Cheesecake doesn’t require an introduction. America knows how to enjoy a good cheesecake year-round.
How the American version of the cheesecake developed can be found here, and New York is for many the city with the best cheesecake you can find. Hundreds of recipes exist in the US, most featuring cream cheese, yet other countries have their own recipes, using quark or ricotta.
This particular recipe calls for both cream cheese and whole milk ricotta and it is flour-less. Since Mission figs are in season, pairing them up with a white base cheesecake makes for a wonderful combination. Cheesecakes are like canvases, on which we can execute our own creations, with any fruit or edible flower at our disposal.
When baking a cheesecake, there are certain steps we want to keep in mind. Ideally, the ingredients should be at room temperature. Adding the eggs one at a time, and mixing at a slow speed, keeps air out of the mixture. Too much air will make the cheesecake deflate, and over-beating will make the cake crack. It is wise to keep the oven unopened during baking. The cheesecake is done when center is almost set. Let the cheesecake rest after baking. Never chill a warm cheesecake. Do you regularly bake cheesecakes? If so, what’s your favorite variation? Ricotta? Cream? I would love to hear from you.
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- 350g ricotta
- 500g cream cheese
- 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
- 6 black mission figs
- Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Place the ricotta and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 5–6 minutes or until smooth. Add the sugar and beat for 3–4 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Gradually add the eggs, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and lemon rind and beat until well combined.
- Pour mixture into a lightly greased 22cm-round tin lined on the base and sides with non-stick baking paper. Place into a deep baking dish and pour in enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the tin. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until firm to touch. Remove cheesecake from dish and allow to cool in the tin. Remove cheesecake from tin and spoon over figs to serve. Serves 6–8.