Saturday, May 9, 2015

Raspberry Shaved Chocolate Cheesecake with Blueberries and Lavender

It's Mother's Day, and I wanted to make a beautiful dessert that I knew my mom would love, even though she doesn't live close enough to get to enjoy it.

For as long as I can remember, I was my mother's daughter.  Never a daddy's girl, but always wanting to be close to my mom's side, watching her sew, helping her mix cake batters and sampling cookie dough, sitting at her vanity putting on makeup and counting how many lipsticks were in her collection, playing dress up with her heels and jewelry.  I was a girly girl, through and through, and still am.

After the tumultuous teenage years that I think most mothers and daughters go through, I missed her terribly when I went away to college, and called her almost every day, wishing I were home instead of living in the dorms, almost 2,000 miles away.

Between my junior and senior year of college, I traveled to China for a summer English teaching program, and tasted my first sip of adulthood.  The world suddenly opened up for me, and there was really no going back after that.  After graduation, I moved to China for three years, traveling home for a couple of months each summer, but always eager to return to China, my students, my friends, and my independence.

I'm sure that, from a parents' perspective, watching that transition from childish dependence to a phone call once every few months is both painful and exhilarating.  It was for me as well.

But this cheesecake.  It's just so pretty and pink, and my mom loves pink.

The creamy raspberry cheesecake filling is flecked with shaved dark chocolate and plump raspberries, complementing the salted chocolate cookie crust.

Tart raspberry jam spills over the edges and is topped with a heaping pile of blueberries.  A scattering of sea salt and lavender rounds out the flavors and adds a little texture and elegance.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Raspberry Shaved Chocolate Cheesecake with Blueberries and Lavender

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate graham crackers
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed blueberries
  • Lavender
  • Sea salt
Preheat the oven to 325.  In a bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers and salt.  Drizzle with the melted butter and toss with a fork until moistened.  Press against the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan.  Bake for 12 minutes, then set aside to cool completely.

Pour 1/4 cup cream into a microwave-safe dish.  Add the gelatin and whisk with a fork to combine.  let stand for 5 minutes; it will be thick and clumpy.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds to dissolve the gelatin.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 1/4 cups cream with the vanilla at medium-high speed until soft peaks form, gradually adding the powdered sugar as the cream thickens.  Add the cream cheese, raspberry jam and gelatin mixture and beat until smooth and thick with no lumps, about 2-3 minutes.  Fold in the chopped chocolate and raspberries.

Immediately spread the cheesecake over the cooled crust and smooth out the top.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or overnight.

To serve, carefully remove the sides of the pan.  Toss the remaining 1/2 cup raspberry jam with the blueberries until they are coated with jam; pile on top of the cheesecake, letting the jam drip over the sides.  Sprinkle with lavender and sea salt.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen