Cheesecake Perfect for Passover

This light, ethereal cheesecake is perfect Passover fare.  In addition to cream cheese, this Italian version includes sour cream for tang and ricotta for lightness.  The citrus zest is a must.  Cake meal easily replaces the traditional wheat flour.

Ingredients

1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese

1 lb. sour cream

1 lb. cream cheese (or mascarpone)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 stick sweet butter, melted

Pinch of salt

3 large eggs

½ cup cake meal, divided

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ T pure vanilla extract

Finely grated zest from one orange and one lemon

Directions

1. Have all filling ingredients at room temperature.  Grease and coat with 2 T cake meal the bottom and sides of a 9 X 3-inch springform pan.

2. In a stand mixer beat together ricotta, sour cream and cream cheese until well mixed.

3. Beat in sugar and then melted butter and pinch of salt.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Add 6 T cake meal, lemon juice, vanilla, and zest, beating until completely mixed.

6. Transfer to prepared pan and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for one hour.

7. Turn off heat and let cake stay in oven, door closed, for another hour.

8. Remove and let cake cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove sides of pan before serving and serve slightly chilled.

Raspberry Coulis

In a small saucepan, mash and heat ½ pint of fresh raspberries with 6 oz. raspberry preserves and 1 T Grand Marnier, stirring until syrupy. Strain syrup and mix with ½ pint fresh raspberries.  Serve withcheesecake.

Photo by sweetpaprika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Perfect for Passover Cheesecake

This light, ethereal cheesecake is perfect Passover fare.  In addition to cream cheese, this Italian version includes sour cream for tang and ricotta for lightness.  The citrus zest is a must.  Cake meal easily replaces the traditional wheat flour.

Ingredients

1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese

1 lb. sour cream

1 lb. cream cheese (or mascarpone)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 stick sweet butter, melted

Pinch of salt

3 large eggs

½ cup cake meal, divided

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ T pure vanilla extract

Finely grated zest from one orange and one lemon

Directions

1. Have all filling ingredients at room temperature.  Grease and coat with 2 T cake meal the bottom and sides of a 9 X 3-inch springform pan.

2. In a stand mixer beat together ricotta, sour cream and cream cheese until well mixed.

3. Beat in sugar and then melted butter and pinch of salt.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Add 6 T cake meal, lemon juice, vanilla, and zest, beating until completely mixed.

6. Transfer to prepared pan and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for one hour.

7. Turn off heat and let cake stay in oven, door closed, for another hour.

8. Remove and let cake cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove sides of pan before serving and serve slightly chilled.

Raspberry Coulis

In a small saucepan, mash and heat ½ pint of fresh raspberries with 6 oz. raspberry preserves and 1 T Grand Marnier, stirring until syrupy. Strain syrup and mix with ½ pint fresh raspberries.  Serve with cheesecake.

Photo by sweetpaprika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let ’em Eat Cake . . . Cheesecake, That Is

Italian cheesecake with raspberry coulis (photo by sweetpaprika)

I’ve always preferred the light, ethereal Italian cheesecake to the sometimes cloying New York cheesecake.  The latter uses cream cheese only, but the Italian version includes sour cream for tang and ricotta for lightness.  The citrus zest is a must.

This recipe appeared in The Daily News in 1979.  It was featured in a little northern Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village called New Port Alba.  It’s both rich and delicate.  I serve it with fresh raspberry coulis, the perfect accompaniment.

Ingredients

1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese

1 lb. sour cream

1 lb. cream cheese (or mascarpone)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 stick sweet butter, melted

Pinch of salt

3 large eggs

3 T flour

3 T cornstarch

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ T pure vanilla extract

¼ t Fiori Di Sicilia,* optional

Finely grated zest from one orange and one lemon

Directions

1. Have all filling ingredients at room temperature.  Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 9 X 3-inch springform pan.

2. In a stand mixer beat together ricotta, sour cream and cream cheese until well mixed.

3. Beat in sugar and then melted butter and pinch of salt.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Add flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, Fiori Di Sicilia and zest, beating until completely mixed.

6. Transfer to prepared pan and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for one hour.

7. Turn off heat and let cake stay in oven, door closed, for another hour.

8. Remove and let cake cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove sides of pan before serving and serve slightly chilled.

Raspberry Coulis

In a small saucepan, mash and heat ½ pint of fresh raspberries with 6 oz. raspberry preserves and 1 T Grand Marnier, stirring until syrupy. Strain syrup and mix with ½ pint fresh raspberries.  Serve with cheesecake.

  • Fiori Di Sicilia is an all-natural combination of vanilla and citrus with a pleasingly floral aroma.  Italians use it to scent their panettone and pandoro.  It can be mail ordered.

The Cheesecake Diet

by Victor Ribaudo

Why is it that every time I’m on a diet, someone puts a cheesecake on the table?  A conspiracy, I tell you!  Really, I’m only a mortal human being.  There’s just so much I can resist.  You know where this is leading, I’m sure.  Of course, my will power caves in and I end up with a big slab of it on my plate, waiting for consumption.  And consume I do.  But that’s what cheesecake is about.  Total indulgence.

Cheesecake isn’t really a cake, in my estimation.  It’s more like a really thick cheese custard.  So a misnomer is about the only negative thing I can say here since I don’t know anyone who doesn’t adore it. No wonder.  Whoever thought of combining fresh cream cheese, sour cream, eggs and sugar – then baking it in a spring form pan – is a genius in my culinary book.  But who did come up with the idea?

I’ve heard tell that the cheesecake, in its most literal meaning, was originated in Ancient Greece as it was served to Olympic athletes. More recent history records recipes for cakes made with cottage cheese that were brought to this country by immigrants.  However, it seems that the original cream cheese version was invented by Arnold Reuben, owner of the Turf Restaurant in New York City.  Good job, Arnold.

Now, I know there are several kinds of cheesecake.  While growing up, my parents were always entertaining guests for dinner.  Inevitably, someone would stop by a local bakery and bring a cheesecake for dessert.  You remember – the ones that came in the white boxes tied with string?  There was something not quite right about those cheesecakes.  Sort of fluffy and dry and strangely garnished with yellow cake crumbs.  Not my cup of tea.  The real deal, as far as this guy is concerned, is the thick, dense, creamy cheesecake that put Junior’s here in New York City on the map.  My Aunt Ann somehow procured their recipe, and began bringing it to family functions – on demand.  And it’s remained the only kind of American cheesecake for me ever since.

I say American cheesecake, because being the Italian that I am, I must mention our take on this bit of heaven.  These are made with ricotta cheese and often flavored with citrus.  I must say, the Italian cheesecake is truly sublime.  So much so that my friend Phyllis offered a recipe for you to try.  You’ll find it above.  Truly outstanding.

So, variations on the theme?  There are many.  Some prefer their cheesecake smothered with strawberries, cherries, blueberries or any other fruit.  I can do that.  Others desire it marbled with velvety chocolate. Works for me. Thanksgiving dessert tables offer pumpkin cheesecake, boasting those warm holiday spices. I look forward to it every year.  As for the crust – traditional or graham cracker both work.  I’m happy just as long as I’m served a large wedge.

Now, I know there are several kinds of cheesecake.  While growing up, my parents were always entertaining guests for dinner.  Inevitably, someone would stop by a local bakery and bring a cheesecake for dessert.  You remember – the one’s that came in the white boxes tied with string?  There was something not quite right about those cheesecakes.  Sort of fluffy and dry and strangely garnished with yellow cake crumbs.  Not my cup of tea.  The real deal, as far as this guy is concerned, is the thick, dense, creamy cheesecake that put Junior’s here in New York City on the map.  My Aunt Ann somehow procured their recipe, and began bringing it to family functions – on demand.  And it’s remained the only kind of American cheesecake for me ever since.

I’ve been known to brulee my cheesecake.  Just a sprinkling of sugar and a gentle torching do the trick.  Sometimes I add a sweet liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, to the mix.  Just a little bit goes a long way. I’ve also pulled all the stops and fried my cheesecake.  Just be sure that it’s really cold.  Then cut some small squares, dip them in batter, fry until golden and serve with whipped cream.  Hey, if they can do it with Twinkies and Oreos, I can do it with cheesecake.

On a diet?  Me too.  But look at it this way.  Salads and grilled fish or chicken all week will leave plenty of room for cheesecake on the weekends.  American or Italian style, just one slice will make life worth living.  That’s why it was invented.

Recipe by Phyllis Kirigin

Photographer Bill Brady

Written by Victor Ribaudo

Blog syndicated at the datingsymbol.com

Images were photographed at Gwynns Sweet indulgence
http://www.sweetindulgencesnj.com/

Cheese Sophistication

ITALIAN CHEESECAKE

With Vanilla Wafer Crust

This light, ethereal Italian cheesecake will not disappoint. Unlike the New York style cheesecake which traditionally uses only cream cheese, the Italian version includes sour cream for tang and ricotta for lightness as well as cream cheese for structure.  The citrus zest is a must.

This cheesecake was inspired by one served in the 1990s in a little northern Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village called New Port Alba.  It’s both rich and delicate.  You can serve it with a few fresh berries or a fresh fruit coulis and a dollop of whipped cream.  Just don’t overwhelm the luscious cheesecake.

Vanilla Wafer Crust

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

20 vanilla wafers (Nila is a good choice)

1 T sugar

4 oz. butter, melted

Tightly cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the wafers and sugar. Process until the wafers are fine crumbs.  Drizzle butter into the crumb mixture.  Pulse to combine. Press this mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Filling

1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese

1 lb. sour cream

1 lb. cream cheese (or mascarpone)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 stick sweet butter, melted

Pinch of salt

3 large eggs

3 T flour

3 T cornstarch

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ T pure vanilla extract

¼ t fiori di sicilia (optional)*

Finely grated zest from one orange and one lemon

Have all filling ingredients at room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl beat together ricotta, sour cream and cream cheese until well mixed.  Beat in sugar and then melted butter and pinch of salt.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, fiori di sicilia and zest, beating until completely mixed.

Lower oven heat to 300 degrees.  Transfer to prepared pan and bake for one hour.  Turn off heat and let cake stay in oven, door closed, for another hour.  Remove and let cake cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove sides of pan and serve slightly chilled.

*fiori di sicilia-an intense vanilla and citrus flavoring available online from King Arthur Flour.

Cheese sophistication - www.datingsymbol.com

Cheese–Milk’s Leap Towards Immortality: Victor on Cheese

They say that long ago a man had a container made from an animal’s stomach. Not uncommon in the BC years. He filled his pouch with some fresh milk one day in preparation for a long journey. Well, the rennin from the stomach lining helped coagulate the milk, producing curds and whey. Voila! Cheese was born. Of course, there’s no way to substantiate this story. I believe it – or something like it – is true. I like to call these phenomena “food accidents.” I’m sure that’s how wine and bread leveners were discovered as well. Call me a dreamer. But isn’t it amazing how such delicious foods can have such meager and haphazard beginnings?

Cheese & Fruit, www.datingsymbol.com

There’s actually nothing meager about cheese. I believe it’s one of our most sophisticated foods. So many varieties, all with nuances that distinguish them from one another. Some have actually been knighted with the names of cities. I’m not surprised. Cheese, like no other food, shows that we are truly fortunate to possess taste buds. It speaks of history, craftsmanship and creativity. It makes for incredible pre-dinner fare, marvelous entrees and indulgent desserts. Not many foods can say that.

Soft Cheeses, www.datingsymbol.com

There are thousands of types of cheeses, from hard to runny, pungent to mild. Cheese can reflect the gentle fragrance of wind swept fields. Or it can be a bold and brassy thing that dominates the plate and fills a room with aromas. Excellent examples of the range of cheese experiences include everything from the delicate, milky texture of fresh mozzarella to the creamy, mushroom-like flavor of brie to the robust, in-your-face aroma of Roquefort. What’s for you? Well, I’m tempted to list every one of my favorites, and describe each one of them. But cheese is a purely personal thing. Really subjective. The best advice I can give is to visit a fine cheese shop, or even your supermarket, and explore. Use your eyes. What looks interesting? Take a sample. Better cheese establishments will gladly offer. Then take your choices home, and enjoy with crusty breads, fresh or dried fruits, nuts and of course, wine. You’ll know straight off what turns you on. Once you’ve established that, then you can begin to incorporate cheese into your culinary repertoire.
Italian group of cheeses, www.datingsymbol.com

I personally look to add cheese to as many recipes as I can, to heighten complexity of flavors. When I’m simmering a chicken soup, I place a pecorino Romano rind into the pot. It doesn’t melt, I assure you. For my chicken pot pie, I incorporate a sharp cheddar into the crust. Really savory. My sizzling steak almost always includes a dab of blue cheese in the final presentation. As for my cream sauces, the addition of cheese is always a refinement. I usually begin with a béchamel, and then rely on my kitchen cleverness. I stir in grated parmesan to top my steamed asparagus. Edam is added when saucing my blanched broccoli. My Alfredo sauce gets a dollop of blue cheese, too. Just my taste. It all works.

Salsa Dip & Cheese, www.datingsymbol.com

Truth is, cheese really enhances and romances a meal. When I want to dazzle my love, it’s brie en croute as an appetizer, for sure. A Gruyere soufflericota, brie en  croute for dinner, absolutely. Decadent cheesecake – especially the Italian ricotta variety – a must. It just adds richness to the occasion – especially when we’re not celebrating anything special. And that’s what I’m usually looking for. A way to make our culinary journey exceptional. Cheese surely does that. With sophistication. And in great taste.

——————————————————————————–

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. ~G.K. Chesterton (They obviously don’t know everything.)

Photographer Bill Brady http://bit.ly/9wFYxm
Written by Victor Ribaudo http://theribaudogroup.com
Recipe by Phyllis Kirigin, https://sweetpaprika.wordpress.com
Food Stylist Brian Preston Campbell  http://www.preston-campbell.com
Blog syndicated at http:/www.datingsymbol.com

Italian Cheesecake

I’ve always preferred the light ethereal Italian cheesecake to the sometimes unctuous New York cheesecake.  The latter uses cream cheese only, but the Italian version includes sour cream for tang and ricotta for lightness.  The citrus zest is a must.

This recipe appeared in The Daily News in 1979.  It was featured in a little northern Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village called New Port Alba.  It’s both rich and delicate.  I serve it with fresh raspberry coulis, the perfect accompaniment.

1 lb. whole milk ricotta cheese

1 lb. sour cream

1 lb. cream cheese (or mascarpone)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 stick sweet butter, melted

Pinch of salt

3 large eggs

3 T flour

3 T cornstarch

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ T pure vanilla extract

¼ t fiori di sicilia

Finely grated zest from one orange and one lemon

Have all filling ingredients at room temperature.  Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 9 X 3-inch springform pan.

In a large mixing bowl beat together ricotta, sour cream and cream cheese until well mixed.  Beat in sugar and then melted butter and pinch of salt.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add flour, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla, fiori di sicilia and zest, beating until completely mixed.

Transfer to prepared pan and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for one hour.  Turn off heat and let cake stay in oven, door closed, for another hour.  Remove and let cake cool completely in pan, set on a wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove sides of pan before serving and serve slightly chilled.

Raspberry Coulis

In a small saucepan, mash and heat  ½ pint of fresh raspberries with 6 oz. raspberry preserves and 1 T Grand Marnier, stirring until syrupy. Strain syrup and mix with ½ pint fresh raspberries.  Serve with cheesecake.

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