1¼ c finely ground shortbread cookie crumbs
¼ c ground almonds (appx 1 oz)
2 T sugar
⅛ t almond extract
3 T (or more) unsalted butter, melted
6 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
3 8-oz pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
½ lb Neufchâtel cheese, room temperature
5 large eggs, room temperature
¾ c sugar
2 T all purpose flour
1 t vanilla
¼ t almond extract
7 T whipping cream
8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
¼ c raspberry jam, melted and strained
toasted almond slices
fresh raspberries (optional)
1 12-oz bag frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed, pureed and strained
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients except butter in small bowl. Blend in enough butter to bind crumbs. Press mixture firmly onto bottom of 10-inch springform pan. Bake 10 min. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Reduce oven temp to 325°.
Melt chocolate in double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Using electric mixer, beat cheeses in large bowl until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Mix in sugar, flour, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir 1 cup of mixture into lukewarm white chocolate; mix into remaining filling in bowl. Pour filling over crust. Bake at 325° until cheesecake is firm around edges, but still moves slightly in center when pan is shaken, about 40 min. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bring cream to simmer in heavy small saucepan over low hear. Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Spoon glaze over top of cheesecake. Using spatula, spread glaze slightly over edge. Refrigerate until glaze is set.
Brush jam around sides of cheesecake. Press almonds onto sides, covering completely. (Can be prepared two days ahead; cover and refrigerate). Arrange raspberries in center of cheesecake if desired. Serve with raspberry puree.