14 January 2013

Ricotta & Mascarpone Cheesecake with Frutti di Bosco (Berries)


My son's recent "crostata (Italian tart filled with jam) or nothing" phase made me stock up on these tarts at home. During the hype of his phase, he could easily finish one whole crostata (about 22 cm.) on his own between 1 - 2 days.  However, we don't share the same opinion about them.  I never liked them because they are always too sweet.   I know I should start making them but before I could find the perfect not-too-sweet cherry jam that I want to use, his crostata phase popped like a balloon and he refuses to touch any crostata.  Just like that.


While I had been hoarding his tarts, I happened to see a baked cheesecake of ricotta and mascarpone with frutti di bosco among the cakes at the bakery.  Now, ricotta and I are not in good terms yet but when cooked, I can actually enjoy it.  I knew one person who would like it.  My husband.  In my bag of purchases were a couple of cherry crostate and a cheesecake for the males with the sweet tooth in the house.


I was surprised at how good the cheesecake was.  I had a second slice, then a third then when I was thinking about a fourth, I noticed the bad look my husband was giving me.  "Don't you just hate the milky taste of the ricotta?", he asked.   His subliminal message went through.  That was his cake after all!


We both read the ingredients together and discussed about making it and how I should go about it.   We bought the ingredients the following day and I embarked in baking that morning.  It was slightly different from the cake we bought but it came out very good too.  We had one cake each in one sitting and I wish I cooked more.  They were really good that I cannot wait to share the recipe with you.  


There was one point that I thought (and my husband agreed) that I should change for the succeeding time I make this cake. 

I took out the cake midway through baking because I didn't want to put the sauce while the batter was still liquid.  I didn't want it to go down.  I wanted it to stay on top but cooked.  It had been setting perfectly until I disrupted the cooking midway, thus, the center sank a bit.  The next time I do it, I would leave it alone to bake completely then pour half of the sauce immediately while it is still hot then the other half of the sauce before serving.  I think that's more sensible than what I did. 



Ricotta & Mascarpone Cheesecake with Frutti di Bosco (Berries)

Ingredients:
Makes two 11 cm. springform pans or one 22 cm. springform pan
  • 250 grams ricotta
  • 150 mascarpone
  • 1 egg
  • 50 grams sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 100 grams biscuits
  • 40 grams butter, softened
  • 100 grams frutti di bosco (berries) + more for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • fresh mint leaves for garnishing (optional) 
  • icing sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Directions:
  1. Crush the biscuits in a mixer.  Transfer to a bowl.  Mix in the softened butter.  
  2. Transfer to the springform pans and press at the bottom.  You can use a meat tenderizer to help pack it well.  Refrigerate while you are preparing the cake and the sauce.
  3. To prepare the sauce, get a small saucepan.  Put the berries, sugar, lemon & water together.  Cook until it thickens. Set aside.
  4. Mix the ricotta, mascarpone, sugar, egg and lemon zest in a mixer until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture in the springform pans.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven of 180 degreesnCelsius for about 50 - 60 minutes or until a knife you insert in the middle of the cakes come out clean.
  7. While the cakes are still hot, poke holes on the cake with the tip of a knife then pour half of the sauce.
  8. Let the cakes cool completely.
  9. Pour the remaining sauce before serving.
  10. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and berries.


12 comments:

  1. So, so pretty, Rowena! I love the ricotta-mascarpone pairing, and those berries are just gorgeous!

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  2. Hold me back, Rowena...I'm about to eat my computer screen!!! Absolutely scrumptious...and gorgeous too!

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    1. LOL! I know the feeling Carol. It happens to me too when I see other food pics!

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  3. Anything with mascarpone in it is a winner for me. Your family sure have passions about different foods, which must help you make choices of what to cook. You have made this cake look stunning.

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, it helps compensate for the sunken center. :-)

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  4. Love the pink board in the back that brings these berries pop up even more. You always share equal amount of savory and sweet dishes. Your family is so lucky that not only you cook many dishes, but excellent dishes. :)

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    1. I can cook as much as I want but the only thing I love is to see them eating what I prepared. That for me is excellence.

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  5. I love this! I've never tried mascarpone and ricotta cheesecake yet, but that has to change soon! And as usual, beautiful plating and styling, Rowena! We are undergoing a kitchen reno right now, so I'm missing home-made food and cooking. Wish I can make this now...

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    1. You always do beautiful and wonderful food from your kitchen Jen. Just a little more patience and you will have your reign back.

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  6. RICOTTA & MASCARPONE CHEESECAKE

    What type of biscuits did you use?

    Italy looks absolutely beautiful! I would love to see it. I was married to an Italian for 46 years before I lost him, do I qualify as an Italian? ;)

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    1. Hi Janet. I used the classic Digestives. Sorry to hear about your husband. You should see Italy if he comes from here. It's a beautiful country. I think that qualification to being someone from a certain country depends on how a person feels towards it.

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