These masterful tips will your guests coming back for more—cheesecake, that is. 

Raspberry Cheesecake

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Cheesecake. It’s the dessert you make when you want guests to think you’re a chef extraordinaire. It’s a showstopper dessert—and a conversation stopper. After tasting it, guests will want to know your secrets.

The first secret is to always use full-fat cream cheese. Remember, fat is back in, and you can tell yourself it’s better, dare I say healthier, to use the full-fat. The cheesecake will be more full-bodied this way. Also, plan ahead when you want to make cheesecake. Set the cream cheese out at least an hour or two before, so it can come to room temperature. This way, it will be easier to mix and will better incorporate with the other ingredients. Don’t tell, but you can also bake the entire cheesecake ahead of when you need it, which can relieve stress when planning for big meals.

Think about the flavors you want to include in your cheesecake. Make sure to consider what flavors will best complement the texture and slight tang of the dessert. When in doubt, stay simple! Many home cooks think that a flavor explosion is more impressive, but the secret is that something done well is more impressive. A classic plain cheesecake can be delicious when you pair it with the right complement, like raspberries. The sweetness of the cheesecake and the tartness of the berries will balance one another out.

For many raspberry cheesecake recipes, Southern Living’s Ultimate Cheesecake with fresh raspberries or a raspberry topping poured overtop will achieve the desired raspberry flavor. If you want raspberry-flavored cheesecake, puree fresh raspberries and mix them into the cheesecake batter before baking. Or, if fresh raspberries are difficult to obtain, use raspberry jam and swirl it into the top of the cheesecake!

Covering the top of the cheesecake with berries or swirling in a design before baking will also cover any cracks that might have formed in the surface. But because you know all the secrets to making the best raspberry cheesecake, you’ll know that a water bath, coupled with the just right baking time - until the edges are set but the middle is still a tad jiggly - and a slow cooling can help avoid cracks in the cheesecake.

Another secret? You can make raspberry cheesecake cookies if making a traditional cheesecake seems too difficult! These can be made by making mini cheesecakes.

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If you happen to sneak a bite of the cheesecake before serving it, then...I suppose that can be your secret to the best cheesecake.