Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lunch at the OBI and Raspberry Oreo Cheesecake

Last week my friend Mary and I had lunch at the Olde Bryan Inn in Saratoga Springs.  We were guests of our friend Phyllis, who is retiring after 34 years teaching and administering at Skidmore.  Though she has been feted deservedly well for her many contributions, the celebration continues.  We should have been taking Phyllis out to celebrate, but this was her idea and she insisted.  Phyllis wanted to thank Mary and me for our many years working together, and we were grateful to spend the time together at one of our favorite restaurants.

The OBI has a great lunch menu, and often has dinner-like specials at half the cost.  I chose a broiled blue fish with wild rice and loved it.  Mary had a chicken salad wrap, and Phyllis ordered stuffed shrimp.  When it came time for dessert, we decided to split one, each wanting just a little bit.  We ordered raspberry oreo cheesecake, and it was perfect.  It had a chocolate cookie crust, a raspberry swirl, and little chunks of Orea cookie throughout.  It sat on a drizzle of raspberry sauce and had two little florets of whipped cream on the side.  We sat with our forks, taking a bit at a time in a round-robin kind of way like people do when they share desserts, and didn't even finish it! 

The classic combination of raspberry and chocolate is a favorite of mine, and joined by a dense, creamy cheesecake, it was a perfect ending at a lunch to mark the perfect ending of an extraordinary career.  Here's my take on the recipe, culled from my own "formula" for cheesecake with other good ideas thrown in.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

On bottom rack of oven, place a large cake or baking dish filled with hot water -- tap is fine and will heat up during the preheating process.  This creates a water bath which will help keep the cheesecake dense and moist, and will help avoid cracking.  The water bath will sit below the middle rack where the cheesecake will bake.

Spray bottom and sides with canola spray of a 9" or 10" spring form pan.  Place over a large piece (or pieces) of aluminum foil and mold foil up over sides of pan to prevent possible leaks.

2 cups crushed oreos
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter

Combine crust ingredients together and press firmly on the bottom and partially up the sides of the spring form pan.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes while  mixing filling.

4 8 oz. packages cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 cups white chocolate (chips or block, chopped - as long as it is real white chocolate, like Ghiradelli)
1/2 cup milk or half and half
1 cup seedless raspberry jam, melted, divided in half
6 Oreo cookies, broken into chunks

In medium sauce pan, bring milk to a boil over a low heat and turn down to a simmer.  Add white chocolate chips and stir until completely melted.  Don't let it scorch.  Remove from heat. 

In mixer bowl, beat bream cheese and sugar just until there are no lumps (don't overbeat).  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Slowly mix in white chocolate mixture, about a half cup at a time, just so there's not too much heat added at once.  Beat for about 30 seconds to mix thoroughly.  Genlty stir in Oreo chunks to distribute evenly.

Remove crust from freezer and put half the batter in the pan.  Take 4 tablespoons of the melted raspberry jam and place spoonfuls randomly around top of batter.  Cover with remaining batter and repeat with four more tablespoons of melted jam.  Don't fill the pan more than 3/4 full.  (If you find you have extra batter, save it to make some mini cheesecakes in muffin tins later.)  With a knife, pull knife through batter (careful to avoid crust) one way and then the other to marbelize the cheesecake.

Place pan in center of middle rack in oven.  Bake for 1 hour, fifteen minutes.  Turn oven off, prop it open with a spoon to create a little gap, and leave cheesecake in the cooling oven for an hour.  Remove to rack to cool completely.  Refrigerate for at least four hours or until it is completely chilled before serving. 

When you plate the dessert, drizzle a little melted jam on each plate, garnish with a few fresh raspberries and whipped cream.

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1 comment:

  1. This cheesecake recipe sounds really good, I wish you had a picture though. But I will surely give it a go, sounds really interesting, white chocolate, hmmm. I love cheesecake, so for sure I'll appreciate this one. Just the other day I made a blueberry cheesecake and we all love it! My son even wants a second serving, I'm glad he settles for a compromise, he gets have his second serving the following day when he bring some to Grandma's next door. Really good boy, don't you think? :)