Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce


I should have posted this three weeks ago or so, because I made this mid august and I have this post on draft for so long and never had a chance to come back to it. It's not that I haven't been baking, trust me because I've been baking up a storm and the posts and pictures just piling up to be done, so I'll get to it slowly while baking for the next one :).

This is at least the third cheesecake I made in just a month (this was made a few weeks ago) and that surely is a lot of cream cheese. What I love about making cheesecake is that (given that you understand the basic method of making a good cheesecake), they're pretty straight forward, it is very versatile, you can modify it all you want and they will come out good, and it's always a crowd-pleaser. It takes longer for cheesecake to bake, and more time resting in the fridge, but technically, there's nothing you need to do really at those time, unlike the multi-component cakes which takes a few days to finish due to the many complicated components that go inside the cake.


This cheesecake however, was made by request from a friend for his wife's birthday. They're both a cheesecake lover and they (more like the husband) want nothing else than cheesecake on the birthday. I was a bit disappointed and relieved at the same time when this request came, disappointed because cheesecake=no challenge=can't experiment with new stuff; relieved because cheesecake=easy=quick=works great with my schedule which means that I don't have to slave myself in the kitchen early in the morning and late at night, besides, I can always try something different with the accompaniment or the decoration for that matter. It worked for the best actually as I was out the whole day before the birthday, so cheesecake was the perfect choice :)

Even though I made a lot of cheesecakes in my baking life, I don't normally use the same recipe each time. When I was in college, I used a lot of recipes from foodnetwork, and let me tell you, I made quite a number of cheesecake during that time, from regular dense NY cheesecake, cheesecake using whipped meringue, you name it. They were all very good and gone in a few minutes, but for some reason, nothing quite stick in my head.


When I started baking more seriously and from the many simple experiences I have with cheesecake, I began to understand how cheesecake works, not saying that there's a whole lot to it, but why some cheesecakes have flour in it, why some have cream, sour cream, etc and I develop my own preference toward cheesecake. I also learned that basically, all base cheesecake recipes are very similar and that you can flavor and play with them in hundreds of different ways. So, that's why I've never stick with one recipe for cheesecake because it is so versatile, you can change it up any way you like.

This mascarpone cheesecake though, is based on just a very basic cheesecake, and substitute half the amount of cream cheese with mascarpone cheese. This is the only cheesecake recipe I stick to whenever I want a very good and creamy cheesecake, not too dense, which is the way I like it. I love mascarpone cheese so much that I'm trying so hard not to use mascarpone in all of my baking. The creamy sweet taste and texture just makes everything tastes better. I reduced the sugar from regular cheesecake because mascarpone is not as tangy as cream cheese, I'm still using the same basic almond crust that I'm always using.


I don't usually make cheesecake with a sauce accompaniment, mostly because I'm too lazy. Most of the time, I just used some jelly on top, or fresh fruits, but I thought it would be so good to eat this with just a simple chocolate sauce drizzled on the top and with fresh sweet strawberries.


Oh, I gotta tell you this, I went to farmers' market at the Ferry building in SF the day before I made this. I went there a few times before during winter and spring time but there wasn't much around, and I really wanted to go there during Summer and see what they have to offer, and I'm loving it!! The price is a little more expensive that the ones we have here in San Jose area, but I found some interesting thing I never found here. For example, I found this cute little organic strawberries (the one I put on top of the cheesecake), they're a lot smaller than regular strawberries, the shape is different too, a little pointy, but let me tell ya, they're one of the sweetest strawberries I've ever eaten. When I cut the strawberries open, most of them doesn't have a tiny bit of white flesh showing up and they're very tasty! Too bad SF is not very close to me or else I would go there every week. I also bought some zucchini flower, and I was very excited to cook with it, but unfortunately, little did I know that they go bad real fast. They turned brown and wilty after one day and molds grew on the second day :(.

So back to the cheesecake, I was keeping it simple with the decoration. Well, to be honest, I was trying to find the fastest decoration I can do since there was really no time to do anything else :).
I apologize for the poor shots, these were shot just before the cake was butchered by 20 people, talking about being under pressure.


Anyways, Fall is starting to creep in here in San Jose. We still have gorgeous weather, mid 70's mostly, chilly in the morning and at night, we've also had a few heat wave not too long ago (more on this on the later post of how it destroys my cake :( ), I'm not sure if I'm ready to welcome Fall yet, as I don't think we've had a real summer here in Bay Area, except for a few very hot days, but I'm trying my best to get a hold of the last stone fruits, and fill the already-overflowing freezer with assorted berries. I haven't had the chance long enough to make all the frozen treats in my list, or even had the chance to make some sangria or cocktail :(

I hope you're enjoying the last summer wherever you are, because if you're like me, who gets excited easily just by seeing assorted berries laying in front of you like jewels, or the smell of the air early in the morning at at night, or just the joy of wearing flip-flops, shorts, or pretty dresses, you'll be dreading waiting for the next summer to come. I hope all these projects (work and non work) scheduled around me for the next few months will keep be distracted from the weather, at least then I can start baking with salted caramel, banana, chocolate, citrus, back again. There's surely something special in every weather you got :)

9 comments:

Sabeen said...

this is absolutely gorgeous! and looks delicious; definitely will try this out sometime :) i was wondering, though, how did you manage the [what looks like] cocoa powder decoration on top? it's just beautiful!

The Corner Girl said...

love your stencil design for the cocoa! I have not tried making cakes or cheesecakes before, but now that I will be getting married, I will have someone to eat all of the desserts I make (so I don't get fat! ;P)
How did you like the flavors together? They sounded interesting. :)

Susan and Abraham said...

great stuff...

The Urban Baker said...

you are one patient cook! simply gorgeous!

Sleepy Bear said...

I love your blog and this post looks delicious! You should post the cheesecake recipe!

(love that we both are "cherie" and asian, haha, AND I go to SJSU!)

Jess @ Bakericious said...

I love cheesecake, this is pretty!

The Phenomenal Woman said...

I chanced upon your blog while surfing for nougatine recipes. I love what you are doing! Your creations show your passion for your craft.

Bertha said...

Sabeen: the chocolate decoration on top is indeed cocoa powder, I used a stencil to create that pattern :)

The Corner Girl: Yes, that would be a nice trick, it's always pleasant to have someone else enjoy our cakes :). Which flavor are you talking about? cheesecake and chocolate? mascarpone and cream cheese? Either way, they're classic so it will never go wrong

Susan and Abraham + The Urban Baker: Thanks!

Sleepy Bear: I was going to post it but it will take me another week or so to post this. I will try to update this post with recipe or maybe in the next cheesecake post :)

Oh wow, what a coincidence! Cherie is my middle name, and I can't seem to find your real name anywhere :). SJSU is so close to where I live :)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I'm looking forward to your next post with the recipe for this, it looks amazing. Love the decoration :)