I love cheesecakes, but it’s been a while that I’d made one. Perhaps, because of too many new recipes pending I’ve totally pushed cheesecakes back. So here comes my first cheesecake after a year-break: a very pretty, tempting, with a slight hint of ginger and bright berry taste. It’s got a velvety and light texture, mostly because of ricotta.
This cheesecake cam be made with any kind of berries. I had strawberries on hand. Actually, you also may use frozen berries, but be sure to pick the biggest one you can find and reduce your cooking time, it won’t affect the taste at all. I must confess I’ve cheated and used both fresh and frozen berries. While serving, I covered all the frozen strawberries with fresh ones, because it looked nicer and more appealing.
This recipe makes a 18-20 cm round cheesecake.
– 250 g graham crackers
– 1/4 t ground ginger
– 70 g butter, melted
The easiest way to make the base is to use a food processor. Put the crackers in a bowl of the food processor and process it to form fine crumbs, then add the ground ginger and melted butter and pulse to evenly distribute the butter. Place the buttered crumbs in a prepared spring form and using the back of a spoon or a flat-bottomed glass, press the crumbs in hard, to have an even layer. Place in the fridge for 30 min to set. Meanwhile, make the cheesecake.
– 330 g cream cheese
– 500 g ricotta
– 200 g seedless strawberry jam (or any other berry jam)*
– 1 1/2 T ground ginger
– 20 g candied ginger, finely chopped
– zest of 1 lemon
– 4 eggs, lightly beaten
– 1 1/2 T corn starch
– 1 1/2 T water
[*You may substitute berry jam with 200 g of fresh or frozen berries, mashed and pushed through a fine sieve, and then reduced with 100 g of sugar]
Preheat the oven to 160º.
Mix (by hand with a whisk or using a mixer on low speed) cream cheese, ricotta, jam, ground ginger, candied ginger and lemon zest. Add the beaten eggs and mix again. In a separate small bowl, mix the corn starch and water, then add the mixture to the cheesecake mixture. Mix to combine.
Pour the cheesecake mixture over the chilled base, place the spring form on a small tray (to collect any melted butter that may leak out during baking), bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until done. The surface of the cheesecake must brown a little, the sides well baked and the centre a bit wobbly. Turn the oven off, leave the cheesecake in for 1 hour. Then remove it and let cool in the pan at room temperature. Then send the cheesecake in the fridge to set, at least for 4 hours.
You may roast the berries beforehand, then you have to store them refrigerated and in an airtight container until you want to use them. Alternatively, you may roast them 1 hour before you serve the cheesecake.
Roasted berry topping:
– 500 g fresh strawberries (or mixture of fresh and frozen)
– 40 g light brown sugar
– 30 g balsamic vinegar
– 10 fresh basil leaves
Hull and half the strawberries, place them in a wide frying pan to have them in an even layer. Add brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and gently toss. Cook the berries on medium fire for about 10 min, gently flipping them on the other side, trying not to break them. You want the berries to hold their shape and not turn in a mushy mess. Just a couple of minutes before the berries are done, add the basil leaves. Turn the fire off, cover the pan with a lid and let the berries infuse for a while.
Remove the cheesecake from the spring form before serving, place it on a serving dish. Arrange the berries on the top, pour some sauce over, garnish with fresh basil leaves.