A word about baking a cheesecake in a ban marie before starting the recipe. A bain marie is simply a water bath that buffers the direct heat from the sides and bottom of the baking pan to more evenly bake the cheesecake from the sides to the center.
I bake my cheesecakes in a 9 or 10 inch springform pan that has the bottom and sides wrapped in multiple layers of wide heavy duty aluminum foil which forms a sort of boat that the cheesecake pan sits in. The roll of aluminum foil that I use is about 16 inches wide. I use at least 4 layers of foil to make sure that no water leaks in and ruins the crust of my cheesecake. The aluminum foil wrapped pan is then placed inside a larger baking pan; I use a 12 inch cake pan. Boiling water is then poured into the larger pan filling it from 1/2 to 2/3 of the way to the top.
I find it best to pour the boiling water into the pan after it is placed on the rack in the oven as you are less likely to splash water onto the cheesecake or inside the aluminum foil. I reuse the aluminum foil for several future cheesecakes, adding a couple of layers to it each time just to be safe..
In a small bowl, combine:
- 1 1/3 cups graham wafer crumbs
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup melted butter
Press into the bottom of a lightly greased springform pan. (Grease bottom only!)
Over low heat in a small saucepan, heat to scalding
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
Stir in until completely melted:
- 1 cup good quality white chocolate chips
Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the cheesecake batter.
- 3 eight ounce packages ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
Add, one at a time
- 3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
melted white chocolate
Finally blend in
1 cup whipping cream
Pour over the prepared base and bake in a bain marie at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes to an hour. The cheesecake should just be beginning to lightly brown at the edges and the surface of the cheesecake should lose any shine when the cake is properly baked. It can still be slightly wobbly just at the center at this point.
Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp knife completely around the edge of the pan. This will allow for the cheesecake to shrink as it cools and hopefully not crack (but who cares if it does? I am never bothered by a crack or two in the surface) Allow the cheesecake to cool thoroughly on a wire rack at room temperature. (NOT in the fridge).
When completely cool cover the top with fresh raspberries and garnish with melted white chocolate if desired.