Oh, the decadence of this gorgeous cheesecake was just overwhelming ! It was birthday week here at the Grey Cottage. Our lovely daughter-in-law had a birthday on Monday and Silent Bob had his birthday on Saturday. Bookend celebrations ! We opted to choose Friday evening to celebrate over a dinner here, so I was tasked with creating a super duper cake. Since traditional birthday cake is not Brianne's fave, I opted for this special cheesecake. Super rich filling that has Grand Marnier added to it, a crust that is graham cracker and ground pecans, and perfect fresh raspberries over top a thick raspberry jelly smear. It was picture perfect with a final dusting of confectioner's sugar !
How pretty is that ?! When I brought the dessert to the table, Brianne clapped her hands together and sighed ! That reaction made the frittering around with the recipe all worth it ! And SB simply hollered, "Let's cut this thing up !". That's exactly what we did ... and at the end of the evening, half of the remains went home with Brianne and Eric and half remained for SB. I, the faithful Noomer had my little sliver, savored it, and promised myself to let SB eat the rest of what was left to us ! So far, so good, but there is still a good slab of cheesecake in the fridge ! Get thee behind me, Satan !
Here's how I did it ...
Raspberry Grand Marnier Cheesecake
1/2 c. toasted pecans
1/3 c. sugar
6 tbsp. butter, melted
12 whole graham crackers
4-8oz. packages cream cheese
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. Grand Marnier liqueur
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2- 6 oz. packages of fresh raspberries or 2 and 2/3 c. fresh picked berries
1/2 c. seedless raspberry jelly
confectioner's sugar, for sprinkling garnish
Making the Dessert:
1. Break the crackers up and place them, the 1/3 cup measure of sugar, and the toasted pecans in the bucket of your food processor. Whiz to make a uniform powdery mix.
2. Add the melted butter and process until the crust is completely dampened with the butter.
3. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper cut to a neat circle with a small tab ( see the tab in the photo above ? ). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
4. Press the crust crumbs into the bottom and up the sides a bit.
5. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
6. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and begin to whip it to a creamy smoothness.
7. Scrape down the bowl and beat again until all lumps are completely gone. Then, add the sugar, cornstarch, and sour cream. Whip to a light frothy consistency.
8. Add the eggs two at a time and whip until completely incorporated.
9. Add the vanilla extract and Grand Marnier and whip to mix things completely. Pour the batter into the cooled springform pan.
10. Wrap the springform pan with heavy duty tin foil that comes up all the sides. Be very careful NOT to poke any holes !
11. Place the foiled pan into a large roasting pan and fill the with boiling water so the the water comes just halfway up the sides of the foil-lined cheesecake pan.
12. Reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees F, gently transfer the pan to the middle rack and bake for one hour.
13. At the end of the baking time, turn the oven off, but don't open the oven door. Let the cheesecake rest in the waning heat of the oven for 30 minutes, then crack the oven door and prop it open with a wooden spoon handle, allowing the cheesecake to slowly cool for 30 more minutes. This minimizes the chances of having deep cracks in the surface of the cheesecake.
14. At the end of the hour of slow cooling, remove the cheesecake from the bain Marie, take off the foil and let the cheesecake come to room temperature, then chill the cake.
15. When the cake is chilled, remove the outer ring of the spring form pan, spread 1/2 c. raspberry jelly that you have heated in a small sauce pan, over the surface of the cheesecake. Return to the fridge to chill completely.
16. When completely chilled, remove the cake from the bottom form of the springform pan. Use the small parchment paper tab to gently lift and pull the cheesecake off the bottom form of the pan to a pretty platter. Center it on the pan and place perfect fresh raspberries onto the whole surface of the top of the cake. Return to the fridge.
17. Dust the cheesecake with confectioner's sugar just before you intend to present the dessert at table.
18. Cut with a dampened cake knife. Enjoy !
NOTE: This is a very rich dessert, so small wedges are advised. You can always go back for more !