Italian Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce!
My beautiful friend, Barbara Falcone DeBisschop, requested that I make Italian Cheesecake, which I was happy to do. I thought adding a chocolate sauce would be the perfect touch too.
As I was shopping for ingredients, I was curious to see what the difference would be between using part skim and whole milk ricotta. If you wanted to save some fat and calories, might it be a decent option? Hmmm… well, I am on the case!
Choosing to use my 4 small springform pans instead of my larger one, I made 2 with the part skim and 2 with the whole milk ricotta side by side. The recipe splits easily so it was a simple experiment. And a delicious one!
• 2 lbs ricotta (part skim or whole milk), room temperature
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup flour
• 6 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp salt
The Chocolate Sauce:
• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 pinch of salt
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tsp vanilla
1) Grease and flour one 9” springform pan or four 4.5” small springform pans.
2) In a medium bowl, gently mix ricotta and sugar. Add and combine the flour.
3) Add the eggs one at a time, whisking in each well. Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Evenly distribute mixture to the pan or pans.
4) Bake at 325° on a center rack in the oven for 50-60 minutes or a tester comes out clean. The cake(s) should be firm and a light golden brown. Cool completely.
The Chocolate Sauce:
5) In medium saucepan, blend cocoa and sugar. Slowly mix in water then stir in salt.
6) Turn on medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Boil about 5 minutes and remove from heat. Cool for about 10 minutes. It should become a bit thicker.
7) Stir in vanilla. Use as desired, in this case spooned over the top of the cake. Store unused sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
The results of my comparison varied slightly but the majority of tasters agreed that the whole milk ricotta cheesecake was a bit more rich and creamy and more dense than the part skim version. The other tasters couldn’t tell the difference between them. It was unanimous that they were extremely good! So it’s up to you. If you want to make a “healthier” version and don’t want to skimp on taste, you will be quite happy using part-skim ricotta.
Adding the chocolate sauce was a great complement. It’s fabulous and can be used for so many tasty treats! Serve it with berries, on bananas, make chocolate milk with it, add a dash to your oatmeal, and of course, over your homemade cheesecake!
I’m inspired by this great cake. I’ll be sharing a couple of other varieties in my next post.