I've been doing several things the last few months. First, I found a job. It pays quite a bit better than my old job (no surprise there), and so I only have to work one day a week. This is A Good Thing--I still get to spend most of my week being 'Mom' and taking care of a teen and an school-ager with ADHD and food allergies. Either of those alone is a challenge. Working full-time while doing both would be more 'adventure' than I need.
I also joined the local symphony choir. We're doing Carmina Burana this spring, and the director is outstanding. It is a very challenging piece musically. Orff not only had a love affair with lots of dynamics, sixteenth notes, and bizarre chords, but he also adored changing languages from Semi-Classical Latin to Genitival Early New High German (with cases) and back again, sometimes even in the same song. I am convinced he was secretly a music sadist.
In order to convince my daughter to sit through an entire concert of classical music, I'm going to tell her how many cellos are playing (she loves cello), and possibly resort to abject bribery with chocolate. To convince my son, who now is growing some substantial fuzz on his upper lip, to attend, I'm going to secretly slip him a translation of "Si Puer Cum Puella." Never let it be said that I won't appeal to baser desires to encourage intellectual development in a teenager.
In addition, I became a staff writer for TORWars.com, writing about aspects of the game Star Wars: The Old Republic. I started writing the Jedi Consular Weekly. Apparently one of the editors got beamed some messages from a mother ship in a galaxy far, far away, because it's the only explanation I can think of for them asking me to take on the Galactic Gallery weekly column, too. It's a blast to write with this team, though I haven't quite figured out how they put up with my insanity. It must be fellow Geek Points or something.
In the course of writing about TOR, not only do I play the game quite extensively, I also follow several gaming sites, blogs, and of course, Twitter. The other day I tweeted that I was making white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, because with wars, famine, and destruction, The World Must Know These Things. I am not immune to such geeky inanities. This, naturally, elicited some 'OM NOM NOMs' and "OMG you're EVIL for posting that" followed by requests for the recipe.
This is where the 'Geek Style' comes in. I had found a recipe, from, you guessed it, a tweet about a blog post about making a clone of Eli's White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. I don't know how close it is, because I always get their 'So Chocolate, It'll Cause a Coma and Quite Possibly an Overdose' Cheesecake. I haven't died yet, so it may need a little more chocolate in it. Not much, though.
My hubby gets horrendous migraines from any chocolate that looks like it might be remotely brown, so I had to replace the chocolate Oreos with golden Oreos. The crust was soggy in the center, so I'm going to bake it for about 10 or 15 minutes next time before adding the cheesecake batter. Nonetheless, it was declared to be 'extremely yummy' by the family except for my son, who for some strange reason doesn't like the raspberry part. He also doesn't like most chocolate. I think he was switched at birth.
Here is my version.
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
· 2 c. Oreo crumbs (About 2 rows. Save the rest for your dunking-and-eating pleasure. Process in a food processor with cookie and cream both)
· 1 T sugar
· 1/4 c. butter
· 2-4 cups white chocolate chips (lower amount if you like it less sweet, higher amount if you want more chocolate flavor. I split the difference and used 3 cups)
· 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
· 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
· 1/2 cup white sugar
· 3 eggs
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Approximately 6 T seedless raspberry jam (don't overdo or it'll be too sweet)
- Allow the cream cheese and eggs to come to room temperature while you work on the other stuff.
- In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- Bake the crust about 10 minutes (watch to make sure it doesn't over-brown).
- In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth. I cheated and did this in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time to prevent scorching, and it worked fine.
- In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust.
- Heat raspberry jam in microwave about 10-15 seconds to soften.
- Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry jam over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry jam over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
- Place the pan on a cookie sheet in case your springform pan likes to leak melted butter like mine does.
- You can try the waterbath method for baking the cheesecake, but my springform pan likes to leak, so I just put a 9x13 pan filled with water in the oven on the shelf below the cheesecake.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set. Turn oven off, leave oven door ajar, let cheesecake cool another hour. This supposedly prevents cracks. It did work, although I think cracks are a fine excuse for putting extra white chocolate or raspberries on top.
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan.
- Garnish with white chocolate curls, whipped cream, and fresh raspberries for extra decadence.
- Tweet about your cheesecake success after eating too much of it.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JaeOnasi!