Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Almond Crust

My boyfriend is a bona fide dessert person. He loves chocolatey things, pain au chocolat, banana bread, ice cream and pretty much everything in between. 

I, on the other hand, don't have a sweet tooth whatsoever. Hand me a bowl of yogurt and garlic Lays (a flavor sold here in Turkey, I swear they're delicious) and a bag of M&Ms and the chips will be gone within 20 minutes and the chocolate will remain intact. 

I do love to bake though so it works out quite nicely. I have someone to cook for and he gets all the diabetic treats he can handle. 

I've mentioned the difficulties of baking with diabetic sugar before here, but one recipe that turns out exactly the same no matter the substitution is cheesecake. Cheesecake was my boyfriend's baking request before I depart for NYC on Monday- that is, if Irene allows it. 

The yolk suspended between beaters. 
I usually use this recipe, which is foolproof and delicious. If you haven't checked out AllRecipes before, you should. One of the best things about it is that you can read through all the comments users have made in deciding if you want to bake something. It comes in handy when you need to make an ingredient substitution or don't know what a certain technique is. 

This time around, I wanted to use mascarpone, which I had purchased the other day at the market. You can't find high-quality cream cheese here and the brand I normally use isn't that great. However, you can find high-quality mascarpone and I figured it would make a nice addition, in place of some of the cream cheese. When I thought mascarpone + cheesecake the first person I thought of was Giada, the Italian-American Food Network chef and sure enough I found this awesome recipe. The best part is that the crust includes crushed almonds. Yum. 
Make sure crust has cooled. 

Changes to the recipe: 
1. I used sugar-free Turkish biscuits (Mavi Yesil) instead of the graham crackers. 
2. I used 1 cup diabetic sugar, instead of 1 1/4 cup normal sugar (diabetic sugar tends to be sweeter and thus you don't need as much). 
3. I didn't have enough mascarpone, so I used a little ricotta in place of what was missing. 
4. I didn't fill a pan with water as suggested, and rather just baked the cake normally. It took less time this way, so be careful. 

It browned a lil' too much. Still yum. 
Tip: It's hard to know when cheesecake is done because the inserting a toothpick trick doesn't work. Your best bet is turning off the oven when the center jiggles just a little when shaken. I always leave the cheesecake in the oven (turned off) once it is done. I read somewhere that cheesecake cracks if not allowed to cool down slowly. Seems to do the trick. 

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