Friday, September 3, 2010

Easy raspberry or chocolate swirl cheesecake

Cheesecakes are impressive. If I see one at a covered dish, I always think, "wow; someone went all out for this meal!" They can be somewhat intimidating, but I recently learned that I could make a really good one with very little effort. I couldn't decide between the chocolate swirl and the raspberry swirl, so I did half and half. Believe it or not, we preferred the raspberry side because the cake is so rich and sweet that the tangy raspberry flavor was the perfect compliment. But the chocolate was definitely delicious as well :) Give it a try; you won't be disappointed!

(Warning: this is not one of my "healthier" recipes, in case you had any doubts... I want to try it with honey instead of sugar, but haven't had the nerve. I suppose these homemade graham crackers would work for a healthier crust, though :)

2 pkg (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 graham cracker crust -- you can use an pre-made one, but the home-made kind is pretty simple as well and looks more impressive :)
3 Tbs. fruit preserves or 1 square Baker's semi-sweet chocolate, melted, slightly cooled

Directions: Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Pour into crust. Dot top of cheesecake with preserves or melted chocolate. Cut through batter with knife several times for marbled effect. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Recipe found in the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Collection