Tiramisu Cheesecake. My husband absolutely loves tiramisu... and he loves cheesecake. So when I came across this recipe in a magazine about a year ago, I knew I wanted to make it for him. The idea of a tiramisu mixed in with a baked cheesecake really intrigued me. But I have to admit I really struggle with baking "normal and traditional" desserts. Somehow I find it hard to justify all that sugar. Every once in a while though, I put all the "healthy" notions aside and bake. But I still find myself trying to cut down a bit on the sugar... and anything else I can:).
Recently I wanted to sort of surprise my husband with something he really likes. Just because. For you see, over the years, he's been so patient with my never ending culinary adventures.... the gluten-free, the grain-free, etc. When at times all he ever wanted was a slice of bread and cheese:). Having said that though, he's actually enjoyed "traveling" with me to various countries(food wise).... And he's really liked some of the gluten-free/grain-free recipes I've made. In any case, I set out to make him something special, because he so deserves it!
Finding the tiramisu cheesecake recipe online was great, because I really don't know what happened to the clipping I'd saved. Ah, these days... you can find most things online:). So I quickly looked over the recipe and decided to change a few things... as I normally do:). Nothing really major... kept the same idea, but felt the need to boost the flavor a bit. I also made 2 smaller cheesecakes instead of one, just because I wanted to freeze one of them. It's always a treat to pull out a dessert from the freezer when you crave something sweet. But you can easily make the cheesecake in a regular springform pan... as per original recipe.
While the recipe didn't really have a "frosting" per se, I really felt it needed something creamy to bring the cheesecake together. I know, the cheesecake is supposed to be creamy, but I just felt it needed that extra something to balance out the lady fingers. In any case, the first time I served a slice of the cheesecake to my husband, I topped it with a quenelle of vanilla ice cream. Then later, I made the sweetened marsala whipped topping. My husband loved both versions... so feel free to use whatever works for you. Of course, you can even leave it plain. My husband thoroughly enjoyed the cheesecake.... said it reminded him of Cheesecake Factory. Sweet of him:). Hope you enjoy...
Note: While I made this in a round pan, I'm sure you could use a square pan... and serve in bar form. Also, feel free to adjust flavorings( kahlua, vanilla, rum, marsala) to taste...
You will need: adapted from Woman's Day
3/4 cup triple-strength coffee*
2 TBS sugar
3 TBS Kahlúa (coffee-flavor liqueur)
2 tsps vanilla
1 1/2 packages (7 oz each) imported Italian savoiardi ladyfingers
* I ended up making a quick hot coffee using 1/4 cup coffee grounds and 3/4 cup boiling water and let it steep for a few minutes.
3 bricks (8 oz each ) cream cheese, softened
11/4 cup sugar( I only used 1 cup)
1 TBS cornstarch
3 ex-large eggs, at room temperature
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 tsp rum extract
2 TBS triple strength coffee*
*I dissolved 2 tsps instant coffee in 2 TBS hot water
1-2 oz bittersweet chocolate, grated or as needed
unsweetened cocoa powder and extra chocolate shavings/curls
marsala sweetened whipped cream*
vanilla/coffee ice cream quenelle
*1 cup whipping cream+1/4 powdered sugar+1 TBS marsala; whip till soft peak
- Remove bottom of a 9 x 3-in. springform pan ... or 2 (6 inch pans).
- Wrap springform bottom(s) with plastic wrap.
2. Set 1⁄2 the ladyfingers aside.
3. With 1/2 of the remaining ladyfingers, quickly dip one side of each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture Place wet side up on pan bottom to cover... you may need to trim ladyfingers to fit.
4. Freeze the dipped ladyfingers for about 15 minutes until firm, then lift plastic wrap, with ladyfingers, and place on a flat plate... and then place the ladyfingers back in the freezer. Take the bottom of the pan and reassemble the springform pan(s). Oil bottom and sides of the reassembled springform pan(s).
5. Quickly dip one side of remaining reserved ladyfingers into coffee mixture.
6. Place dipped lady fingers, wet side up, on springform pan bottom(s) to cover. You will need to cut some of the ladyfingers to fit. Fill all spaces.
7. Freeze pan(s) until ready to fill.
- Heat oven to 325°F.
1. Make cheesecake batter by beating cream cheese, sugar and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with mixer on medium speed until smooth.
2. On low speed, beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended.
3. Beat in the softened mascarpone, rum and 2 TBS coffee.
4. Pour half the batter (3 cups) in the 9 inch springform pan... Spread batter evenly.
If using the 2 smaller pans use 1 1/2 cup batter in each of the 2 (6 inch pans).
5. Top with ladyfinger layer from freezer( I found it best to just add each ladyfinger one at a time). Sprinkle with a bit of grated chocolate. Spoon on remaining batter; spread evenly. I added another layer of grated chocolate, but you don't have to. Tap the pan(s) hard a couple of times on the countertop to release any air bubbles that may be trapped.
6. Bake 45 minutes( a bit less for the smaller pans), or until center still jiggles slightly when shaken.
7. Turn off oven (leave door closed) and allow the cheesecake(s) to cool in oven for an additional 45 minutes. Remove from oven.
8. Use a thin knife to go around the edge of the pan to release the cake, but leave the pan sides on. Cool completely on a wire rack.
9. Cover cheesecake loosely and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
10. Remove pan sides and place cheesecake on a serving plate.
11. Dust with cocoa and top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or a quenelle of ice cream.
12. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate( I used a peeler to shave the chocolate)... or you can make large chocolate curls.
Note: Cheesecake is best when brought closer to room temperature... and not straight from the fridge. It's creamier and softer with better flavor. But of course, some prefer cheesecakes straight from the freezer:)...