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.