I was watching the cooking show Lidia’s Italy on PBS a few weeks ago, and she happened to be preparing a decadent looking Italian cheesecake. I instantly knew what kind of cake to request for my birthday.
Typically, Jesse will prepare my birthday cake by himself, but he was daunted by the cheesecake idea, so we prepared it together. Cheesecakes require a springform pan, which I have considered buying for years, but didn’t think I would use enough to merit the purchase. (For example, my bundt pan is collecting dust in the cupboard.) Unfortunately, my cake turned out pretty tasty, so I might be tempted to make cheesecake every week!
Lidia’s Italian cheesecake simply had ricotta and mascarpone cheese, as well as rum soaked raisins, an amaretti cookie base, and pine nuts sprinkled on top. Although her version is probably delectable, I went for an Italian-American cheesecake hybrid. My cake used ricotta, cream cheese, and sour cream. We made a blueberry sauce to top it using a recipe from our cooking Bible, The Joy of Cooking.
Birthdays are all about kitchen gadgets in our house. I got Jesse a pizza stone for his in May, which we have used to make cookies and bread as well as pizza. This morning, I unwrapped an immersion blender, and we used it to mix the cheesecake batter. I got a little overzealous with my new toy, overbeating when we added the eggs, so the cake puffed up while baking. Oops. No harm done to the taste.
The end result was a creamy cake that is less dense than a traditional American cheesecake. I may have accidentally dropped some crumbs on the floor that my cat gobbled up, so this cake gets the stamp of approval from the two humans and one feline in our house.
Question of the Day: What is your favorite kind of birthday cake?