Cheesecake is not on the top of my list for desserts.  I like it but there seem to be so many better options when it comes to ordering dessert that I normally skip over that option at the end of a meal.  When I first started catering I used to serve this cheesecake bites with lemon curd that was not only easy to make but was always a crowd pleaser.  With that being said this has to be one of the best cheesecake recipes I have ever had.  Not only does the cheesecake have a great flavor but the texture is amazing as well.  Instead of making a basic graham cracker crust I make a pecan shortbread that also brings another level of flavor that is unexpected.  My wife who really doesn't like cheesecake at all actually loved it, so that must say something.  Here is the classic cheesecake recipe with a twist, I hope you enjoy it.

Mascarpone cheesecake
1 lb mascarpone
8oz cream cheese
1 cup 3 tbsp sugar
2 oz of creme friache
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp of almond extract
3 eggs
3 yolk

Pecan shortbread
2 cups flour
1 cup of pecans
2 sticks of butter
1 tsp of salt

Strawberry Sorbet recipe

Whipped Cream                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup of cream with 4 tbsp of powdered sugar

Strawberry gel
1 cup of strawberry juice or puree
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of agar 

1 cup Strawberries sliced
10 Figs halved
1 cup Blueberries 

For the cheesecake,

Place cheeses and sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment whip for 3 minutes.  Then add vanilla, and almond mixing on low.  Finish with adding the eggs one at a time.  Mix until a smooth batter is formed. Finish with the creme fraiche. 

I lined a spring form pan with parchment paper and par baked the pecan shortbread see recipe underneath,  then poured the batter on top.  Bake the cheesecake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  

For the Shortbread,

Go here to so see the recipe and just add the pecans from this recipe.  I placed the dough in a spring form pan lined with parchment paper and par baked it for 25 minutes.  

For the Sorbet

Place water and sugar in a pot.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Then cool slightly and place in a blender with the 4 cups of whole strawberries.  Puree until smooth, and the lemon juice, then chill until completely cold.  Place in your ice cream maker according to their instructions.  Place  in an air tight container and place in the freezer 

For the strawberry gel,

Put all the ingredients in a small sauce pot.  Bring to a boil stirring consistently and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Then pour gel into a half sheet pan or baking dish.  Place in the refrigerator until the agar has set.  Then take a knife and cut the set gel into sections.  Place it all into a vita mix and puree until smooth.  Pour into a squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to use.

For the whipped cream

Simply place cream in a stand mixer and whisk on medium speed for 1 minute then add powdered sugar and whip until thick.  Place in a pastry bag and set aside.

To Finish,

Take the cheesecake and slice into rectangular pieces.  Then alternate the fruit on top of each slice.  Pipe a little whipped cream on top as well.  Place the slice on the plate.  Add a few drops of strawberry gel.  Then take a scoop of the strawberry sorbet.  Finish with mint, serve and enjoy the best cheesecake you have ever had!

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