Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eggless Ricotta Cheesecake

I’ve been searching for some eggless cake recipes for my Mother-in-law’s birthday. Since she doesn’t eat eggs, I thought it would be a good idea to make her a special homemade cake. I wanted some simple recipe that doesn’t use any egg substitutes or special ingredients that are hard to find. While not having much luck or time with finding one that I would like to make, an image of a very beautiful cake popped in my head. I remember seeing a cake recipe in ‘Great Vegetarian Dishes’ by Kurma Dasa but never really thought of making it. Since the occasion calls for it, I thought I’ll give it a try and see how it turns out.

It is a basic cheesecake with Ricotta Cheese addition which makes the cake little crumbly but still tastes pretty rich. Topping it up with whipped cream and fresh fruits makes it extra special. I made crust using Graham crackers instead of following the recipe and also made glaze to go on top of the fruits. I’ve also changed the ratio of ingredients used in the filling. This is mainly because original recipe was in Grams and when I convert it into Ounces; I was not able to get exact measurements in standard supermarket packages. Since I didn’t want to buy extra ingredients or have any leftovers, I decided to tweak it a bit. It did turn out quite beautiful and tasty.  I do have to admit though that I’m really not crazy about Cheesecakes but Birthday Girl seemed to love it.


Eggless Ricotta Cheesecake

Makes: one 9 inch Cheesecake
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes or more
Chilling Time: 24 hours

Ingredients:
Crust Filling
1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 cup Butter - Melted

Topping
2/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tablespoon Granulated White Sugar
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Essence
Fresh Fruits of your choice
Fruit Glaze (optional) – recipe follows

16 ounces Cream Cheese – room temperature
15 ounces Ricotta Cheese
1 1/3 cups Granulated White Sugar
1 Lemon Zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon Corn Flour
1 1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Essence


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray with oil or butter a 9 inch round springform pan and keep aside.
Crust
  1. In a bowl, combine Graham cracker crumbs, butter and mix with a fork or hand until well combined.
  2. Spread the crumbs evenly over the prepared pan and press it well to form a crust. Keep this refrigerated while preparing filling.
Filling
  1. Place all filling ingredients in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy without over mixing it.
  2. Pour this over the prepared pan with crust.
  3. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top. (It took me about 1 hour 40 minutes)The cake is done when the entire surface is golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and let the pan cool over wire rack. Once completely cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 to 24 hours before serving.
Topping
  1. Place heavy whipping cream along with sugar & vanilla essence in a well chilled large bowl and beat with whisk attachment until soft peak forms. Add more sugar if desired and continue beating just until stiff peak forms. Use this right away.
  2. Run a thin knife alongside the pan of chilled cheesecake before releasing the spring. Top it up with whipped cream, fresh fruits and brush the fruits with glaze, if desired.
Fruit Glaze – recipe adapted from bakingproject.com
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
1 tablespoon Water

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat for few minutes stirring frequently until slightly thicken. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.

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