Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Hearts
Preheat over to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). To prepare crust, in a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the chocolate graham crackers, ground almonds, and sugar and mix until combined. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and set aside. To prepare the puree, combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 3-5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds and set aside.
To prepare cheesecake, in a small pot over low heat, bring the whipping cream to just boiling. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Set aside for 5 minutes and then stir until smooth. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and ¾ cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Remove approximately 1 ½ cup of this batter and place into a smaller bowl and add ½ cup raspberry puree. Blend until combined. Add the melted chocolate to the remaining batter and mix until combined. Pour the chocolate cheesecake batter into the pan. Very carefully layer the raspberry cheesecake mixture on top of the chocolate mixture. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until filling is set.
Cool in pan, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold before removing from pan. If desired, top cooled cheesecakes with one or a combination of the garnishes below. Chocolate Ganache: In a small pot over low heat, bring the heavy cream and butter to just boiling. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Set aside for 5 minutes and then stir until smooth. Pour over cold cheesecake to form ganache layer, or drizzle over the cold cheesecake. Refrigerate until it is set. Raspberry Puree: Pour remaining raspberry puree over cold cheesecakes. White Chocolate: In double boiler over hot water, melt the white chocolate until smooth. Drizzle over cold cheesecakes. Refrigerate until it is set. Fresh raspberries on top or served on the side.
Note: To make the individual heart shape cheesecakes, prepare the recipe as directed using a 13 x9 inch pan instead of a springform pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. After the cheesecake cools, cut out the hearts using a metal heart shaped cookie cutter.
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