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White Chocolate Cheesecake

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp. unsalted melted butter
1 tbsp. sugar

10 oz. white chocolate, broken up
1/2 cup whipping cream (at room temperature)
16 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
4 eggs, separated (at room temperature)
4 tsps. vanilla extract
dash of salt

6 oz. white chocolate, broken up
1/4 cup whipping cream (at room temperature)
2 tbsp. light creme-de-cacao

In a small bowl, stir together crumbs, melted butter and sugar
until well combined and wet. Press the crumb mixture evenly into
the bottom and 2/3 the way up the sides of a buttered 9-inch
springform pan.

Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling,

Slowly stir in the cream, and stir until smooth. Remove from heat
and cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, and using an electric
mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Do not overbeat. Add the
egg yolks one at a time, beating until incorporated after each.
Add white chocolate mixture, vanilla and salt. Beat at medium speed
for about 2 minutes.

Beat egg whites in another bowl at slow speed until frothy, then
increase speed and whip until the soft peak stage. Fold the whites
into the cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
Without opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 200 degrees F.
and bake for 70 minutes or until the center no longer looks wet
and shiny. Remove the cake from the oven and run a thin knife blade
around the inside edge of the pan. Turn the oven off and put the
cake back in for another 30 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature
and chill overnight.

Melt chocolate in double boiler over simmering water. Slowly stir
in cream, stirring until mixture is smooth. Stir in creme-de-cacao.
Pour topping over cool cake. Cover with plastic wrap and chill over
night. Serving

IMPORTANT: this cheesecake should be served at room temperature!
Makes 10 to 12 slices


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