This delicious and decadent recipe is a homemade version of The Cheesecake Factory's Lemon Raspberry Cream Cheesecake. Click here to see how lovely theirs is. It is made with vanilla raspberry cake crust, lady fingers soaked in Raspberry sauce, lemon cheesecake and a lemon mousse.
If you have tried it before then you know first hand how amazing it is. It is the only cheesecake I've ever genuinely enjoyed. Creamy without being to rich, tart enough to cut the sweetness and full of textures with the lady fingers and cake crust.
Step 1: Lady Fingers
The first thing to do is make the lady fingers. These little guys can be a big pain in the butt. The good news is that homemade lady fingers are 10x better than store bought. I am officially a believer.
Here are the ingredients-
1/2 cup of flour, sifted twice
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 400.
Beat the egg yolks and vanilla for 5-8 minutes until light yellow in color and thick. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites until frothy. Then gradually add the sugar. Beat on high until glossy and stiff peaks form.
Pour the thick egg yolk mixture on top of the whites. Fold together very gently until just combined. Sift the flour on top of the batter. Fold the flour in until there aren't any white specks left. Be careful not to over mix.
Place batter into a piping bag with a 1/2" regular tip. Mark a piece of parchment with (3) sets of parallel lines 3" from each other. This is your guide for the length. Flip upside down.
Pipe each one between the lines. I figured out towards the end that it helps to pipe a thin line and another on top in one movement. That way they don't spread as much. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake for 10 minutes until golden.
Set these aside and let them cool.
Step 2: Sponge Cake
Since I wasn't sure where to start here I looked for a cake crust used for cheesecake online and found this recipe. This is an adaptation of that. It is a sponge cake and the steps are a lot like the lady finger recipe.
1/3 cup cake flour, sifted
1/4 cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tart
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon raspberry extract
Preheat oven to 350
First beat the egg yolks, vanilla, and raspberry together for 5-8 minutes. Beat until it is light yellow and thick.
Sift the flour, and baking powder together. Sift gain over the yolk batter and fold in. Once combined add the melted butter. Fold until combined.
Beat the whites and cream of tarter until frothy. Gradually add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. It should be shiny.
Fold 1/4 of the whites into the yolk batter. Then gently fold in the rest until just combined. Pour into a greased 9" spring form pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. It should spring back when you touch the middle.
Let cool. Gently scrap edge to separate it from the pan.
Step 3: Raspberry Sauce
I use this raspberry sauce for all sorts of things. Pancakes, cupcakes, frosting a, ice cream. It's good to have on hand. I knew it would be perfect for this cheesecake.
16oz of frozen raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Combine all of the ingredients into a saucepan over medium low heat. Stirring frequently bring to a simmer.
When the liquid has thickened and coats the back of a spoon take it off the heat. Pour over a fine mesh strainer. Using a spoon push the sauce through by moving around the seeds. Scrape the bottom to ensure you get every drop. Discard the seeds.
Place plastic wrap on top of the surface and refrigerate.
Step 4: Raspberry Lady Finger Layer
After your cake crust is made and cooled you can assemble your lady finger layer.
The first step is to lay out the lady fingers inside the cheesecake pan. I wanted the crosscuts just like the Cheesecake Factory version so to get that I cut the edges. You can see in the photo I mostly cut the inner circles of lady fingers.
After they are laid out and fit like a puzzle you can dip each one completely into the raspberry sauce. Then place it back in its spot. When they are all covered you can pour the the sauce in the bare areas.
You can let these soak as long as you'd like. I did mine right before I made the cheesecake mixture.
Step 5: Lemon Cheesecake Filling
So far, knock on wood, every time I make this cheesecake it always turns out perfect. No cracks, perfect texture and flavor. The caveat is to follow some specific instructions. First, ALL the ingredients need to be at room temperature. That means the cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, and heavy cream need to be the same temperature before mixing. The next tip is to never over beat the batter. Adding extra air will make bubbles and cracks. And third is the water bath. The water bath is your best shot at a crack free cheesecake. And last is to leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door cracked when it's done cooking. If you do all of those things then you should have no problem. And worst case scenario is you have a crack or bubble, and honestly who cares?? This cheesecake(and most) is covered so a perfect top doesn't matter. But it is always nice to know how to do things the right way.
2lbs of Philadelphia cream cheese full fat
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temp
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
Using your paddle attachment mix 1/2 of the cream cheese until smooth. Add the other half and mix for 2 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides.
Gradually add the sugar while still mixing.
Add the vanilla extract lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix for 4 minutes.
Add the sour cream and heavy cream. Mix for 2 more minutes. It should be smooth and creamy.
Wrap your spring for pan with 2-3 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. You will be putting the cake into a bath of water while baking so you need to ensure water won't leak in.
Pour on top of you crust. Smooth with an offset spatula. Place into a 3" deep roasting pan. Fill the pan with warm water 1.5" up the side of the cheesecake. Be super duper careful to not splash water.
*I filled the pan while it was in the oven so I wouldn't have to walk and possible slosh the water around.
Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 45 minutes. When it is finished it should be firm but just slightly jello-y in the center. A little wiggle of the pan will show you that.
When the cake is done turn off the oven, prop the oven door open and leave the cake inside. Do not remove the cake for 45 minutes. This helps it lower the temperature without shocking it. Drastic changes in temperature can cause cracking.
After 45 minutes with the door open you can remove the cheesecake and let it continue to cool on a cooling rack. When it is no longer warm to touch put it in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
Step 6: Lemon Curd Whipped Cream
The original version of this cheesecake has what is described as a lemon mousse. I personally think it tasted like lemon whip cream, so that's what I made!
For the lemon flavor in the whip cream I made a quick lemon curd.
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/3 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
Combine the cornstarch and sugar in sauce pan and whisk together. Then add the lemon zest, juice, and water. Stirring constantly until you bring to a boil. It should thicken.
Take half of the thicken liquid and pour into your egg yolk bowl, whisking constantly. This gradually brings the temp of the yolks up so they don't scramble. Now pour it all back into the sauce pan.
Stirring constantly cook for 2 more minutes. It should be bubbling. Then take off the heat and add the butter. Stir it in until completely melted and combined.
Pour the mixture over a fine mesh strainer. This helps get any possible egg bits and makes it much smoother. Cool in fridge.
Now make whip cream-
1 cup of heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Beat the cream until frothy. Gradually add the sugar. Beat until the cream is thick with stiff peaks. Do not over beat.
Fold in 1/4 cup lemon curd into the whipped cream.
Top the cheesecake with mixture, smooth with an offset spatula.
Step 7: Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake
And you're done! So easy right?! Didn't take all day. Just most of it. Remember though, for a special occasion this is blow your mind good. I made this one for a birthday gift. I'm hoping now that I've documented how much work it is they can see how thoughtful and amazing I am. Even if I only made it because I wanted some. Still counts. :)