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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Best Mascarpone Cheesecake You'll Ever Have

When I was 10 years old, I went through a weird cheesecake stage. My mom had a big cheesecake cookbook, and I'd come home from school and whip up a marble or strawberry one, just for fun. It was so random! But while they were all good, today Yossy from Apt. 2B Baking Co. shares the most delicious recipe featuring a dollop of mascarpone (how perfect would this be for a dinner party?)...

Mascarpone Cheesecake
By Yossy Arefi of Apt. 2B Baking Co.


My ideal cheesecake is just slightly tart and sweet. New-York-style cheesecake purists may scoff at the addition of a heavy dose of mascarpone in this recipe, but it makes the filling unbelievably creamy and light. It is also a great base for seasonal fruit toppings. In the summer, try sliced stone fruit or berries; in the spring, strawberries or rhubarb compote are a delicious addition. Sauteed apples and pears are wonderful in the fall, and in the winter, candied citrus fruit (clementines pictured above) or citrus curd make fine accompaniments.

Some handy tips for cheesecake success:
— Make sure the ingredients—especially the cream cheese—are at room temperature before you start mixing the filling. Cold cream cheese and eggs will result in a lumpy cheesecake batter.
— If you forget to take your eggs out of the refrigerator beforehand, you can warm them in a bowl of hot tap water for about ten minutes. Dry them carefully before using.
— Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil and cook the cheesecake in a water bath to prevent cracking. Also, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool with the door slightly ajar to prevent cracks.
— For clean slices, make sure the cheesecake is thoroughly chilled, and slice using a long, thin knife that's been run under hot water. Dry knife between cuts.

Recipe: Mascarpone Cheesecake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

For the crust:
1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 2 packs of graham crackers)
2 tbsp. sugar
pinch salt
4 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter the inside of a 9-inch springform pan, and wrap the bottom of the pan with a double layer of aluminum foil. Place the prepared pan on a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Add the butter and stir well to moisten all of the crumbs. Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pan and use your fingers to press gently into an even layer on the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. If you are having trouble getting the layer even, use a straight sided glass or measuring cup to gently press the crumb mixture onto the sides and into the corners. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes while the oven heats.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake until the crust is lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325º.

For the filling:
2 lbs (32 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. lemon zest
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 ⅓ cups mascarpone cheese, room temperature

Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it is light and very smooth, about 4 minutes.

With the mixer running on medium low speed, slowly pour in the sugar, then the salt. Beat for 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a full minute after each egg. Scrape down the bowl, reduce the speed to low. Add in the mascarpone and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. The batter will come to the top of the springform pan.

Place the springform pan into a roasting pan (I used a large skillet in the above photos) and place on the center rack of the oven. Fill the roasting pan with enough (very) hot tap water—or boiling water—to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Close the oven door and bake the cheesecake until it is lightly golden on top and the filling is set, but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 90 minutes.

Turn off the oven and prop the door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake cool for one hour in its water bath. After an hour, gently remove the roasting pan from the oven and lift the springform pan from the water. Carefully remove the foil from the bottom of the pan and set the pan on a cooling rack. Run a knife around the top edge of the cheesecake to release it from the pan. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, then cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before slicing—an overnight chill is best if you have the time.
Delicious! Thank you so much, Yossy.

P.S. More best recipes, including caramel apple pie and berry cobbler.

(Photos by Yossy from Apt. 2B Baking Co.. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series)

54 comments:

Christina Marie Kellogg said...

I don't think I've ever had mascarpone, but I do enjoy a good slice of cheesecake. Like you, I like it a bit tart, and grew up baking them. This looks great!

CP and KW said...

this looks amazingly good!
kw Ladies in navy

Suse said...

What time are you serving?

Miriam said...

Looks delicious! :-) Maybe for my next dinner party I can surprise my friends with such innovation! They are so used to chocolate brownie when they come to our home...

Robyn said...

mmm, mmm, mmm - if there is a cheesecake on pudding list, that is what i go for

dontworrydc.com said...

I love cheesecake, but I don't like knowing the ingredients (even though I know it's actual CHEESE and cream cheese in the back of my head, it feels weird to read the ingredients and know that I'm literally eating cheese in a crust)!

Lauren Ashley said...

oh no - this is my weakness!

yayellie said...

I went through a cheesecake phase too! Age 12. These photos make me want to have an afternoon tea party, just as soon as the sun comes out... Delightful post, thank you!

Chloe Moon said...

I don't know why I'm blanking on what mascarpone is...but this cheesecake looks damn good!! I didn't know that cold cream cheese and eggs makes for a lumpy...I'm going to bookmark this recipe for the future!

Ergo - Blog

meg @ pureandsimpleblog said...

These photos are lovely. I've never made cheesecake before, but I've always wanted to try.

Shruti Kapoor said...

OMG, this looks delicious..wish could have a piece just off from the plate :)

Sarah Carlson said...

sounds so delicious! We're big cheesecake fans over here, so I can't wait to try this! My expert chef friend will love it, I'm sure!

Rhett said...

YUM! This reminds me of the cheesecake at an Italian restaurant I work at in after college. The patriarch of the family was the cheesecake king and used ricotta. So delicious and creamy! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'm going to try it!

Maddy from MPDaily said...

Looks mucho yummy. Maybe a Super Bowl dessert!

Street Fashion Paris said...

dying to try one.

Danie at Pasadya said...

Uh...yum!!

allmussedup said...

It looks fluffy and perfect -- exactly what I'm looking for in a cheesecake! I hate it when the filling is too dense.

grey-nyc said...

this looks delicious!

funnily, my best friend growing up and i also went through a cheescake phase in middle school...but ours involved eating frozen mini sara lee cheesecakes straight from the freezer. ha ha now that i think about it, that sounds pretty gross.

Gemma said...

Cheesecake is my husband's favourite dessert, I made him baked cheesecake as his birthday cake for a few years but I haven't made one for ages. Maybe I should make one for Valentines Day!

Erica said...

I absolutely love all of Yossy's creations (and photography). As always, this cheesecake looks amazing. If only I had a kitchen. le sigh.

silvia said...

i'd like to shed some of my baby weight soon but it will have to wait until i make this delicious looking cheesecake! thanks for posting! :)

Agnies said...

mmm, but why when at home is only white sugar? ;)

ohdizzle said...

Can't wait to try it! Looks so good, and pretty simple!

Lejla said...

Perfect for this birthday cake I have to bake.

http://lejlatravels.blogspot.com/

emily said...

This looks delicious! I really wish that I liked cheese cake because it always looks so yummy, but sadly no matter how many times I try it I cannot convince myself to like it.

-Emily

Grace Drylewski said...

Hi! Love that you had a cheesecake phase - this post just might kick off one of my own :)

I also LOVE the photography - do you know where that gold espresso maker/tea pot is from? I think I have to have one..

Thanks!
Grace

lisaathome said...

Wow this is fabulous! Inspiring me to make one for a big birthday gathering coming up!

Kathy said...

Me too! Around age 11 or 12...what is it about young girls and cheesecake?

fatima said...

Dangerously delicious photos!!!. Envision this on Valentine's Day with berries in a heart shape : )

thefarmfiles said...

Can't wait to try this. I especially like her tips to prevent cracking. I just checked out her blog--so beautiful...loving the photography. Thanks for sharing!

Emily

Julie said...

Oh, this just looks so delicious...I think cheesecake is the only dessert that can tempt me away from chocolate. Especially this one! Wow.

drew elizabeth said...

I LOVE Cheesecake so I can't wait to try this!

Joanna Goddard said...

lisa, a cheesecake birthday cake would be fantastic:)

Joanna Goddard said...

so funny that some of you guys went through cheesecake phases, too! i totally figured i was the only one. hilarious.

Audrie said...

I'm completely obsessed with cheesecake. It's so bad that I can't stay in the city too long because I start stalking Junior's. I make a white chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate crust that is ridiculously good. I can't make it too often or I'd never fit through doors :) Going to have to try this next time we have friends over! Thanks!

Shaleya Brett said...

I really can't wait to give this a go!
I'll be making a strawberry, nectarine and vanilla tart today which I'm very excited about as it's completely out of my comfort zone!
Thanks for sharing, this cheesecakes looks amazing!
http://tattoosandvintagediamonds.blogspot.co.nz/

Saguna said...

Gorgeous cheesecake! Mascarpone is the MOST luscious ingredient ever, and I'll take the opportunity to use it in anything I can because it's just that delicious. Definitely wanting to try this...

lajoffe said...

My husband has been begging me to make him cheesecake ever since I mentioned that I made one once. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration; I have one word for mascarpone, yum!

tiankong said...

it feels weird to read the ingredients and know that I'm literally eating cheese in a crust!cheap jerseys

jackie jade said...

this looks awesome! i am no baker so love all the extra little secret tips. can't wait to try this out!
-- jackiejade.blogspot.com

Logan said...

Well... I'm a 32 years man. And I'm just now in my cheescake cooking phase... Haha! Just look great. I'll do it. Thanks for share it!!

Raphaelle Robert said...

OMG I'm so trying this this week end!!!!!!!!

Lindsey said...

looks delicious!

Emmy said...

Why do i read this stuff at lunch?! Ahhh. Looks delish tho x

twosipsafter said...

omg!! that looks amazing! gotta try it since its the best! :P
hopefully will turn out good!

www.twosipsafter.wordpress.com

Liz said...

Awwww. I love Yossy and her treats!

nolachef.net said...

HUGE fan of mascarpone cheesecake! Have you had the one at Employees Only in the West Village?
They serve it with butterscotch sauce, sea salt and super thin peanut brittle. It is to die for!! My sister and I always go there just for this and a cup of tea after dinner... Indulge!!

Sabaa said...

I love cheesecake and I love mascarpone, so I will definitely try this recipe!

http://sabaaphotography.blogspot.com/

Kelly Scholey said...

That looks soo gorgeous, really well presented..

love from Kelly

Denise said...

Oh yummie, yummie, yummie. I loooover cheesecakes!

"When I was 10 years old, I went through a weird cheesecake stage."

This made me laugh so hard, because most of the children have weird kind of stages in their lives but I have never heard about a weird cheesecake stage. ;-)

Al said...

Omigosh this recipe is soooo yummy! Just a couple tips for anyone who is an amateur baker like me... first off, my springform pan is NOT waterproof, so even with the aluminum foil wrapped around the bottom of my pan, water leaked inside the pan in about 2 seconds and ruined my crust. Thankfully I had not put the filling in yet! I just redid the crust and passed on the water bath. Something to test ahead of time!
Secondly, mascarpone is hard to find in the states but Trader Joe's carries it. It's near the cream cheese.

rachel federman said...

They sell mascarpone at every grocery store I have ever regularly shopped at, including not-so-nice ones. They even sell it at Targets which have full grocery sections. If in doubt, check in the cheese section(the one where you might find wedge cheese and not processed cheese or sliced cheese).

Jeszica said...

This is yummy!!! I halve the recipe though n used a 7 inch baking tin, baking time is abt 50mins. It smell heavenly!! Thx for sharing!!

Leah said...

Today is the second time I've made this recipe and I absolutely love it. I used to make cheesecakes for my high school dance company's bake sale as a raffle prize and I wish I had this recipe at the time. It's so light and not too rich. In the summer I served it with raspberries on top and in the winter I serve it with a yummy cranberry sauce. Delicious!!!

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