True Love Is Only a Cheesecake Away

Andy Mueller

andy mueller | in the kitchen with chef andy | feb. 2019

A box of chocolates, a dozen roses, a heart-shaped pendant ... all appropriate and heartfelt gifts for your Valentine, but what better way to say I love you in Wisconsin than with a big slice of cheese! Of course, if you don't add sugar and bake it in the form of a cake, you may be in the proverbial doghouse, but I digress.

Cheesecake is, without a doubt, my favorite dessert to make for Valentine's Day. The creamy, rich texture paired with either a graham cracker or chocolate crumb crust is a match made in confectionery heaven.

Gifts from the heart are always best and gifts from the heart infused with raspberries and chocolate then pressed in a cake pan and baked at 350 degrees are even better. If you throw in the fact that this recipe is a no-bake cheesecake, I think we just hit the Valentine jackpot.

Sometimes baking a cheesecake in a water bath, then chilling it for 24 hours is an option, but I'm always in favor of flavor that hits the table in the shortest amount of time possible. You also run the risk of a cracked top, burned edges, and a jiggly middle (also a pretty good description of myself), when baking versus a no-bake style cheesecake.

Bonus points go to the options that lie in front of you as you get creative. This recipe features chocolate cookie crust and fresh raspberries in the filling but feel free to treat this cheesecake as your canvas as you are the artist and flavors make up your palette. Infuse toasted cashews or walnuts into your crust, and just about any fruit can work as long as it's not thin and watery when you puree it or the filling won't set. Experiment this Valentine's Day, have some fun with flavor and create your very own masterpiece of love. Happy Valentine's Day!

Raspberry Cheesecake

For the Crust:

In a large mixing bowl add:

2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons melted butter

Mix the ingredients well to combine, then press the mixture into a 10-inch pie form pan to cover the bottom and the sides evenly. Chill until filling is ready.

For the Filling:

In a large mixing bowl add:

1 pound cream cheese (softened) – do not use light or whipped cream cheese, it will not set properly.

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using an electric hand mixer, mix on medium speed for several minutes until well blended. Then add:

3/4 cup sour cream (not light or low fat!)

1 cup heavy cream

Mix on medium high speed until mixture is thick and well blended (about 3-5 minutes). Spoon the filling into the pie crust until it is 1/4 inch under the top of the pie pan. Top with fresh raspberries (to do this, turn the raspberries upside down and place them gently on top of the filling tightly together forming tight rings around the cheesecake. Cover the filling completely. You will need about 2-3 pints of fresh raspberries. Chill for at least 5 hours.

For the glaze:

In a small saucepan add:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. When glaze is cool to the touch, brush the glaze over the raspberries using a pastry brush. Let chill for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

--banner image courtesy

Chef Andy Mueller is a well-seasoned Chef with over 30 years in the restaurant business. He's been on Food Network with Guy Fieri, was Reggie White's personal chef during their Super Bowl run in 1996 and has been Executive Chef at Zimani's in the late '80s, the original Executive Chef at Black & Tan Grille the first four years of operation and owned restaurants in Door County including Glidden Lodge restaurant north of Sturgeon Bay and Hillside Restaurant in Ellison Bay. He currently owns the massively popular supper club 'Galley 57' in Allouez at 2222 Riverside Dr.

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