My grandpa has a running joke that everything would be better with raisins. You bake him chocolate chip cookies? It'd be better with raisins. Banana muffins? Better with raisins. So when I was flipping through cookbooks, searching for the perfect Father's Day dessert, I stumbled upon this recipe for a chocolate raisin cheesecake. And I decided that it just had to be baked!
So the crust of this cheesecake is what made it especially delicious. Basically, butter, flour, and cocoa were mixed up and patted onto the bottom of a springform pan, and it baked into this delish cake-like crust. Another surprising thing about this cheesecake...only one box of cream cheese was used! This caused the cheesecake to come out pretty thin, so the next time I make this, I'll probably add another box since I like my cheesecakes to have some height to them.
Oh oh OH! Let's sidetrack for a sec...BEHOLD! KitchenAid Mixer: Mixer of the Gods! My mom received this from my grandma for her birthday this past April. And basically, this thing is amazing, and it can do anything. It is my culinary hero. And when I am all grown-up, aka have my own kitchen in my own house, I definately want one of these things. But in green, of course. :)
Look at that beautiful paddle, that beautiful whip-age. Ahhh, it's a beautiful, beautiful thing. :)
But OK, enough of my ranting about the amazing-ness of the KitchenAid mixer. Back to cheesecake. This thing came out really good! It was a huge hit with my family (and my grandpa :), and we pretty much devoured the entire thing, and there's only 8 of us...hehe.
Chocolate Raisin Cheesecake
Adapted from "Chocolate: Baking with the World's Best Ingredient"
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 cup white sugar
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
6 tbsp. white sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup raisins
3 tbsp. chocolate chips
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. corn syrup
3 tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sift the flour and cocoa into a mixing bowl and stir in sugar. Using a spoon, work the butter into the flour mixture until it makes a firm dough. Press the dough into the base of an 8-inch springform pan. Prick all over with a fork and bake for 15 minutes.
Prepare filling: in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the yogurt, eggs, and sugar until evenly mixed. Stir in the lemon zest, raisins, and chocolate chips.
Smooth the cream cheese mixture over the chocolate shortbread base and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the filling pale gold and just set. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Prepare topping: combine the chocolate, syrup, and butter in double boiler, stirring occasionally until melted. Pour the topping over the cheesecake, and let set. Remove the sides of the pan, slice, and devour. :)