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Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake


This recipe is from my favorite cookbook of all time. I got it from my aunt several years back when she would still send these enormous Christmas parcels that would include everything our little hearts could possibly desire. At this point I was probably around 19 years old and my interest in cooking was really just starting to heat up. It was my first real cookbook and I would say it was single handedly responsible for my transformation into one of the obsessed. The title: Cooking with Julia Childs.

This cheesecake is so good, and so easy, that I never really have the urge to cook any other. The hardest part about it is making sure I get the mascarpone in advance – as it is not something that I ever have on hand. I altered the recipe to suit a 9 -inch pan since that is what I prefer – but will also provide the measurements for an eight inch pan as well. Since I use the larger size of pan I always have a little bit of extra mascarpone left over – which is delicious when lightly sweetened, seasoned with chopped mint and served with fresh fruit. It is a second dessert that you can have a few days after the cheesecake to use up the rest of the mascarpone – and in the late summer it simply can’t be beat.

You can use whatever type of cookie crumb you like – I recommend something reasonably course and homemade as you simply stick the crumbs to the cake after it is cooked. Crushed biscotti, gingersnaps and other similar types of cookie would all be delicious if you have the time or energy. Chocolate Oreo crumbs work as well but provide a very thin crust. When I am in a hurry it never seems to matter.

I like to cover this cheesecake with a heavy layer of dark chocolate ganache and serve it in thin slices. It is a crowd pleaser – literally. I had eight people over for dinner and we hardly dented it despite some having seconds. I would say it could easily serve 16-20 people. But do not let that stop you from making it = it keeps extremely well and also has a way of disappearing within a day of being made.

Mom-O-Meter 4.5/5

Once again – the only problem here is the dishes but there are not that many of them really. This cake comes together quickly, requires about an hour in the oven, and then should be refrigerated overnight. If, like me, you tend to leave things to the last minute – the recipe is perfect because it forces you to make it the day before. Or in my case the night before – after the wee one has gone to bed. Since it serves so many – it is great value when it comes to time spent – if you are having company to stay it will serve as several desserts and no-one ever gets sick of it!


Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake adapted from “Baking with Julia Childs” by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients for  9 inch springform pan

4 packages full fat Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature
1 and 1/3 cup of mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/4 + 1 tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
8 ounces melted dark chocolate
1/2-3/4 cup cookie crumbs

Ingredients for Ganache

8 ounces melted chocolate
1/2 cup cream

**adjust proportions depending on desired consistency

1. Preheat the oven to 350% and locate a roasting pan (preferably with rack) or other pan large enough for your springform pan to fit into. Grease your springform pan.

2. Beat cream cheese on medium until perfectly smooth (4 minutes). Add sugar and keep beating another 4 minutes. Add flour, mascapone and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and using a spatula to ensure you are getting to the bottom of the bowl. Add sour cream and mix.

3. Add 1 cup of the batter to the bowl of warm melted chocolate and mix until the colour is uniform. Then add this mixture back to the main batter, scraping the bottom with a spatula to ensure it is well mixed. Pour into pan – rotating a few times to level out.

4. Put pan on rack in roasting pan and fill with hot water to halfway up the cheesecake pan. Bake until top is set but the rest of the cake still quivers like custard: anywhere from 55-65 minutes depending on how set you would like your cheesecake.

5. Set pan on a baking rack to cool. Once it is at room temperature you can unmold it and then place a plate on top, flip it upside down and remove the bottom of the baking pan. At this point cover the exposed parts with cookie crumbs – pressing into the sides. Once you have finished doing this simply place a serving tray on top and flip the cake back over onto the tray.

Don’t worry if the top of the cheesecake looks a bit uneven – cover it with ganache or a sour cream or mascarpone glaze!

This cake can be left out on the counter overnight and unmolded the next morning if made in the evening. If refrigerated in the pan – run hot water around the outside before unmolding to loosen.

Glaze with chocolate ganache if desired. To do so – heat cream in microwave and pour over chopped chocolate. Wait 3 minutes and then stir until smooth – spread quickly and immediately over cheesecake. If ganache is too liquid – add more chocolate. Too thick – add more heated cream.

Refrigerate for as long as possible before serving – overnight usually works for me. Serve direct from the refrigerator.

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  1. January 20, 2011 at 1:03 am

    even after a month of over indulging in holiday fare- your post has me convinced I need to make this cheesecake immediately 🙂 It looks wonderful!

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