I adore cheesecake. Not that horrible rubbery kind that some cafés serve but proper, rich, creamy, melt in your mouth cheesecake. It’s amazing, I feel happy just thinking about it.
I still remember my first cheesecake. Mum and Dad took us to an Italian restaurant in Northbridge called Vino Vino. There Mum ordered a black cherry cheesecake and I had my first bite. After that, whenever Dad took me out on our restaurant trips (he’d take me on Dad/Daughter dates to seafood restaurants coz we were the only ones that ate it) I had cheesecake for dessert. I’ve told you before, I was brought up gourmet!
The best cheesecake I’ve had to date was a humble looking affair dished up at Christmas by my future sister-in-law’s stepbrother (yes…a complicated family, much more complicated than simple parentheses will allow for). It was lime flavoured. So creamy, so tangy that my mouth waters just thinking about it. Which has a big part to play in this tale.
Rachael’s to blame. She’s one of my Twitter followers (Fujimama). We got to discussing cheesecake pops because of a cake stall she was baking for. She ended up sharing a recipe site where I very quickly tracked down a key-lime cheesecake recipe. Things were looking promising until I got to the shop and discovered that even the light Philly is about 50g for the whole block.
I looked at the block longingly. Then I looked at my thighs. It just wouldn’t do. In desperation I picked up a tub of extra light ricotta instead and decided I’d give it a bash by adapting the recipe. The ricotta worked out at about 5g fat per 250g in comparison with Philly’s 50g fat.
I really liked this cake. Sweet, syrupy and filling. It doesn’t taste like cheesecake so will disappoint if you’re expecting as such, but it is a nice treat in its own right. My Husband wasn’t so keen on the texture but it didn’t bother me. Perhaps if you omit the biscuits then you’ll like it better. Another option would be to press the biscuit crumbs into a sheet then cut rounds from it and sit the baked ricotta on the rounds (rather than cooking it together).
Anyway, to the recipe…I adapted this Key-lime cheesecake recipe and scaled down the serves to 4 which because I used a muffin tray, yielded 6. So if you need more or less you can adapt the original recipe.
Lime Ricotta cake
4 Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuits (or other low fat option)
Handful of macadamia nuts
~80g caster sugar
250g tub Perfect Italiano extra light ricotta
3 tsp cornflour (I used Coles brand)
Finely grated lime zest
55ml lime juice (I used bottled)
Muffin cases or baking paper cut into squares and pushed into holes
Optional – round scone cutter a little smaller than the muffin holes
- Preheat the oven to 150c and place a shallow tray of warm water on the bottom shelf.
- Pulverise the bikkies and macadamia nuts in a blender. Tip into a small bowl, add the butter and microwave until butter’s melted (or melt first then add). Stir.
- Press into the 6 muffin cases in the muffin tin. About 1tbsp each case will do. Refrigerate.
- In another bowl use an electric mixer to beat together the ricotta, sugar, zest and cornflour. It will look really watery and taste a bit weird but it does set when baked! Beat in the egg on the lowest speed. Stir through the lime juice.
- Pour the mixture on top of the bases.
- Bake for a little over an hour until set and the edges are golden. They will sink slightly in the middle but should be firm to the touch.
- Turn oven off and let cakes stand in the over for ~30mins with the door open ~6inches.
If you wish to tidy them a little for presentation, remove the muffin cases and use a deep scone cutter to create a pretty round cake. Serve with some lime zest.