Sunday, 15 June 2008

A very disappointing honey cheesecake


My name is Rachel and I am a honey addict!!! I love honey and would eat it on toast for 3 meals a day. It has a much rounder, smoother flavour than sugar and makes normal things like whipped cream just a touch more exotic. Because of this I have wanted to try the honey cheesecake from Bill Granger's Open Kitchen for as long as I have this book and as I've been thinking about cheesecake for weeks decided this weekend was the perfect time to try it. It's also been a while since I've featured a Bill recipe here. Alas, I was wrong!

This cake is made of ricotta and eggs, no creamcheese, no cream, no marcarpone. Now perhaps it was the quality of my ricotta which was some brand from Tesco and not the lovely ricotta from a deli that Bill always has on his programmes, perhaps not. The recipe was only slighty tinkered with which means I left out the marsala soaked raisins as bits in cheesecake upset me on a number of levels, perhaps not. Perhaps it's just the cake itself (which the husbag assures me it is ;-)), perhaps not.

The texture of the cake is slightly grainy, nearly like that of cottage cheese when you bite it - Not. Nice. At. All. Cheesecake should soft and smooth and almost mousse like in texture, and while this one manages to look delicious and soft and smooth, it's not!!! Boo to that I say!!!!


Here's the recipe should you want to try it, it does look pretty and I will definitely make honey flavour cheesecake again but not with ricotta!!!

60g sultanas (I didn't use these)
60ml marsala or cold weak tea (or these)
55g caster sugar
6 large eggs
finely grated zest of 1 orange
4 x 250g tubs of ricotta (or 1kg), mashed slightly and drained if it's got a lot of liquid in the tub as I did above.
90g honey

Preheat the oven to Gas 2/3, 160. Soak the sultanas if you're using them in the marsala/tea for 30 mins while the oven is heating.

Put the sugar and eggs in a mixer and beat for 5 mins until light and foamy. Drain the sultanas and fold through the egg mixture with teh zest, honey and ricotta.

Pour into a 9cm springform tin and bake for 80 mins or until golden. Allow to cool in the tin and serve with berries.

P.S check out the lovely sugar paste roses that my sister in law made for our wedding cake 2 years ago, still perfect and as hard as rocks. Thanks Jen!!! Rx

15 comments:

Rhyleysgranny said...

Poor rachel How disappointing for you. i have to say I don't fancy ricotta in a cheese cake but then maybe it's because i am not keen on Ricotta. I imagine it is too dense.
Did you eat it anyway?
xxx

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

It's not you, it's the ricotta. I've had ricotta cake before and I'm not a huge lover of it either for dessert! The roses are lovely, well done rach's sister:)

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

Thanks Lorraine, when all else fails blame the ricotta!!! Another cheesecake next weekend methinks to satisfy me, am wondering about chocolate................

and Rhyleysgranny, we ate some and I pawned the rest off on people so they had to eat it, tee hee

Sarah Bell said...

Yeah I don't really like ricotta either, it tends to be really grainy. I think mascarpone or other cream cheese would be better. I also find that loads of eggs in a cheesecake makes it taste really eggy and I don't like that. I much prefer thick gluttonous cheesecakes. I absolutely love Bill Granger recipes normally but have to disagree with him on this one.

Kristen said...

It does look pretty, at least :) Sorry it was disappointing.

Tanya said...

You know, I saw the pictures and thought, 'How could this have ever been a disappointment?' So sorry it wasn't good. It could very well have been the type of ricotta. I've had some ricotta cheeses which are very lumpy and grainy and then some which are very, very smooth.

This sounds like a very Italian recipe. I know a lot of Italian cheesecakes which use ricotta instead of cream cheese.

cakewardrobe said...

It does look just lovely though! :(

Hillary said...

You could have told me that was the best cheesecake you've ever had, and I would have believed you because of how good it looks. Thanks for being honest - I'm sorry you didn't like it!

jen said...

What beautiful flowers!

Shame about the ricotta. It could be the brand. It's ringing a bell with me - but for a mascarpone cheesecake. The best mascarpone for the recipe was the version from Sainsbury's - some others went too liquidy, which was just a bit weird.

But I'm with you on the honey-loving front. Have brought some back from Italy and am trying to decide what to do with it...

Maryann said...

That's a beautiful cheese cake :)

Chef Ashbabe said...

It does look nice, but I have to agree with you, Ricotta cheesecake is quite a disappointment if it is not something you are accustomed to. I myself, prefer the creamy cream cheese style cheesecake. I'm sorry this was such a letdown, but we never really know until we try :)

Aimée said...

I hear you, Rachel, if you are expecting smooth and get grainy, it's unpleasant. however, I find the combination of honey and ricotta sooo sensual, don't give up on it. Just give up on the idea of a smooth cheesecake!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

I've not made this particular cheesecake before, but I have many ricotta cheesecakes and I love them. I do however think they're like marmite - love it or hate it but no other option.

The Caked Crusader said...

Please don't give up on ricotta! I had a similar experience i.e. a grainy cake, and then came up with a solution that guarantees a nice smooth texture. When you add ricotta to the mix, using a wooden spoon force the cheese through a metal sieve - voila, no lumps!
Works every time.

Y said...

Looks like it would've been a very nice cheesecake, too bad it wasn't the case. This sounds more like baked ricotta than the kind of cheesecake (plump with mascarpone) that most of us would expect it to be.