Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Desserts Collection: Triple chocolate ricotta cheesecake - Say Cheezee!

Once upon a time, I used to buy quite a number of women's magazines on a monthly basis.  Whatever that is on the shelve, you name it I have got it!  For whatever reason, this habit change and I notice myself buying more food magazines and come to a point now, I only buy food magazines and my favourite being Delicious, followed by Masterchef Australia and Gourmet Traveller.  Looking at the glossy and appetizing food pictures is always inspiring and often makes me wanna try each and everyone of them.  However, finding time is always a challenge.  In the October 2010 issue of Australia Gourmet Traveller's magazine, there is a section on Cheesecakes and OMG, the pictures looks awesome and appears delicious.  I think I had looked at it many times throughout the course of the month, but could not squeeze in the time to give it a try.  However, a good friend in town visiting for the week changed that as this friend had a birthday coming up the same week and that was really a good excuse to make a cake:)  Of the so many recipes in there, I decided to try the Triple chocolate ricotta cheesecake as it seem interesting and I have not had much experience with using ricotta cheese. 

When I first read the recipe, it did not appear to be complicating but as I started on the process of making it, things did not go as smooth as I had wanted it to.  I had to take the risk of changing the process along the way and each time I prayed hard that the cake will turn out OK.  However, when I came to the last step which is the top layer, I did not continue as I was not comfortable with the mixture and am scare it will ruin the existing layers of the cake.  So instead, I decided to make chocolate ganache and pipe them on to the cake.  Still look presentable on the overall and it did turn out OK (thank god!).  It tasted quite good as well.  Looked rich but with a lighter taste than cheesecake made with cream cheese.  Warning though - unless you have more than 4 hours to spare on a week night after work, reserve to attempt this on a weekend.    Anyways, recipe as below - enjoy! 

Triple chocolate ricotta cheesecake
(Adapted from Oct 2010 issue of Australia Gourmet Traveller magazine - modified slightly)
Prep time 30 mins, cook 50 mins (plus cooling, setting)
Serves 10-12
Oil for greasing
50gm hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
140gm caster sugar
150gm dark chocolate (65% cocoa solids), finely chopped
150ml pouring cream
2 egg yolks
Dutch-process cocoa, for dusting

Chocolate sable pastry
60gm caster sugar
60gm sour cream
100gm softened butter
90gm plain flour, sieved
30gm Dutch-process cocoa, sieved

White Chocolate ricotta filling
240gm couverture white chocolate, finely chopped
600gm firm ricotta

Dark Chocolate ricotta filling
240gm dark chocolate (65% cocoa solids), finely chopped
600gm firm ricotta
20gm pure icing sugar, sieved

1) For chocolate sable pastry, preheat oven to 180C.  Beat sugar, sour cream and 60gm butter in an electric mixer until very pale (2-3 minutes).  Add flour and cocoa, stir to combine.  Roll out pastry between two pieces of baking paper to a 20cm X 25cm rectangle.  Place on an oven tray, bake until crisp (25-30 minutes), then cool.  Break into coarse pieces, process in a food processor to fine crumbs.  Melt remaining butter, add to food processor, process to combine.  Press into a base of a 6cm deep, 22cm diameter ring mould placed on a tray lined with baking paper.  Bake until firm (8-10 minutes), cool.

2) For white chocolate ricotta filling, place all ingredients in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Stir until chocolate melts.  Let cool to room temperature and spoon over crumb base, smooth top and refrigerate until firm (30 minutes).

3) For dark chocolate ricotta filling, observe same steps as white chocolate ricotta filling.  Once mixture cools to room temperature, spoon them over the white chocolate filling.  Smooth top and refrigerate until firm (30 minutes).  Best kept overnight.

4) Meanwhile, place hazelnuts on an oiled oven tray.  Combine sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, cook until dark caramel (5-7 minutes).  Pour caramel over hazelnuts, stand until set, break into coarse pieces and store in an airtight container until required.

5) Combine dark chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stir occasionally until smooth (3-4 minutes).  Whisk yolks and 30ml water in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), fold in chocolate mixture, transfer to an electric mixer, whisk until thick and cooled to room temperature (6-8 minutes).  Spoon over cake, refrigerate until set (2-3 hours).  Scatter with praline hazelnuts, dust with cocoa and serve.
(note:  as mentioned earlier on, I discarded this step and instead pipe chocolate ganache on the set layer of the dark chocolate ricotta filling.  If u happen to give this step a try, would like to know your outcome!)

1 comment: