Friday, March 12, 2010

Ricotta Cream Cheesecake

I've been wanting to bake a cheesecake for a long time now and have been just putting it off for no valid reason. So a few days ago I stacked up my fridge with 4 packets of Philly cream cheese and decided to bake 'em up yesterday using my favorite, the very easy Kraft Classic Cheesecake recipe. Took them out of the fridge to thaw and realized I only had 3 packets left! Then I realized I had whipped up 1 packet for a carrot cake order over the weekend. Ahh..there goes another 'put of' for cheesecake baking. As I reopened my fridge to put them back inside, I noticed a 250g tub of ricotta. Oh was I happy as I just love ricotta!!

Ricotta, as I had just discovered, is "technically" not a CHEESE cheese, it is a WHEY cheese. And whey cheese, is apparently not made from milk as regular cheeses are but made from the leftovers from cheesemaking! Interesting.....

Replacing the 1 packet of Philly cream cheese with the ricotta, I knew I was going to end up with a luscious cheesecake. Since it was going to be "luscious", I wanted to luxuriate the cake a little more by adding 3/4 cup of heavy cream and almond meal to the biscuit base. I was very happy with my additions! And not to forget my final touches, I spread fresh whipped cream over the chilled cake and topped with gooseberries and blueberries.

*adapted from and jazzed up by me!

For the cake:

3 packets of Kraft Philly Cream Cheese
1 250g tub of Ricotta cheese
1 cup of caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream

For the base:

1 1/2 cup crushed Digestive biscuits
1/2 cup almond meal
2-3 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp caster sugar


1. Preheat oven to 175c (165c if using dark springform pan which I did).
2. Base: Mix crumbs, almond meal, butter and sugar together. Pour and press onto bottom of springform pan and 1 inch up the sides. Bake in oven for about 5 minutes just to let it set.
3. Cake: Cream the cheese's, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended.
4. Add eggs, one at a time on low speed. Beat until just blended.
5. Add in cream, beat for 10 seconds.
6. Pour batter over prepared crust base, into the oven for about 50 to 55 minutes until center is almost set.
7. Immediately loosen cake from sides of pan using a spatula. Allow to cool completely, (you could, if you want, as the original recipe remove the rim of the pan at this point but I didn't just so it was easier for me to cover the cake with cling wrap), cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or better still overnight.
8. Now top 'em up with your topping of choice from chocolate sauce or whipping cream and BON APPETIT!!

And did I mention what a smooth and creamy and LUSCIOUS and very vanilla ice cream like this cheesecake was??? It was a big hit at home and that makes me a very happy baker today =) XO


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