Classic Cheesecake with Shortbread Cookie Crust and Raspberry Champagne Sauce
If there is one dessert that I go absolutely gaga for it is cheesecake! Which kind of sucks in a way because I try so hard to avoid desserts filled with dairy and sugar, and what is cheesecake? You said it.....dairy and sugar. That is pretty much it.
But once in awhile I decide to treat myself and whip up a fun cheesecake recipe. Plus, it was my birthday last week! If you can't treat yourself on your birthday, when can you?
Cheesecake is kind of a famous household dish. As a young teenager, when we would have dinner parties at our house my mom would always make cheesecake for dessert.
It kind of became her famous dish and our guests would always request it and the flavors always varied!. Key lime and dark chocolate were my favorite!
Needless to say I picked up a few tips and tricks along the way including a love of cheesecake. Just because I try to avoid constantly eating cheesecake doesn't mean I deprive myself of the fun of making them on occasion.
The answer? I give a lot of my cheesecake away!
Your friends and your thighs will thank you simultaneously. With this cheesecake I literally brought half of it downtown to my chiropractor's office. When you cook all the time you will have plenty of volunteers to be your "taste testing" guinea pigs!
For me, its a must anyway. I will eat a whole cheesecake if it is just sitting around in my fridge day after day. No joke, I have no control when it comes to my cheesecake but if it is outta sight..... then I am shit outta luck and there is nothing I can do!
My original thought was to put champagne into the cheesecake but after I took the time to reduce the champagne and actually bake it into the cheesecake I noticed that there was not a significant flavor difference. Afterwards, I came to the conclusion to just keep the cheesecake classic and simple and make the sauce an "oh my god" orgasm in the mouth experience.
It was kind of "duh" moment for me anyway because of course alcohol flavor comes out better in the sauce! Plus, it's so much easier to have the champagne flavor shine through without reducing the shit out of it!
I added lemon essential oil to the cheesecake mix just to give it a citrus twist. If you don't have essential oils you can you use a couple tablespoons of lemon juice and the zest of one lemon. The sauce is super simple but so good! I used fresh berries mashed up in the sauce with the champagne, lemon juice and some more lemon essential oil. I reserved some extra raspberries on the side to gently toss in the sauce at the end but that is optional. It is awesome either way!
I live in an apartment building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood here in Seattle and I am starting to think that maybe I should make friends with some of my neighbors because I can't seem to keep up with all my experiments sitting around!
I have a piña colada raw cheesecake sitting in my freezer right now (on the blog soon!) that needs to be finished but I am not a big dessert person. I made it for a plant based gathering that I had planned but there was so much leftover.
This is a bit off topic but I heard on the radio the other day that there is a company that is developing an app that can let you advertise your leftovers and then people can come pick them up from you. Is that weird? The idea is to help the whole world hunger ordeal, which if it works, is great! Maybe if it comes out I will give it a try!
Be sure to check out the recipe notes below because I added in a few tips on how to make this cheesecake as perfect as possible. Let me know how it works out for you!
Classic Cheesecake with Raspberry Champagne Sauce
Serves 12 to 15
1 1/2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (about 10-15 cookies)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
5 whole large eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
10 drops lemon essential oil*
2 cups champagne
2 cups sugar
One lemon, juiced
3 drops lemon essential oil
6 ounces + 3 ounces fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the shortbread cookies into crumbs. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until well combined. Mix the shortbread cookies and melted butter until well combined. Pour into a 9-inch spring-form pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and cool to room temperature.
Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
To make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well. With the mixer on low, add the greek yogurt, lemon essential oil and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. (see RECIPE NOTES) Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cheesecake WILL NOT be completely set in the center. Allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven with the door open for about 30 to 40 minutes. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the cheesecake from the spring-form pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cheesecake. Serve with raspberry champagne sauce. Yummy!
Raspberry Champagne Sauce
Place the champagne, sugar, 6 ounces fresh raspberries and juice of one lemon in blender and puree until combined. Pour this mixture into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to reduce for approximately 12 minutes. The sauce should thicken when removed from heat and cooled. Allow topping to cool for 20 minutes before adding lemon essential oil and 3 ounces fresh raspberries. Gently fold the berries into the mixture and spoon onto cheesecake.
If you do not have lemon essential oil than you can replace the oil in the cheesecake with 3 tablespoons lemon juice and the zest of one lemon. For the sauce you can replace with 1 tablespoon juice.
Baking a cheesecake without cracks can be a difficult feat because believe it or not cheesecakes are kind of delicate desserts. They love to stay moist! If your worried about cracks in your cheesecake then you can wrap the bottom of the pan before starting with aluminum foil. I would do two layers of foil just to ensure you want to make sure you don't get any leaking. Before you place the cheesecake in the oven put the spring-form pan into a larger dish, like a roasting pan and cover with about 1 inch of boiling water. This makes sure the cheesecake stays nice and moist!
To check the thickness of the sauce, dip a spoon into it while simmering and place the spoon in the freezer for a few minutes to quick cool it. This will give you a quick test for the actual thickness of the sauce.
If I plan ahead I like to keep the cheesecake in the fridge at least 3 days before serving, that way the cheesecake gets nice and solid which is how I like it!
Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature!
*We use doTERRA essential oils for cooking because of their high quality and purity. You do not have to use essential oils for this recipe but if you do make sure they are food grade and safe for internal consumption. Check out my recipe notes on how to make this recipe without essential oils if you so desire. Enjoy!