The first thing you do is make a biscuit base by crushing a packet of ginger nut biscuits / digestive biscuits with a rolling pin. I use a food processor – put the biscuits in and pulse until they have turned into crumbs! You want around 5-6 cups of crumbs from about 12 biscuits, though it may be more as I always seem to be left with a few whole ones!
You then melt around 250g [1/2 lb] of butter and stir that into the biscuit mix. Once it’s all mixed together you press the crumbs into a round cake tin, about 20cm [8ins] across and 4-5cm [1 1/2 – 2 ins] deep. You need to push it down so that there are no air bubbles and so that if anything is going to leak it will only leak from the base and not over the edge! Put this in the fridge while we make up our filling.
White chocolate & raspberry cheesecake ingredients; 450g [1lb white chocolate (I used Lindt / cooking chocolate) 230g [1/2 lb] softened butter 200g [7oz] icing sugar (Icing Sugar Recipe here ) 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 egg yolks (whites reserved for meringue below) 300ml double cream (Whipping cream recipe here ) Raspberries to decorate
(All ingredients are weighed using scales and then entered into a calculator to work out the total weight of ingredients needed. I then use this weight in grams to give the quantity needed.)
You need 450g white chocolate. Break it up roughly and put it in a bowl. Melt gently over a pan of simmering water – do not stir but keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn! Once melted take off the heat and leave to cool a little. Then add the soft butter, broken into pieces so it melts more easily, followed by stirring in the sugar and vanilla extract until it is all smooth and shiny.
Now for this bit, you will need an electric mixer! Really, don’t try to do this without one as you will be there all day! Stir the egg yolks into your lovely chocolate mix. If you have a stand-up mixer then use that as they are better at this job but I always seem to make them on my own with a handheld mixer.
Anyway – start whisking at a slow speed and gradually increase the speed till you see ribbons forming in your mixture. Your bowl should not feel too hot for your hand to hold – if it does then put it somewhere cooler. Keep whisking till you have a thick, smooth, shiny mixture that forms peaks then gradually pour the whipped cream into your bowl while whisking gently. You need to fold the cream into the mix – not beat or stir just gently fold together with a flexible spatula.
Enough of that bit! Now we want to chop up our raspberries and break some chocolate into flakes (I use chocolate buttons as they are about right but certainly do not reserve these for decorating as they taste delish too!) and we’re ready to start layering!
Spoon half your mixture on top of your biscuit base and spread out evenly using a spatula. Then scatter over your chocolate flakes and raspberries.
Now spoon the remainder of the mixture on top and smooth over. Scatter over a few more raspberries and then grate some dark chocolate on top. I use a vegetable peeler to make long, thin shavings of chocolate (the ones that you used to get free with Cadbury’s Roses back in the day!) but you can chop up blocks or buttons as preferred.
Put it in your fridge for at least 4 hours before eating! It is best left overnight so I would recommend making this cake 24 hours before you want to serve it as it really does taste better after this time has passed.
When ready to eat just remove from tin and slide off the parchment paper onto a serving plate – then decorate with extra raspberries and chocolate flakes if you wish! Slice into wedges with a sharp knife (I like to warm the blade first in hot water as this gives neater cuts but it’s not essential!)
You will be super impressed with yourself when you serve this up – really impressive for something that appears so simple to make! You’ll want to make another one immediately, I guarantee it.
Worth making just for the taste sensation that is White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake.
Health Benefits of mary berry white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake!
The health benefits of white chocolate are that it contains no cocoa solids, but does contain antioxidants. It also is a good source of calcium and iron which are important for healthy bones. The sugar content in White Chocolate makes it’s not the best choice for anyone with diabetes or wanting to cut down on high glycemic foods though.
White chocolate has been heralded as having amazing health benefits in recent years due to its high antioxidant levels – this means that it can help protect our bodies from free radical damage, similar to what caffeine does! Free radicals are charged molecules that travel through the body causing oxidation/rusting which can affect cells, tissue and organs leading to diseases such as cancer so anything that helps reduce this is fantastic! Studies have suggested that one of the particular antioxidants found in White Chocolate called Epicatechin, also found in cocoa powder, green tea and grapes, may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing clots from forming.
It’s no surprise then that there are claims of chocolate having health benefits – but is it true? I think this is hard to say… There are 2 types of chocolate – milk chocolate which contains a lot of sugar and dairy products which can be inflammatory for some people (not me though!) or dark chocolate which does not contain these things but has more fat content. We all know that eating too much fat isn’t good for us either! Of course, you can eat white chocolate without any of these negative effects as it contains neither dairy nor sugar but you do have to remember that all the good stuff we think we are getting isn’t actually there so moderation is key.
White chocolate, as it does not contain any of the potentially negative components of dark and milk chocolate, maybe a healthier option than both these types of chocolate and if consumed in moderation can be a great addition to your diet! It contains antioxidants that protect nerve cells from damage which means that white chocolate could help prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as some cancers.
It also contains chemicals (Phenylethylamine) that causes an increase in levels of serotonin leading to elevated moods and may help with depression; this chemical is also found naturally in another well-known antidepressant: Caffeine!
The sugar content of white chocolate is actually slightly lower than that in dark chocolate and there is no dairy which means it can be a good option for anyone with lactose intolerance or food allergies. It may also help to prevent tooth decay as well as have anti-inflammatory properties (again like dark chocolate)
It’s important to remember not to overindulge though, too much of anything isn’t good for you after all! I think the key here really is moderation; if you’re going to eat White Chocolate then enjoy it but don’t make it an everyday occurrence…
So how does Mary Berry rate the health benefits of her trademark white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake? Well, this recipe is packed full of health benefits and antioxidants that will help to ward off all sorts of nasty things such as heart disease, strokes, some cancers and more. Mary Berry’s white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake are also gluten-free (if using cornflour) so ideal for anyone with wheat intolerance or coeliacs!
Raspberries have been hailed as a superfood in recent years due to their fantastic health benefits – they are particularly high in Vitamin C which helps the body produce collagen meaning healthier skin and gums but is also helpful when it comes to conditions such as arthritis where there isn’t much collagen being produced naturally. They are high in phytonutrients too these are chemicals that fight oxidative stress which has been linked to some cancers, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Raspberries are fairly low in sugar but high in dietary fibre – this is great for keeping you full up as well as helping control blood sugar levels. They are also full of polyphenols – these are chemicals that have antioxidant effects on the body meaning they help to prevent damage caused by oxidation/the rusting process mentioned earlier!
Calories of mary berry white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake
A slice of mary berry white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake contains approximately 400kcal which is quite a lot when you think about it but this shouldn’t be too much of an issue in moderation. I wouldn’t recommend having lots at once or even regularly in one sitting – remember everything in moderation, if anything!
I hope you found out something about the health benefits of White Chocolate that I hadn’t come across before! It has certainly helped to give me some reassurance that eating it won’t be terrible for me but also that I have to keep my portions under control.