Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

Remember that post about two months ago when I was worried sick because I didn’t feel like eating sweets? The sudden loss of my otherwise well nurtured sweet tooth in those early months of pregnancy really freaked me out. I felt somewhat strange and a bit lost too. What the heck am I going to do in my free time if not baking and taking pretty pictures of those glorious sweet treats before indulging in them?!

Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

Fortunately, that phase did not last long. My sweet tooth is back and it looks like it’s here to stay. Phew!

Now that I’m almost half way through my pregnancy, food cravings are becoming more and more prominent. Right now, there are two kinds of food I seem to devour most – spicy food that even my husband has trouble digesting and sweets of any kind. When I say spicy, I mean fiery hot. I recently made these pickled Jalapeños and I practically eat them right out of the jar. They’re so darn good! Sweet, hot, pungent, very spicy and savory all at the same time. I just love them.

Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

A spicy meal usually leaves me with a strong, but surprisingly pleasant burning sensation in my mouth that needs to be taken care of. I like to end such a meal with a really fresh and creamy dessert that coats my tongue and palate with sweet soothing notes. Cheesecake works miracles.Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

Baking cheesecake is so rewarding, don’t you think? It takes only about 20 minutes to whip it up and the end result is such a luscious and a gloriously creamy cake. I like my cheesecakes a bit zingy and fresh tasting, which is why I usually incorporate lemon zest in the batter and serve it with some sort of fruit or a fruity sauce. Berries are my absolute favorite.

Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

This particular recipe is a bit different from the ones I made previously. I decided to use ricotta cheese, which is a bit lighter and tangier than cream cheese. Because I wanted my cheesecake to be light and airy, I separated the eggs and mixed the egg yolks into the cheese mixture. I then whipped up the whites separately and gently incorporated them into the cheese mixture before baking. This method resulted in the fluffiest cheesecake I’ve ever tried. It was sublime!

Strawberry Basil Spritzer

The balsamic strawberries are a classic combination that sounds really weird but works magically and goes so well with the fresh creamy cheesecake. Have a little faith. Try it.

Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Balsamic Strawberries

Makes one 24cm cheesecake
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time: + chilling time
Difficulty: Basic

Category: Cakes
This is probably the fluffiest cheesecake you’ll ever make. Because the eggs are separated and the egg whites are whipped separately and then gently incorporated in the cheesecake batter, the cake is incredibly light and airy. This recipe also uses ricotta cheese, which is a bit lighter and tangier than cream cheese, so this cheesecake is not as rich and decadent. It’s very fresh, zingy and light. The recipe is based on and adapted from Taste.com.au.
For the crust:
Ingredients
200g digestive biscuits
1 tablespoon honey
80g butter, melted
Directions
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease the bottom and sides of a 24cm round springform pan.
Crush the biscuits in a food processor. Add honey and melted butter and mix to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and refrigerate while you're preparing filling.
For the filling:
Ingredients
650g strained Ricotta cheese
120g sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 eggs, separated
150g sour cream
Directions
In a large bowl beat together ricotta, sugar, vanilla sugar, cornflour, lemon zest and juice. Add egg yolks one at the time while beating constantly. Finally, mix in sour cream. In a separate clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold into the ricotta mixture. Pour over the base and bake for 50-55 minutes until golden and firm, but still a bit wobbly in the center. Do not open the oven door during baking time.
Turn the oven off and open the door slightly. Leave the cake in the oven for 15 minutes and then take it out. Carefully run a sharp knife all around the sides of the pan and then leave the cake to cool to room temperature. Transfer the cheesecake to refrigerator and chill overnight or at least 4 hours. Once cold, remove the ring and transfer the cake to a serving plate or cake stand.
For the balsamic strawberries:
Ingredients
60g sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
60ml water
1 teaspoon cornflour + 1 tablespoon water
250g strawberries, halved
Directions
Place the sugar, balsamic and water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Combine the cornflour with 1 tablespoon cold water until smooth, then add to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until the sauce is syrupy. Remove from heat and toss in the strawberries. Let the syrup infuse and cool to room temperature. Once ready to serve, drizzle each piece of the cheesecake with balsamic strawberries.

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