I’ve been trying out various recipes for an Italian themed dinner party I am catering. Whilst I can usually find suitable recipes doing an internet search, once I focus on a particular recipe, I can never leave well enough alone. For my planned trio of desserts, I wanted a ricotta cheesecake as one of the items. I found several recipes that I thought might fit the bill but I wanted chocolate, not just chocolate, but definitely with chocolate overtones. Chocolate and orange go together nicely. After combining bits and pieces from several recipes and doing a bit of tweaking, I came up with the following Chocolate Orange Ricotta Cheesecake.
Chocolate Orange Ricotta Cheesecake
Recipe courtesy Canuck Chef
Yield: 16 servings
4 1/2 ounces chocolate wafers 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoon light brown sugar 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 2 oranges
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided 2 eggs
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweetened whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: Place the chocolate wafers in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Add the brown sugar, butter and vanilla and pulse again to combine. Transfer to the bottom of an 8-inch spring form cake pan and press against the bottom of the pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
For the filling: Beat together the cream cheese and ricotta with an electric mixer. Zest one of the oranges (reserve the zested orange) and add to the cream cheese mixture along with the sugar, vanilla extract and eggs and beat until well blended. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the center is set and the edges are golden, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature.
For the glaze: Place the chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream and butter to a simmer in a saucepan set over medium heat. When hot, pour the cream over the chocolate. Add the vanilla extract. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool until just barely warm but still liquid.
Pour the glaze in the center of the cake. Holding the cake with both hands, rotate the cake so that the glaze flows to the edges of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for 4 to 6 hours or, preferably, overnight.
Whilst the cake is chilling, cut the peel from the reserved zested orange and the other orange so that no pith remains. Slice the oranges between the membranes to create orange supremes. Place the supremes in a bowl along with the Grand Marnier. Let the orange macerate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
To serve: Dip a long thin knife into boiling water, wipe dry and slice. Cut the cake into 16 pieces, wiping the knife clean between each slice, re-dipping in boiling water and wiping dry before the next slice. Serve with the orange supremes and sweetened whipped cream.