Courtesy of Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh.
Makes 12 generous portions.
Click here to watch Chef Oonagh create this cheesecake on New Hampshire’s ABC WMUR Cooks Corner.
- About 5-6 oz. (125-150 g) gluten-free graham crackers, Oreo look-alikes or shortbread cookies, crushed (Use your favorite gluten-free cookies, check weight on the box and do the math.)
- ½ stick (2 oz., 56 g) of butter, melted
- I don't add sugar since the cookies are sweet
- 1 lb. (500g, 2 bricks) of cream cheese at room temperature (I use the lite version, but it sets softer.)
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½ lb. (2 4 oz. bars, 2 125 g bars, 1⅓ cup) good quality white chocolate (Bakers white chocolate and Guitard white chocolate are gluten-free.)
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) gluten-free almond extract, optional
- 1½ cup (12 fl. oz., 375 ml) whipping or heavy cream
- 1 packet (11 g) of Knox gelatin
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) water
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) raspberry liqueur (I tend to use traditional liqueurs like Chambord or Grand Marnier and trust them to still be gluten-free.)
Raspberry Design Ingredients:
- ½ cup (10 ml) seedless raspberry jam (I used Trappist)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) raspberry liqueur
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz., 250 ml) whipping or heavy cream, whipped with 2 Tbsp. (30ml) sugar and 1 tsp. (5 ml) gluten-free vanilla extract for garnish
- Fresh raspberries for garnish
- Mix together crushed cookies and melted butter. Press into bottom of 9-10” (20 cm) greased springform pan. Bake in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 10 minutes, remove from oven and cool completely. Instead of baking, you can let set in the fridge.
- Pour ½ cup (120 ml) cream in a 4 cup (1 l) microwavable bowl and heat in microwave for about 1 minute. Add chopped chocolate, let stand for 2 minutes, then stir until chocolate mix is smooth. If necessary, heat in 10 second increments and stir until there are no lumps left. You have to treat white chocolate very carefully, as it has a tendency to harden (seize) if overheated.
- In a separate 6-8-cup bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, almond extract and 2 Tbsp. raspberry liqueur until smooth and creamy. Don’t try this with cold cream cheese—it must be soft.
- Slowly beat chocolate mix into cream cheese mixture and beat for about 1 minute to increase fluffiness.
- Put 2 Tbsp. water in small microwavable cup, pour in gelatin and stir together until it thickens. Leave to stand for 2 minutes then microwave for about 11 seconds until mixture turns into a golden colored liquid that is completely liquid with no pieces of gelatin still visible. If you don’t completely melt gelatin, then it will set into chewy, rubbery lumps. Beat into cream cheese mix.
- Pour remaining 1 cup (240 ml) cream into bowl that was used for melted chocolate and beat cream until stiff.
- Gently beat cream into cheese and chocolate mix. Pour into chilled crust
- Melt ½ cup raspberry jam and add ¼ cup of liqueur. Make sure it is completely melted, or it clogs the Ziploc bag. Put about 2 Tbsp. of mix into small Ziploc snack bag. Snip a ¼” hole in one corner. Gently squeeze mix onto top of cheesecake in a spiral pattern, starting at center and spiraling out. Take a knife and, starting at the center, draw knife to outside of pan. Repeat to form a pattern. Then draw knife from outside of pan to center alternating between first series of lines. This forms a spider’s web. It doesn’t matter how accurate you are, because it still looks stunning.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until firm.
- Once chilled, run a thin plastic spatula around edge between cheesecake and pan, release springform side and remove. Gently run a thin knife between cookie base and bottom of pan, and slide cheesecake onto serving plate.
- Decorate with piped whipped cream, top with a fresh raspberry and carefully brush tops of raspberries with sauce of jam and liqueur. Or you can use rest of jam mix in raspberry sauce below.
Straight from the fridge, this cheesecake is firm, and at room temperature, it becomes like mousse. I have a glass base springform pan, so I don't have to move the cheesecake.
Note: I found that, covered, this cheesecake (without cream garnish or additional sauce on top) was still good from the fridge after one week. I tried freezing it and found it thawed fine. Obviously the graham/cookie crust goes softer on either storage or thawing.
Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:
- 12-16 oz. bag frozen raspberries, no need to thaw first
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- Remainder of jam and liqueur mix
Raspberry Sauce Directions:
- Put raspberries, water and sugar in a 4 cup non-stick pan. Gently heat until raspberries are thawed and sugar is dissolved. Cook gently for a few minutes until raspberries are soft and breaking up slightly.
- Stir in jam mix and taste for your level of sugar preference. Adding the raspberry jam helps to sweeten the sauce and intensifies the flavor. Different brands of frozen raspberries and jam vary in sweetness, so you have to adjust the sauce to your preference. Don’t make it too sweet, since you will serve it with a sweet cheesecake.