Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Italian Cheesecake

I've been slacking in the blogging department, I could say that it's because I've been madly preparing for Christmas but that would be a bold faced lie.  I've just been particularly procrastinatory (a disorder that often times suffer from).

I will say that I've been working on a possibly controversial blog posting... I hope to get it hammered out before Christmas (since that is the topic that it will be covering)... cross your fingers I get enough of my extensive "to-do-list" done, so that I can finish it...

But to make up for my slackass ways, here's a recipe that I've made (twice) for recent festive gatherings...

Italian Cheesecake

Now, I'm sure many of you are aware that I'm not very good at following a recipe, so I'll just show you how I altered the recipe.

Italian Ricotta Cheesecake
Photo courtesy of http://stickygooeycreamychewy.com

1 teaspoon softened butter
1/2 cup finely crushed amaretti cookies (optional)
2  pounds ricotta cheese
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs * I used 7 eggs
2 egg yolks * I skipped the yoke
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest * No zest in my cheesecake
1/4 cup heavy cream * Subbed in sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extractDouble (possibly tripled) the vanilla
1 tablespoon orange flower water * Couldn't find orange flower water, so I just upped the vanilla extract (also why I skipped the orange zest)
Powdered sugar, for dusting * No dusting on my cheesecake
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Drain the ricotta in a colander lined with cheesecloth set over a bowl for about 30 minutes to an hour.  This drains out the excess liquid in it, making for a denser cake.
Butter a 9-inch springform pan.  Coat pan with crushed amaretti, if using, swirling it around to get an even coating.  Pour out any excess crumbs.  Place prepared pan on a baking sheet.
Using an electric mixer, beat the ricotta, mascarpone and sugar together until smooth.  With the mixer on medium-low, add the eggs, orange zest, cream, vanilla and orange flower water and mix until completely homogenized.
Pour batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 1½ hours. Turn off the oven and let the cake rest inside for 30 minutes.
Remove cake from the oven and let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the cake to loosen it and unmold.  Chill the cheesecake in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.

I really enjoyed this cheesecake (some of those that I served it to, I don't think they quite felt my love for it), it was light and had a very bright flavour.  I've never met a cheesecake that I didn't love... but this is a lovely alternative to a traditional New York style cheesecake. 

Enjoy (and hopefully I'll get my next post done in a timely fashion)

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