White Chocolate-raspberry Cheesecake

            White Chocolate-raspberry Cheesecake            Southern Living Home for the Holidays    Dec 2005

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
3 T. sugar
½ cup butter, melted
2 cups (12-oz package) white chocolate chips
5 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 T vanilla
2/3 cup raspberry preserves*
2 T raspberry syrup*
Garnishes:  white chocolate curls, fresh raspberries, fresh mint sprigs

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter; press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.        (Jane’s note-I find that is way too much butter in the crust.  It just runs out of the springform pan during cooking and smokes up the oven and house.   I usually cut back the butter to a couple of tablespoons.)

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes; cool slightly.   (Jane’s note- I don’t cook the crumb before putting in the filling because it makes the crust too hard)

Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla and melted chocolate, beating well.  Set aside.

Stir together raspberry preserves and raspberry syrup in a small bowl; stir well.

Spoon half of cream cheese batter into prepared curst; spread half of raspberry mixture over batter, leaving a ¾ -inch border.  Reserve remaining raspberry mixture; cover and chill.  Spoon remaining cream cheese batter around edges of pan, spreading toward the center and covering raspberry mixture in pan.

Bake at 300 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until cheese cake is just set.  Turn off oven.  Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes.  Remove from oven; cool completely on a wire rack.  Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Run a knife around edge of pan, and release sides.  Pour remaining raspberry mixture on top of cheesecake, leaving a 1-inch border.  Garnish, if desired.

*3/4 cup raspberry preserves melted in the microwave may be substituted for raspberry preserves-raspberry syrup mixture.
Note:  To make curls out of white chocolate baking squares, pull a vegetable peeler along the narrow edge of each square.