Friday, May 4, 2012

Cannoli cheesecake

I was *thisclose* to doing a back flip the other day. When I received an email about the Blogger's Choice swap saying that I got assigned Melissa's blog at I Was Born To Cook, I almost did a backflip. Even though I haven't done one of those in a really long time, I was tempted.

You see, when Melissa posted this cannoli cheesecake a few weeks ago, I immediately pinned it and knew I had to make it. I needed a reliable excuse, and now I had one. Never mind that I already had Patty's white chocolate cheesecake in the fridge left over from Addison's birthday weekend, but having another cheesecake on hand was absolutely essential! Well, that's what I kept telling myself.

My husband had been craving cannoli for a few weeks. We found a French bakery in town that sold them, and he was smitten after taking a bite. Ever since that day, he'd been dropping hints that we needed to go back for more cannoli. This cannoli cheesecake successfully simulates the flavors of a real cannoli. And since it's cheesecake, it's that much better! No need to worry about the cannoli shell drying out or getting soggy! Thanks for this awesome cheesecake, Melissa!


Note: My husband noted that the orange zest was a bit overpowering in the cheesecake. If you are not a fan of orange zest, either cut down the amount of zest or omit it completely. The next time I make this, I will try it without the zest so it tastes more like a true cannoli.

Directions
  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons AP flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (recommend cutting this down or omitting it)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • confectioners' sugar, for garnish (optional)
Directions
Position oven rack to middle of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.  Stir cookie crumbs and 3 tablespoons sugar together in a bowl, then mix in melted butter until crumbs get slightly clumpy. Transfer to a 9 inch springform pan and press evenly along the bottom of the pan. Use a plastic bag or wrap to press gently.  Bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly brown.  Let cool on a rack.  Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Put paddle attachment on stand mixer.  Mix cream cheese, ricotta, flour and salt on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Make sure cheese has no lumps.  Add sugar and beat until well blended and smooth.

Add chocolate chips, orange zest (if using) and vanilla.  Beat until just combined, about 30 seconds.  Add eggs, one at a time, also beating until just blended.  Do not overbeat.  Pour filling into cooled crust and smooth top.

Bake for about 55-65 minutes (I baked for 55 minutes and the cheesecake was a tad jiggly; next time I would bake for 65 minutes).  The sides will be puffy and the center will look soft and jiggle. Set on rack and cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.  (it can also be frozen at this point for up to one month...see original recipe for freezing tips)

Unclasp and remove side of pan and run a long, thin spatula under the crust.  Slide onto flat serving plate carefully (or leave it on the bottom of the springform pan).  Garnish with confectioners' sugar if desired.  Dip knife in warm water before cutting each slice, wiping in between cuts. 

Source: I Was Born To Cook; originally adapted from Fine Cooking
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9 comments:

  1. Love that you were so close to doing a back flip :) I can't wait to make this again!

    I agree that the zest is a matter of personal taste...we really happened to like it that way. Cannoli cream does have a fruity component to it many times. But yes, cut back on it if that's your preference!

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  2. Wow! This looks amazing! I can't believe I have never eaten a real cannoli!

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  3. I love cannolis! I think this looks great!

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  4. I can't believe how delicious this looks! Definitely adding it to my must try list.

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  5. Ooo YUM! I haven't had a cannoli in forever, this cheesecake looks incredible! That picture seriously looks sooooo good :) Send me a slice... ?

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  6. Yours looks so, so good! I might just do a backflip myself :)

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  7. Oh man, I have a serious cannoil addiction. I can't wait to make this one.

    Thanks for being part of the recipe swaps!

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