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ricotta cheesecake



A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to make a ricotta cheesecake, you know the kind where the filling is encased in pastry. I hunted around for a recipe and in the end I came up with this one. The filling is adapted from the ricotta cheesecake recipe in Ostro by Julia Busuttil Nishimura.



The filling is made from ricotta cheese mixed with cream cheese and lightened with cream. Originally I'd planned to top the cake with whipped cream and some oven roasted rhubarb I'd made earlier but I wasn't feeling well and didn't have the brain power to work out how to make the rhubarb look pretty, so instead I went with summer berries. 



The cake is pretty simple to put together. I made my usual shortbread base and once that had cooled poured over the filling. The cheesecake once baked rests overnight in the fridge before decorating.



Here's the recipe for you which makes an 18cm cake. I've included the recipe for the oven baked rhubarb because I still think it would make the perfect accompaniment, maybe on the side. If you'd like to make a 23 cm cheesecake, just double all the ingredients. The cooking time stays the same. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 gram eggs. My oven is a regular gas oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20ºC.



Ricotta Cheesecake - makes an 18 cm cake.

For the base
55 g unsalted butter
25 g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup plain flour

Filling
250g well drained ricotta cheese
125g cream cheese
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste of half a vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped
20g plain flour
2 eggs
¼ cup cream

Oven roasted rhubarb
1 bunch rhubarb, washed, trimmed of tough strands and cut into 2-3 cm chunks
4 tbs caster sugar
Thinly peeled rind and juice of ½ orange
1 cinnamon quill

To serve
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, berries or roasted rhubarb.

Method
Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a 18 cm spring form tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and add to the mixture to form a soft dough. Press the dough into the base of the 18 cm spring-form tin. Bake until the edge of the crust is lightly golden, about 15-20 minutes. Set to one side to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 170°C. In the bowl of a food processor process the cheeses with the sugar, vanilla and flour until smooth. Add the egg, the cream and process again until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Pour the filling into the prepared tin then place on the middle shelf in the oven. Bake cheesecake until filling is set about 50 minutes. Turn off oven and leave the door ajar and let the cheesecake stand in the cooling oven for an 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool cheesecake completely on rack before covering and refrigerating overnight.

Oven roasted rhubarb
Preheat oven to 200°C. Arrange rhubarb snugly in a baking dish, scatter sugar and orange peel over, drizzle with juice and add cinnamon quill. Cover with foil and roast until rhubarb is just tender (15-20 minutes but I start checking at 10 minutes). Set aside to cool, still covered. Taste for sweetness before using and adjust to taste, as sometimes the rhubarb can be very tart. The rhubarb compote is delicious and if there are any leftovers, I use it to top my muesli served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.



Serve the cheesecake with whipped cream and berries or some oven roasted rhubarb. Decorate just before serving.



When I made this cake I couldn't taste a thing but my workmates tell me the cheesecake tasted delicious.


I'll be back again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

See you all again soon.  

Bye for now,

Jillian

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