Create the best Valentine’s Day dessert ever! All you bake is a 10-minute crust!
Prep time: 25-30 minutes (crust & filling)
Cake cool/set time: 6 hours or overnight
Makes: One 9-inch cheesecake
First, make the crust:
One 9-inch springform baking pan
One 9-inch parchment paper circle (place paper on inverted pan and trace a circle; then, cut it)
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (use 1 to 1-1/3 packages inside box; ground in food processor)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter the springform pan (bottom only); place parchment circle inside pan bottom and gently press so that it sticks. Set aside.
3. In a 2-cup mixing bowl, using a fork, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter together until uniform.
4. Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to springform pan.
5. With the fork, smooth out the crust ingredients up to the pan edges. With your fingers, press the crust evenly.
6. Bake the crust on a rack set in center of oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, transfer the pan with crust to a counter or trivet to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the raspberry cheesecake filling:
Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
2 cups boiling water
One 6-ounce package raspberry-flavored Jell-O®
Two 8-ounce packages Philadelphia® cream cheese (regular, not “light”), at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Decoration – raspberries, mint leaf sprigs, cherry gummy candies, chocolate hearts covered in red foil, white chocolate pieces
1. In a 2 or 3-quart glass or porcelain bowl, slowly add the boiling water to the Jell-O® mix until it is all dissolved. Keep stirring the mix with a spoon until you no longer see the pink powder.
2. Transfer the bowl with liquid Jell-O® to refrigerator, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes. It should be cool, NOT SET.
3. In the meantime, in a stand mixer bowl (or a bowl using a handheld electric cake mixer), beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract.
4. Beat at high speed until mixture is uniform. Set bowl with cream cheese mixture aside.
5. If using a stand mixer, transfer the cream cheese mixture to another large bowl – you will now use the stand mixer bowl to beat the whipping cream.
6. In a clean 4-quart bowl and using a handheld mixer (or the stand mixer bowl), beat the whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.
7. Using a spatula, gently and gradually (a little at a time) stir the raspberry Jell-O® liquid into the whipped cream.
8. Mix it slowly until the mixture is evenly-colored (reddish-pink).
9. Then, with a handheld wire whisk or spatula, gently and slowly add the whipped cream mixture to the cream cheese filling in bowl. Mix until it is all evenly-colored.
10. Pour the raspberry cream cheese filling into the prepared springform pan.
11. Transfer the cheesecake to refrigerator – uncovered – for 6 hours or overnight.
To Serve Cheesecake:
1. Take a knife and run it between pan sides and cheesecake.
2. Carefully/slowly release sides of springform pan.
3. Place cheesecake (with bottom of pan) on a serving platter and decorate it. Serve.
Note: Cheesecake keeps (refrigerated) up to 5 days.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real