I think I’ve mentioned before why I’m a better cook than a baker– my creative improvisation or really haste leads to mistakes in baking! But this time around i came up with my own recipe that really worked!
The other week I made my first ricotta cheesecake with graham cracker crust. Mmm, it was delicious, my kids loved it as did my friend and her girls BUT it’s texture was off. It was grainy. So I decided to try again but this time, besides the kids eating most of the graham cracker cookies so I had to improvise another crust, I blended two parts ricotta cheese with 1 part cream cheese in the food processor until it was incredibly creamy– no little bumps left. I thought I was on my way to a perfect cheesecake until I made a big mistake. I was using the Joy of Cooking and misread the instructions/ingredients because they don’t list the ingredients at first, just in the steps. I hate their layout. Well, I read “3 cups of whole milk or part skim milk” and missed the next line. I kept saying to myself, “I don’t remember adding milk last time.” I should have trusted my instincts and re-read before adding any… that’s because I didn’t last time!
Now luckily I was low on milk and only added one cup. Then I added half a cup of cream. Then I re-read the recipe and saw the next line of “ricotta cheese” as in no milk but just ricotta. Ugh. It was too late. I wondered if it was ruined. I thought I may as well try, I’ll just cook it slightly longer at the lower temp. It ended up being delicious. And, though it wasn’t as cheesy, it was so creamy and tasted like a slightly creamier Panna Cotta or a cross between Crème brûlée and cheesecake. So, I’ve dubbed it Panna Cotta Cheesecake.
Of course, the kids loved it. They didn’t all want the strawberry coulis, only my eldest.
Panna Cotta Cheesecake
Graham Cracker & Strawberry Yogurt Cereal Crust
4 cups of strawberry yogurt cheerios style cereal (Trader Joe’s)
1½ cups of graham cracker cookies (I use organic ones without unwanted colorings, etc)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
Put cereal and cookies in food processor and blend until small crumbs. Add melted butter and vanilla into top tube while still on. When well mixed and crumbs stick together, press into bottom and part way up sides of springform pan. Bake for 7 minutes at 350F. Let cool before adding filling.
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
½ cup cream
Preheat oven to 400F. Blend cream cheese and ricotta together in food processor until creamy and smooth. Set aside. Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes then add milk and cream for another half minute. Fold in cheese mixture and then pour into crust. If very bubbly, let settle for a few minutes before placing in oven. Bake for half an hour with a sheet pan half full of water on lower rack (doesn’t need to be in water bath). Lower temperature to 325F and bake for another 35 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, remove wall of pan, then place in fridge to set for several hours.
1½ cups frozen strawberries
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup water
Place all in pan on stove and cook until strawberries are tender. You can adjust sugar to your liking. I prefer slightly tart as the cheesecake is sweet. Masticate with immersion blender until smooth. Poor on or next to cheesecake.