Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Italian Cheesecake

Easy and Delicious Ricotta Cheesecake --
and it's Gluten Free!
Ok, so this is not a cheesecake -- it is a mouthwatering rainbow cake that I bought from Betty Bakery in Brooklyn for our Labor Day weekend party.  I wanted everyone to see it! It's a sensible choice if you have lots of kids around; or better yet, a perfect gift for contemptuous, county clerks in Kentucky...sorry, had to throw that in.

Here is the cheesecake that we are going to make. I am eating this slice at my desk presently, as I write up the recipe! YUM!!!



So, if you are in the mood for extra rich, thick cream cheese cheesecake, the one with the graham cracker crust and perhaps some heavy whipped or sour cream on top, this recipe is not for you.  The recipe that follows is a traditional, Italian-style cake that is light, has just the right amount of sweetness and has the consistency that is more like flan than cream cheese. It is delicious, and better yet, simple to prepare. It is also perfect for dinner parties, is an impressive gift, and can be prepared a day in advance. You won't regret it!



Here is what you will need:

Spring form baking pan
3 lbs of whole milk ricotta cheese. Note: Be sure to look closely at the container's label, measurements can be obscure (above, a 15 oz container? Honestly!)
2 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon vanilla paste: 
In my opinion, unless you are cutting fresh vanilla beans and removing the seeds,  Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste should be used wherever vanilla extract is required.  It is simply the best! I use a generous amount for this cake.

You can find it at:


Here is how to prepare the cake

Start by preheating oven to 350 degrees. 


Lightly whisk the eggs and then add in the ricotta cheese and sugar.  


Add in the vanilla paste...


...and the lemon zest. 

Mix the ingredients together lightly. Be sure not to over mix, it should remain a bit lumpy. 


If you are looking for a new spring form baking pan, check out the German brand, Kaiser.  It is available at Sur La Table
This ingenious one (above) has a glass bottom, perfect to help gauge whether baking is complete!


Pour batter into the spring form pan and bake in the oven for one and a half hours, or until the top turns brown. After taking it out of the oven, it will fall a little bit. Release the spring 30 minutes after it starts cooling. The longer the cake cools, the better it will taste. It can be enjoyed at room temperature or cooled overnight. 


Top the cake with some powdered sugar and serve plain or with some fresh fruit.

Wasn't that easy??




Sur La Table is having a big sale! Check it out: