Vanilla Bean Raspberry-Swirl Cheesecake


Serves 10-12 

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


2 cups (about 250 grams) finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs (from about 1 9-ounce sleeve chocolate wafers; see more suggestions below)
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Raspberry Swirl
3 ounces (85 grams) fresh or frozen raspberries (which have been thawed or they will not puree easily)
1 tablespoons (12 grams) granulated sugar

32 ounces (905 grams) cream cheese, very soft at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract plus seeds from 1/2 of a vanilla bean
4 large eggs


Make the sauce: Thaw raspberries, add sugar and puree in a blender. Strain the seeds out by passing the sauce through a fine sieve.

Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325 F. place the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin until fine and sandy texture. A few larger chunks are fine, too. Pour mixture into a bowl, add sugar and melted butter. Stir to combine. The mixture should resemble wet sand. Cover a the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy duty foil. Pour the crumb mixture into the pan and tamp down with a flat-bottom glass or cup to compact the crumbs. I like to create a 1/4 inch lip around the perimeter. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.

Make the cream cheese batter: Combine cream cheese with sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer and mix on medium for 5 minutes until well incorporated. Add salt, vanilla, and the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the eggs one at a time mixing well after each one. Pour the batter into the cooled pan over the crust.

Add the raspberry swirl: Drop small teaspoonfuls of raspberry sauce on top of the cheesecake. Take a toothpick and inserting into one raspberry drop pull through toward any other creating a pattern of your choosing.

Bake: Place the foiled cake into a 16 inch pan or roasting pan, pour boiling water such that it reaches to the middle on the cheesecake pan. Bake for 65 minutes. Remove from the water as soon as the baking is finished. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Enjoy!