For the last few years I have been drooling over this White Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake that I pinned on my Pinterest board. I have an entire board devoted to Cheesecake. (Why? Because…ummmm Hello….it’s CHEESECAKE!!!) I decided Easter was the perfect excuse to try this one out for Mother’s Day? (Trust me…it makes sense in the blogger Universe I live in! I’m getting SO excited about Thanksgiving dinner for the 4th of July! lol)
This cheesecake lived up to all my expectations and more! What I loved was learning a few new baking techniques along the way with this recipe. I’m excited to share them with you. I don’t want you to be afraid to make a cheesecake. They seems completely intimidating…but they are so much easier than you think. One key is to have everything “prepped” before hand. Example: chop all the almonds really fine before you begin.
Let’s take this a step at a time….
First is the crust. I LOVE this crust! I love this whole cheesecake. In fact…it may be my new favorite!
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 inch Springform Pan, wrap the outside of your pan with foil, and set aside. This is for your “water bath”. I started doing water bath baking on all my cheesecakes about 2 years ago and no more “cracks”! It’s a beautiful thing friends! (I may start personal water bath baking to see if I can eliminate my cracks!)
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, almonds, sugar and Amaretto. Spread the crust into your pan evenly and press half way up the sides. Set aside.
Tip: I use a drinking glass or another small rounded object that I can use to press up again the sides. It works perfectly every time.
In your mixer, cream 4 packages of cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups of sugar until smooth. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.
Tip: Crack all your eggs into a measuring cup. When it’s time to add the eggs…slowly pour one egg yolk into the mixer as it is beating. The eggs will slip out one at a time and you’ll never worry about shells getting into your cheesecake.
Add the almonds, the Amaretto, almond extract, vanilla extract, pinch of salt and combine. Stir in finely chopped white chocolate.
Tip: Use your food processor to chop that white chocolate and your almonds.
Pour the filling into the crust lined springform pan. Place your springform pan inside another larger pan at least 2 inches deep. (I use a larger cake pan.) Add 1 inch of water between the springform pan and the cake pan. Your springform pan should now be sitting in the “water bath”.
Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the cheesecake is almost set.
Let’s talk for a second about the term “almost set”. In my humble opinion this is the trickiest part of making cheesecake. If you can gently shake the pan and only a small circle in the center jiggles…it is set! The center will finish cooking as it cools.
Here’s the best explanation I can give ya, and it only applies to “soft grannies” like myself. Not “set” is like you’re waving good-bye to someone… and that “arm wing” flaps all around and slaps you in the face=leave it in the oven! Set: If you shake that pan and it reminds you of your boobs at 20…take that sucker out of the oven! Got it?! Good!
Now if you’re husband walks into the kitchen and finds you shimming all around the cheesecake…it’s up to you to explain!
Once the cheesecake is almost “set” (You’re never gonna think about it the same are ya? lol) remove it from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes.
While it is “standing” mix together the topping ingredients in a small bowl. Spread the sour cream topping evenly over the top of the cheesecake and bake another 5 minutes. This will “set” the topping.
I was so excited about this step. Truthfully, I was a little skeptical about it. I’ve always had recipes that called for me to spread the sour cream topping on after it had completely cooled. It always left it “wet”. This technique gently bakes and sets that topping. It is wonderful.
Remove your cheesecake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Carefully, take the cheesecake out of the water bath and place on a cooling rack.
This next step was a new one for me too… Take a knife and carefully go around the edges of the pan to loosen. Leave the cheesecake in the Springform pan. Allow to continue to cool on the cooling rack. This will give your cheesecake a nice smooth look once it is chilled and you need to remove the Springform pan.
Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Chill over night before serving.
Looks at that smooth beautiful edge. Isn’t that something? I was so tickled with how this cheesecake turned out. It’s such a show stopper!
To cut, run a sharp knife under hot water between each cut. This will give you a nice clean-cut, each and every time.
I’m so glad that I didn’t waste two years drooling over this Cheesecake to be disappointed. The white chocolate is very subtle in this cheesecake. The Amaretto is equally as subtle. I love the bits of almonds in the crust and cheesecake. This recipe is just a perfect combination of flavors and textures.
My husband L.O.V.E.D. this dessert so much. I thought nothing could ever top the Tiramisu Cheesecake. I was wrong! I know if you love almonds and creamy rich cheesecake…you’ll love this Epic dessert as much as we did.
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