There were the chocolate chip and sea salt cookies, the banana bread (just like everybody else), more cookies, amazing cinnamon rolls with mascarpone cheese icing (E. baked them and I created the icing), financiers made with buckwheat, almond, ginger and honey, buckwheat chocolate mini muffins (both financiers and mini muffins made by E. too), New York bagels, a marvellous lemon cake from a french radio program (thanks to my lovely cousin C. for sharing it) and then, there was the delicious baked ricotta cheesecake. So good that I am sharing the recipe here today (if you don't mind a small story before scrolling down to the recipe).
One type of cheese I had not used that often before is ricotta cheese. Mike's Fancy Cheese happens to sell the one made by Toons Bridge Dairy and it is wonderfully creamy and smooth. I have used it on its own on top of sourdough bread with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of dried herbs, dolloped on top of homemade pizza and added to the batter for fluffy American pancakes. Its texture is so great that I thought it would be perfect for a cake. I have been wanting to make a baked cheesecake for a while and it was the perfect occasion.
The following recipe requires a lot of patience, especially in the baking and resting time. But it will be worth it.
Have you been cooking and baking more than usual lately? What have been your favourite recipes so far?
Ingredients (for 8 servings)
190g plain biscuits (I used plain digestive biscuits)
125g melted unsalted butter (plus 5g cold butter to grease the cake tin)
400g ricotta cheese
100g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon plain flour
150ml double cream
1. Grease a 22cm round springform cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof baking paper (if your cake tin is not deep enough, line the edges to create a bit of height since the cake will rise before sinking).
2. Put the digestive biscuits in a food processor and mix until you get fine crumbs. Pour in the melted unsalted butter and process until it forms a rough dough. Press the mixture into the lined cake tin. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
3. While the base is setting, prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan).
Beat the ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and grated lemon rind together in a large baking bowl until well combined. Add in the flour and eggs one by one and mix. Stir in the double cream and pour the mixture over the base in the cake tin.
4. Place the cake tin on a baking tray then on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1h15 without opening the oven (it should be just set in the centre and lightly golden).
Leave to cool in the turned off and closed oven for 2 hours (leave the oven door slightly open for a creamier texture). Then, cool down completely at room temperature before chilling in the fridge in its tin for at least 4 hours (overnight is even better).
5. Take the baked ricotta cheesecake out at room temperature one hour before serving. Remove it from the tin and place on a plate to serve.
You can serve the cheesecake slices on their own or add a few wedges of poached peaches or apricots, or maybe a dollop of red fruit compote or jam on top.