With its creamy filling and kiss of sweetness, cheesecake has been the dessert of choice for lovers since the time of ancient Greece, when it was often baked for weddings. To up the ante, we developed this recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake which folds in decadent cocoa and raspberry liqueur, topped with chocolate curls and heart-shaped raspberries for a dessert that can’t fail to send a sweet message, especially when it’s molded into a heart-shaped pan. Best of all, it couldn’t be easier to make. Just be sure to remember a few things before starting.
Budget your time. While this cheesecake is far from difficult to make, it does require a little planning ahead. Be sure to leave yourself enough time for an overnight chill in the refrigerator before serving, and pull your Challenge Cream Cheese out of the fridge at least an hour before baking to ensure softening.
Easy does it. There’s no need to bake the crust for this cheesecake, a mixture of melted Challenge Dairy butter, crushed graham crackers, cocoa powder and sugar, patted into a springform mold and set to chill in the freezer while the filling is made.
Shape it up. There's no rule that says cheesecakes must be round. Feel free to use any shaped springform pan you like (e.g. a festive heart-shaped pan) so long as the volume matches that of a round 9 1/2-inch or 10-inch springform pan.
Blend thoroughly. To ensure the smoothest, silkiest filling, always start with softened Challenge Cream Cheese and scrape the sides of your mixing bowl thoroughly as you add ingredients between blending.
Get the curliest chocolate curls. For the prettiest chocolate curls, place a cookie sheet or brownie pan in the fridge until it’s cold, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 3 ½ to 4 ounces semi-sweet dark chocolate chips in the microwave set to high, 30 seconds at a time, stirring between. When chocolate is smooth and melted, remove the pan from your fridge, turning it over, top side-down on your countertop. Pour a small pool of melted chocolate on the back, spreading with an offset spatula to a thin layer. Allow the glossy melted chocolate layer to cool to a hardened matte before using a bench scraper to gently scrape the thin layer into tight curls.