I had a smile a mile wide when I realized that I not only had TWO whole bags of frozen huckleberries picked from Mt. St. Helens left out in the garage fridge, but I also had a bit left in a third bag in the kitchen freezer!
I could’ve sworn I was down to my LAST bag only!
TOTAL game changer. 😉
I had been dreaming of a cheesecake, and so in celebrating the hubs getting a new job, I thought it perfect timing! 😉 The cheesecake gods were smiling down at me! 😉
A decadent, creamy-rich, cheesecake with huckleberries!
I had faith that I could do this. 😉 I thought, just make your regular batter, add a few liqueurs, and…..hmmm…..what else but – – WHITE CHOCOLATE! 😀
Yep. That ought to appease the decadent dessert gods, shove us right off of a cliff, and into the volcano of gluttonous euphoria! 😉 I’m there! 😀
So anyways, I poked through the liquor cabinet and right away got out the Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. Perfect! But I wanted a second flavor going on, but nothing too strong to overpower everything else. I decided to go in the almond direction and chose the Disaronno Amaretto, with plans to add additional almond flavors into the cheesecake batter as well as the crust! Sounding pretty good? 😀
I’m a VERY messy cook sometimes…ok…all the time. When I’m done, I’m surprised my kitchen doesn’t get roped off with yellow Crime Scene tape!
So please excuse the old dish towel. I definitely needed a “drop cloth” while working with dark berries to make sure, if I spilled, that I wouldn’t ruin my kitchen counters!
I did two layers of batter and two layers of cooked and sweetened berries, then swirled the top all pretty! It looked good enough to eat before it even went into the oven!
I had batter and berries left over, so I just simply divided it into two ramekins and added berries to the top and swirled them as well.
Two extra little cheesecakes! BONUS! 😀
They of course didn’t have any crust, but it didn’t matter one bit. 😉
I was a we bit worried about the crevices when it was all done, though, as I didn’t know how deep they went and crossed my fingers that it turned out ok and it wasn’t going to be a heartbreaking disaster!
On top of that, releasing that ring always freaks me out! I’m always scared and sure that the whole thing will stick and break apart when it flies open! I always run a knife around the whole edge and sides first, but still…
…it’s like the anticipation of that crescent roll dough in a tube to explode…
….you’re never sure what’s going to happen!
Luckily, as always, it didn’t stick! Now to find out how deep those cracks are and how it tastes!!
As you can see, they didn’t go very far down at all. It looked really cool actually!
And the taste?
Oh. My. Gawd.
Delicious!!!! Simply DIVINE. Those exquisite little super-berries rock my world. They’re pricy due to the rarity of them, and how difficult they are to harvest as they have to be picked by hand, and mostly from off of the sides of mountains. But, believe me, they are worth every penny! You can order them online as we do, but if you just don’t care to, you can always substitute blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or cherries. Do add trying (real) huckleberries to your bucket list, though.
They really are quite a special treat!
And these berries made this cheesecake one of the very best cheesecakes that I’ve ever tasted. Truly stellar! Surprisingly a bit delicate and lighter than I normally make, but not “fluffy”. Not as hard as full New York-style cheesecakes can be, either. This was incredibly….”just right”! 😉
So I hope that you keep this in mind for a special occasion or for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday! This would made for an incredible after dinner dessert! 😉
Take care all, and I’ll see you tomorrow! 😀 ~Kelly
- For Huckleberry Fruit Filling:
- 2 cups frozen huckleberries
- ½ cup + 1 Tbl. sugar
- ⅛ cup cornstarch mixed with ⅛ COLD water
- ¼ tsp. almond extract
- 1 Tbl. butter
- 1 cup more frozen huckleberries
- For Crust:
- 1 sleeve + 7 Girl Scout Shortbread Cookies, finely ground, (or 1½ cups after grinding)
- ½ cup finely ground almonds
- 2½ Tbl. melted butter
- For Cheesecake Batter:
- 4 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, room temp
- 1½ cups sugar
- 3 oz. Baker's White Baking Chocolate, melted and cooled but still pourable
- the seeds of one vanilla bean, (can sub 1 Tbl. vanilla extract)
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 extra large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup white chocolate liqueur, I use Godiva
- 3 Tbl. Amaretto Liqueur, I use Disaronno
- ¼ cup flour
- For Huckleberry Fruit Filling:
- Place 2 cups of frozen berries and sugar into medium saucepan. Over medium heat, gently stir occasionally and cook until sugar has dissolved, there’s some juice, and mixture comes to a boil. Stir in cornstarch slurry, and continue cooking and gently stirring until very thick and clear. Remove from heat and stir in extract and butter until melted. Fold in last 1 cup frozen berries. Set aside to cool.
- For Almond Shortbread Cookie Crust:
- Place cookies and almonds in food processor. Process until fine crumbs. While running, stream in melted butter. Press evenly onto bottom and partially up sides of a sprayed 9" springform pan.
- For Cheesecake Batter:
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla bean seeds. Scrape sides, paddle and bottom and beat again.
- Starting on low speed, blend in melted and cooled white baking chocolate and heavy cream. (Turn up speed once it’s safe to not splatter.) Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just mixed. You don’t want to whip them and create air.
- Mix in sour cream, liqueurs, and flour until smooth. Scrape paddle, sides and bottom of bowl and mix again. Pour a little less than half of the batter into springform pan on top of crust.
- Sprinkle small dollops of fruit filling over the batter using a ½ cup.
- Pour more cheesecake batter evenly and gently over the fruit filling to within a ½" from the top of the springform pan.
- Evenly sprinkle another ½ cup of the filling over the top in small dollops again. With a knife or spoon, cut into fruit filling and swirl a little.
- Tear a large sheet of foil off, and set pan onto center. Press foil up sides of pan. Place into large roaster. (Big enough to hold pan level.)
- Open oven and place onto rack that puts cheesecake in the center of your oven. Fill roaster with boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Close door and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- When time is up, turn off oven, open door briefly (about 3 "Mississippi" seconds), close door and leave in oven for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven. Remove springform pan from roaster and foil, and place on a rack to cool. When cooled down, cover top of pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, run a knife around edge to loosen, and pop open springform ring. Remove ring and place cheesecake onto plate or serving stand.