Amaretto Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Amaretto Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

1/4 cup butter
2 cups chopped almonds
2 tbsp granulated sugar

12 oz (375 g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp Amaretto or other almond liqueur
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

3 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
2 tbsp Amaretto or other almond liqueur

Base: In 9-inch microwavable quiche dish, shallow round baking dish or deep pie plate, melt butter at high (100 per cent power) 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in almonds and sugar until evenly coated with butter. Press into bottom and sides of dish. Microwave at high 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. If necessary, rotate dish during cooking.

Filling: Beat cream cheese and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add sour cream, 2 tablespoons Amaretto or almond liqueur, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until smooth. Pour into baked crust.

Microwave uncovered at medium (50 per cent power) 14 to 18 minutes or until cheesecake is almost set in centre. Rotate dish partway through cooking, if necessary.

Cool on countertop to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Sauce: Reserve some whole raspberries for garnish. Puree remaining raspberries. Push through sieve to remove seeds. Stir 2 tablespoons Amaretto or almond liqueur into puree. Add sugar to taste.

To serve, spoon some sauce on to dessert plates. Place slice of cheesecake on sauce. Garnish with reserved berries.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

If you prefer, use 1 cup graham cracker crumbs with 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds for the crust. Use a food processor and pulse to chop nuts to an even consistency, rather than a fine powder. Also, you could substitute strawberries for the raspberries. To omit liqueur, increase almond extract in the filling to 1 teaspoon and use just a drop in the raspberry puree.

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