I love the idea of cheesecake. The almost custard-like creaminess, the ever so slight chew, the sweet yet cheese-y flavour, the millions of flavour combinations you can do with it. But every time I had some cheesecake I was disappointed. Either it was too sweet, or too dense, or not cheese-y enough. And I started researching cheesecake recipes hoping to find the perfect one. Along the way I discovered that there are several main kinds of cheesecake – the New York cheesecake, the sour cream based cheesecake, the no-bake cream cheese cheesecake, and the Italian ricotta based cheesecake.
I tried each as I discovered them, still none of them fulfilling my fantasy standards. Until I came across one that combined all the ingredients on Allrecipes. I have since lost the original link and have made many a modification. But this cheesecake is damn near perfect. Though I still struggle with crusts. Why can I not successfully make a crust – crumb or pastry?
This latest cheesecake making was to celebrate one of my oldest and dearest friends move to Miami to start a career at a travel agency! So with the promise of discounted Disney Cruises ringing in my ears I baked mini heart-shaped cheesecakes to drop off before her departure. I used crushed gluten-free ginger snaps and butter to make a base crust for the mini pans, and the rest of the recipe is already gluten-free (make sure to double check your ingredients for sneakily added gluten fillers though!) so it was an easily converted recipe. =)
My most current version of the recipe is modified to fill either several mini 4″ springforms or 2 cookie crusted pie tins.
For mini cakes:
- 6 oz Cream Cheese
- ¼ cup Whole Milk Ricotta
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (or sour cream, I just used what I had on hand)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Heavy Cream
- ¾ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Egg and 1 Egg Yolk, beaten
- ¾ teaspoon Lemon Juice
- OPTIONAL fruit or chocolate chips
For regular cake:
- 24 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 ½ cups Sugar
- ⅓ cup Heavy Cream
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs and 3 Egg Yolks, beaten
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
Directions for both batch sizes:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Beat first 4 ingredients with electric mixer.
Whisk heavy cream and vanilla together, beat in eggs.
On medium speed slowly incorporate egg mixture into cream cheese.
Add lemon juice.
Once thoroughly combined, you can gently fold in any fillings or flavourings. Pour into sprayed pan of choice (with or without cookie crumb crust).
**If you want to add some jelly or chocolate swirls, now would be the time to dollop and drag through with a knife.
Bake for 10 minutes for the minis (15 minutes for normal).
Turn temp down to 275 F and bake for another 45 minutes (1.5 hours).
Turn oven off and let sit in oven for 1 hour (3 hours).
Refrigerate what you don’t immediately and voraciously consume!