Many years ago (ten to be exact), a boy drove 400 miles to bring a girl some cheesecake. Nine years after that, they went on their first formal date on Valentine's Day. That's a long time, I know, but I don't like to rush into things.
A permanent farmer's market is opening in my beloved suburban city. I'm so excited, fresh fruit and produce - like these raspberries - will be at my beck and call. The raspberry swirls give the cheesecake a perfect touch of valentine, but feel free to use strawberries or blueberries. Unfortunately for me, I'm allergic to strawberries, but I am perfectly content with my raspberries.
It's fun to swirl in the raspberries, but learn from my mistake-- do not over swirl. My cousin Carol, being the artist she is, perfected the art of swirling and was also able to create the hearts.
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes
Slightly adapted from
Yield: 32 cupcakes
For the crust: 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 3 tbsp. sugar
For the raspberry swirl: 6 oz. fresh raspberries 2 tbsp. sugar
For the filling: 2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature 1½ cups sugar Pinch of salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 4 large eggs, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Stir together with a fork until well blended and all the dry ingredients are moistened. Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake until just set, 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
To make the raspberry puree, combine the raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Blend in the sugar until smooth. Mix in the salt and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
To assemble, spoon 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner. Dot a ½ teaspoon of the raspberry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling. Use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.
Then place the whole cupcake pan onto a 12x17 baking pan, filled the pan halfway with hot water, and baked the cheesecakes in the water bath. This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking. Bake until the filling is set, about 22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. (They will look quite puffed initially but will return to normal quickly.) Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.