In which I am in a bit of a quandary…

ricotta cheesecake

I made a ricotta cheesecake a while back and have been a bit torn about sharing it with you because on the one hand, the cake and the pictures are GORGEOUS. On the other, it was only kind of so-so flavor wise. I had really high hopes because the batter was honestly one of the most amazing delicious things I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I was pumped for it to come out of the oven. But the final product was lacking. Not offensive in any way, just not exciting. But I’ll start from the beginning.

It all starts here...

6 eggs, separated.

1 1/2 pounds fresh ricotta...

...pureed

When ricotta is pureed the texture is like a thin yogurt or a creme fraiche, but it tastes like ricotta. It was pretty cool.

The pureed ricotta is mixed with the six egg yolks, sugar, a touch of flour, a pinch of salt and the zest of an orange.

gorgeous.

Whisk it together until smooth. This tastes unbelievably delicious.

Then the egg whites get beaten with sugar until they form very stiff peaks.

stiff and peak-y

Fold the two together.

folding.

This gets baked in a buttered and sugared springform pan at 375 degrees.

ready.

Until it looks like this.

puffy and gorgeous.

The cake came out of the oven puffed up, and then sunk a little bit in the middle. It was really light for a cheesecake, but much denser than a souffle. It was a gorgeous color, I was ecstatic when it came out of the oven. This was the prettiest thing I have ever made. But the taste didn’t live up to the visual appeal. It didn’t taste like much, which was shocking since the batter was unreal. I should have just eaten that with a spoon. But I have a plan. I think I am going to increase the egg whites, add some Grand Marnier and make it an actual souffle. I suspect I will have to reduce the amount of ricotta, but it’s gonna be good. I suspect a souffle will taste more like the batter in its pre-cooked state, but I am not sure why I suspect such a thing. I’ll keep you posted.

slice

So in spite of my indifference to the final outcome, I will share the recipe. Experiment and report back.

Ricotta Cheesecake

From Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan

3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan

1 1/2 lbs fresh whole milk ricotta cheese, pureed in food processor until smooth

6 large eggs, separated

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

finely grated zest of 1 orange

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375. Generously butter and sugar a 9-inch springform pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, egg yolks, flour, 6 tablespoons sugar, zest and salt until combined, set aside.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on low speed until foamy. With the mixer on high, gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar, beating until stiff and glossy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the ricotta mixture until combined. Gently fold the remaining egg white mixture until just combined. Pour into pan and bake until center is firm and the top a deep golden brown, about 1 hour.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool ten minutes. Place another wire rack on top and invert cake to rack to remove from pan. Reinvert cake and cool completely, top side up. The cheesecake is best eaten the day it is baked but can be refrigerated, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes prior to serving.

post flip...a little incident of stickiness, the crack is more artistic, no?

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