Modern dads must be all things to all people. On the one hand, they must be MEN who are resoundingly masculine and capable of of wielding power tools with confidence and safety. On the other, they're required to be sensitive and emotive. They must be all things to all people. They must seamlessly balance their yin with their yang.
In honor of those wonderful papas on father's day, I give you the yin/yang cheesecake: a creamy delight of the darkest "brute" chocolate cheesecake that's dense and fudgy matched with the fruitiest of berry cheesecakes that's delicate and fluffy.
Happy father's day.
Yin Yang Cheesecake
This cake requires a yin yang cake mold, available online from quite a few bakery resources. Just put in your order now....father's day is fast approaching.
For the base:
2 cups chocolate cookie wafers
1/4 cup melted butter
Procedure for the base:
-Preheat oven to 325º.
-Grind the wafers in a food processor. Slowly add the butter, adding just enough so that the crust comes together when you pinch some between your fingers. You may not need all the butter, so check after you've added a few tablespoons.
-The "S" mid section that actually creates the separate yin and yangs is removable. Remove it for this part of the process. Place the cake ring that remains on a parchment lined sheetpan. Spray the sides and the parchment bottom with nonstick cooking spray.
-Pat the crust crumb so that it creates an even layer on the bottom of the cake pan.
-Bake the crust for 5 minutes.
For the filling:
(3) 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raspberry puree
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped and melted
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder (I use Callebaut extra brute)
Procedure for the filling:
-In a mixer fit with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and the sugar until smooth.
-Add eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between each addition.
-Fold in the flour and the salt.
-Divide the batter into two bowls, put slightly more into one than the other, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup more.
-Stir the raspberry puree into the bowl with MORE batter and the chocolate and cocoa powder into the other.
-Reinsert the "S" separator back into the cake ring, pressing very gently so that the "S" touches the crust but doesn't slice all the way through it but do make sure that it has a firm grip on the crust to create an impenetrable barrier. Spray both sides of the "S" with nonstick cooking spray.
-Carefully pour the batters into the two separate sides, pouring the chocolate first. You'll notice that the chocolate batter will be noticeably THICKER than the raspberry. The chocolate seizes and stiffens the batter. This is normal. Make sure to keep the batter confined in its compartment. You'll need to coax the batter into the pointy part of the yin/yang mold. I use a wooden skewer to guide the batter into that hard to reach area. Use a small offset spatula to smooth the top. You may have extra batter. If you do, don't try to pile the batter higher than the sides of the mold. Just bake in a little ramekin for a snack.
-Fill the raspberry side.
-Place the cheesecake in the 325º oven. Close the doors and immediately turn the heat down to 225º.
-Bake for an hour or until the cheesecake is just set. What you'll notice is that when you give the sheetpan a nudge, the raspberry cheesecake will give a barely perceptible wiggle (the chocolate is so thick that it won't budge). Turn off the heat, open the oven door just slightly and allow the cheesecake to cool slowly.
-When the cheesecake is completely cool, CAREFULLY remove the mold by using a VERY thin knife ( I use a boning knife) along the edges of the mold, including the "S", to release the cheesecake from the mold. Sometimes the tips of the yin and yang fall off. Save them and reattach with a little melted chocolate.
-For the "dots" use one naked raspberry and paint the other with a very thin layer of melted chocolate or ganache.