HHDD #9 - the incredibly ironic (and surprisingly tasty) cheesecake
ok, ok. you might as well add me to the seriously growing list of people who are completely obsessed with dorie greenspan's new book, baking: from my home to yours. i wasn't always this way, i swear. when it was first released, i picked it up because it was new and because i sort of, kind of liked baking with julia, although i didn't think it had enough pictures (baking with julia, that is, not from my home to yours). my first scan of the book elicited a mere 5 recipes that got added to my recipe file, and the book went back on the shelf with a shrug and a sigh and the expectation of practically never using it again.
i'm still not really sure what pulled me back into it, but it was probably my quest for a really good dessert to use for my photography potluck lunch, or possibly a particularly boring sunday afternoon spent whiling away the hours by dreaming of sugary, dessert-like confections. whatever it was, dorie came off the shelf again and i swear, it was like a spiritual awakening or something.
other books--lisa yockelson's chocolate, chocolate among them--have seduced me by sheer volume and creativity in their recipes. i dedicated hours to bookmarking lisa's recipes, painstakingly singling them out for weekend experiments and izzie-stevens-like-baking binges. but her recipes, for all of their sizzle, have yet to work out for me exactly the way i hoped they would. dorie's recipes impressed me with their variety but also their practicality. you read one of her recipes and you think, "damn, that sounds really good." but you also think, "i could TOTALLY make that."
and so here i am, confessing that yes, this past week i made 3--count 'em, three--recipes out of dorie. all in the SAME WEEK.
all of this brings me at last to the irony of my most recent confection, the hidden berry torte. i recently participated in my first food blogging event, sugar high friday #28. i dedicated half of my entry to ranting about how much i hate cheesecake and the other half to extolling the virtues blood oranges and chocolate. i had originally planned on maybe having my first blogging event be "hay, hay it's donna day #9" but i missed the deadline. thus i determined not to miss HHDD #10.
and what's the theme for HHDD#10? cheesecake.
here's my thing about cheesecake: i really hate cream cheese. i guess that is practically un-american, and it certainly verges on anti-jewish in a culture that subsists on cream cheese and lox for sunday morning breakfasts. it gets even more unamerican, because now i have to confess that my ideal subsitute for cream cheese is italian mascarpone (hey, at least it isn't french, right?). i've done a lot of experiments with mascarpone--my favorite is definitely using it as an ice cream base) and i finally decided to just substitute one for the other in a regular cheesecake recipe.
but oh, it gets even more complicated. because i also don't like cottage cheese, an dorie's recipe uses a mixture of cottage cheese and cream cheese. so i just thew in a tub of ricotta. and then, for good measure (and an unexpectedly fast delivery from amazon.com), i adapted the recipe to include one of tish boyle's cream cheese ideas--the addition of white chocolate.
and thus i present the white chocolate raspberry truffle cheese cake.
which, by the way, was really, REALLY good.
raspbery white chocolate truffle cheese cake
(adapted from baking: from my home to yours and tish boyle's the cake book)
FOR THE FILLING
½ cup thick berry or cherry jam
9 ounces mascarpone, at room
8 ounces (1 cup) ricotta cheese, at room
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
7 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, preferably at room
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
GETTING Ready: Butter a 9-inch springform pan, dust the inside with flour and
tap out the excess. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
TO MAKE THE CRUST: This cheesecake will work with a variety of crusts--graham cracker, chocolate wafer, or pate sucree. I used a chocolate wafer crust in a pie dish, but I would recommend using the crust of your choice in a springform pan so that it cooks more evenly.
TO MAKE THE CAKE: Mix the cheeses, sugar and eggs together. Pour in the tempered and cooled chocolate and mix well. Spred a layer of jam across the crust and add cheeese/chocolate mixture, making sure you have an even layer.
Bake at 375 for about 60-70 minutes, until top is puffed and golden. Because of the chocolate, the inside will still be jiggly, but the cake will firm and deflate as it cools, leaving a uniform texture.