You ever feel after a great nights sleep (are those even still possible?) that an elephant is sitting on your eyeballs?
I’m on cup of coffee numero tres and am considering stapling my eyelids to my brow bone right now just to get me through until my mid afternoon nap. Yes, that is part of my routine. And trust me, if you saw my raccoon eyes that you would probably mistake for last nights mascara (false, dark rings in their natural habitat), then you would probably agree that my peepers need any shut eye that they can get.
But then again, maybe having a glass of wine with this Italian Cheesecake last night at ohhhhh I don’t know, midnight, probably wasn’t the smartest choice. Currently battling a never-ending sugar crash and maybe some lactose intolerance.
Italian Cheesecake with a blend of both ricotta & mascarpone and topped with a sweet and tart rhubarb raspberry sauce makes for an incredibly light and airy dessert basically forcing you to have both seconds and thirds.
First off, before I get into any ingredient/instructional notes, this cake is clutch for any spring/summer gathering. Seriously. Just make sure you have a fridge to keep it preserved until consumption. This cake does not take nicely to a tan.
You should be able to purchase Lady Fingers at your local grocery store (found in the cookie aisle) however if they aren’t anywhere to be found feel free to use a classic graham cracker crust, or, with most italian cheesecakes, just let it go all natural, meaning, no crust. But where’s the fun in that?
Fresh ricotta is best for this, however if that isn’t available don’t fret. Just be sure to let your ricotta drain over a bowl in a fine mesh strainer if it holds a lot of liquid. This will prevent your cake from becoming too mushy (however the mascarpone definitely helps prevent this from happening).
I prefer fresh vanilla bean because of the pure taste it gives, however good ol’ fashioned pure vanilla extract works just fine. I also love the little specks the vanilla bean gives off, makes the cake seem more sophisticated.
Cooking time definitely varies, depending on the strength of your oven, so keep a close eye after an hour and twenty. You don’t want to remove the cake too jiggly or else it will be rather difficult to slice into. Because we are using ricotta and not cream cheese as the base, this is a lot lighter, and fluffier in texture. So you want it to cook through.
Patience is a virtue. I don’t have any.