Friday, October 7, 2011

Mascarpone Cheesecake

This is the dessert that I've made the most since I started baking. I would say that I've made close to 20 of these cheesecakes if not more.* A mascarpone cheesecake is much lighter than a new york style cheesecake and also not as tart, so if you're looking for a dense new york cheesecake, this is not it. However, I've found that many people like this cheesecake because it is lighter and sweeter than the typical cheesecake.

If you love cheesecake, I really recommend giving this one a try. It's a family favorite and will please most cheesecake fans.

*This title has since been claimed by the chinese style chiffon cake also found on this blog, though this is still one of my favorites.
Mascarpone Cheesecake
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

16 ounces of cream cheese, room temp
16 ounces of mascarpone cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temp

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the crust ingredients together in a bowl, press into the bottom of the springform pan and slightly up the sides if you wish. Bake until the crust is set and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Cool. Decrease oven temp to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the filling, place the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the center moves slightly when shaken, about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Cool the cheesecake completely on a rack for a few hours, then refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Run a knife around the sides of the springform pan to remove and serve cold.

Note: Most cheesecake recipes tell you to bake in a water bath so that it doesn't crack. I've found that cracking is mostly due to air incorporated into the cheesecake when beating or extreme changes in temp which is why I've switched to making my cheesecake fillings in a food processor and let the cheesecake cool slowly after it's baked. Even when I used to bake my cheesecakes in a water bath, they would crack in the refrigerator because I cooled them down too quickly. Of course, if you would like to use a water bath anyway just in case, that's up to you. If your cheesecakes still end up cracking, just cover it up with a topping like melted chocolate, jam, or berries. No matter what, it will still taste delicious.

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