(the one with the white chocolate curls on the right hand side under the dome)
Sponge cake crust (or use alternate version below instead)
1/3 c sifted cake flour
3/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt
2 extra-large eggs separated
1/3 c sugar
1 t pure vanilla extract
2 drops pure lemon extract
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 t cream of tartar
Oven at 350. Generously spray bottom and sides of 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Wrap outside with aluminum foil, covering bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
In small bowl sift flour, baking powder & salt together.
Beat egg yolks in large bowl with electric mixer on high for 3 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add 2 T of sugar and beat until thick, light-yellow ribbons form, about 5 minutes more. Beat in the extracts.
Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir in by hand, just until no more white flecks appear. Blend in the melted butter.
Wash another mixing bowl and beaters really well (if a little fat is on them it won't let egg whites whip.) Put egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl and beat on high until frothy. Gradually add remaining sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form and whites stand up and look glossy not dry. Fold about 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then the rest. Don't worry if you still see a few white specks; they will disappear when baking.
Gently spread batter over bottom of pan and bake until set and golden (not wet or sticky) about 10 minutes. Touch cake gently in center and if it springs back it's done. Don't let the top brown. Cool on wire rack while you prepare the cheesecake batter.
Alternate Crust (don't use if you use the sponge cake one!):
3/4 c coarsely ground walnuts
3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
3 T melted unsalted butter
Combine and press completely on bottom and up sides of springform pan. (I spray coconut oil spray first to be double sure it doesn't stick.) Put aluminum foil around pan so water doesn't get in when you place the pan in water to bake.
You can use 10-oz frozen raspberries not in syrup thawed and drained well, or I use 2 containers fresh raspberries
5 T cornstarch
8 oz white chocolate
3 8-oz cream cheese (don't use low fat versions), room temperature
1-1/3 c sugar
1 T pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs
2/3 c heavy whipping cream
raspberries for garnish
white chocolate curls if desired (you need extra white chocolate for these) (see below)
Pulse thawed raspberries in food processor until pureed or smash fresh ones (you need about 3/4 c smashed raspberries). Stir in 1 T cornstarch and set aside (it will thicken slightly as it stands). Melt the white chocolate at 50% power in microwave but watch it -- it will burn VERY EASILY -- keep stirring and checking and take it out early to melt final lumps or it will burn! It will be melted sometimes without even looking melted until you stir it! Set white chocolate aside too.
Beat 1 package of the cream cheese, 1/3 c sugar and remaining 4 T cornstarch in a large bowl on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each one. Increase speed to medium and beat in remaining 1 c sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in the melted and cooled white chocolate then the cream, just until completely blended. Be careful not to over mix.
Spoon batter on top of crust gently. Using a teaspoon, drop the puree in spoonfuls on top of the batter, pushing down slightly as you go. Using a thin pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a figure 8 design just until red swirls appear (don't mix in the puree completely or the cake will turn pink!).
Place in large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1" up the sides of the pan (don't forget the aluminum foil around the pan!). Bake until edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan with red raspberry swirls, about 1-1/4 hours. Remove the cheesecake from water bath (I bring the whole thing near the sink, pour a little of the water out, then pick up the cheesecake pan with oven mitts, put it on the sink removing the tin foil -- which will have some water in it -- then put the cake pan without the foil on a cooling rack.) Let cool for 2 hours -- just walk away - don't move it. Leave the cake in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cold, overnight or at least 4 hours.
To decorate release and remove the sides and leave the cake on the bottom of the pan. Put on cake plate and decorate the top with a pinwheel of raspberries. Shower the top with white chocolate curls if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If desired you can wrap and freeze leftover cake for up to a month (without the raspberry garnish).
Melt GOOD WHITE CHOCOLATE (not wafers) -- preferably Callebaut or Ghirardelli bars -- as described above. Spoon over marble surface (preferred) or back of baking pans, using putty knife (I keep several just for this) or wide spatula until very thin. Leave to cool until not glossy (don't cool TOO MUCH or it will all crack instead of curl). When the right temperature, run the putty knife/spatula diagonally and put curls on top of cake and around sides if desired.