To round off the oh-so-Sicilian Inspired Christmas menu, I had to end on a cheesecake.
I make a cheesecake for Christmas almost every year (and if I don’t, it’s because I made one for Thanksgiving or plan to for New Years). They’re so celebratory and show-stopping, but frankly they aren’t terribly complicated to make. The keys to a good cheesecake are room temperature ingredients, a water bath, and removing it from the oven slowly—the water bath usually being the most intimidating part of the process.
This, however, is a ricotta cheesecake (we are talking about Italian inspiration, after all) and while room temperature ingredients and slow oven removal are still required there’s no need for a water bath. That’s right. No water bath. Even better still is that the whole thing can be made in the food processor. Oh, and there’s no crust to make.
Because we’re talking Sicilian inspired I had to flavor it with orange—it’s my holiday flavor for 2016. I pulse the orange zest with sugar in a food processor before pureeing the ricotta for a few moments until it’s totally smooth.
Then puree it with some flour before adding the eggs one at a time—but still quickly—while the motor runs. The whole thing then gets poured into a greased springform pan that’s dusted with almond meal. Into the oven it goes. Once it’s finished keep it in the oven until the rack is cool enough to touch, then let it cool to room temp by gradually opening the oven door, pulling the rack out, and eventually moving it to the counter over a period of about 1 ½ – 2 hours. Doing this helps to keep it from deflating and collapsing in on itself.
It is a slightly lighter than a cream cheese-based cheesecake, but don’t be fooled—it’s still decadent and divine. Then it gets doused in chocolate sauce. There are some things that I just can’t help but do. I justify it, though, because this cake is made from ricotta, ricotta is used in cannolis, cannolis get decorated with chocolate chips, and… wait for it… cannolis originated in Sicily! See, totally makes sense.
If you’re looking for a great holiday dessert (especially to go along with a fabulous meal such as this) look no further. You’re going to love it.
Oh, and I’m on BLOGLOVIN’. You know what to do.