finished it that day. So keep that in mind.
My husband was quite impressed with this. Mostly he just kept saying, “It’s ensconced!” (Seriously, he just kept saying it over and over again.) This is one dessert where a nice presentation isn’t too difficult to achieve, but is still pretty impressive. Honestly, even I can’t believe how pretty it is. I’m terrible at decorating desserts.
But if you think it looks nice, wait until you taste it. The cheesecake is SO smooth. Everything about it is heavenly. I mean, it’s covered in chocolate, so you can probably imagine. 😛 My husband wants to take the rest to work so he can impress his co-workers, but I highly doubt it will survive this house that long.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 package chocolate raspberry Milano cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips, divided
- 2 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp chocolate raspberry wine or raspberry liquor (non-alcoholic alternatives: chocolate milk or chocolate/raspberry syrup)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup dark or milk chocolate chips
- 2 tbsps chocolate raspberry wine or raspberry liquor (non-alcoholic alternatives: chocolate milk or chocolate/raspberry syrup)
- fresh raspberries and chocolate syrup, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, pulse the Milano cookies into crumbs. Combine the cookie crumbs with the flour and graham crackers in a medium-sized bowl. Melt 1/2 cup of butter and stir it into the crumb mixture until well-combined. Spread the crumbs over the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the the crust is set. Raise the oven temperature to 375°F.
- Divide the 1 cup of chocolate chips into two 1/2 cups. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, and salt. Melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and add it to the cream cheese mixture. Add the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and raspberry liquor and blend until well-combined. Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
- Pour the cream cheese filling into the prepared crust. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 200°F. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges of the filling are set and the center jiggles a little.
- Let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes and then refrigerate it for at least 4 hours to become firm.
- In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of heavy cream to a simmer. As soon as it begins to simmer, remove it from the heat. Add the chocolate chips and raspberry liquor and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the liquid is completely smooth. Refrigerate until thickened, stirring occasionally to break up the film that will form on top as it cools. Once the ganache is thick, spread it over the cheesecake and chill until it sets.
- Drizzle with chocolate syrup, top with raspberries, and serve.