I’m baaaack! How did the holidays treat you all? Well the holidays were quite good to me, which is why I decided to enjoy my vacation while I can and update the blog at the start of my working year. I spent almost the whole of yesterday making a 2000-piece puzzle with my youngest brother in our pyjamas as a last-ditch effort to feel like I’m still on a holiday high, and it actually worked!
Even after looking at the calendar and seeing that nearly all the important holidays for 2016 are falling on weekends, I didn’t feel as crestfallen as I was expecting. It looks like a long working year for all of us, but that’s okay! I just wonder if my extra dose of optimism will last past my birthday month…
Anyway, I decided to start the year with this particular recipe because of the presence of a bright red component. Following the Chinese beliefs I grew up with, the colour red means luck and prosperity, joy and happiness. That’s why we’re always wearing red during birthdays, New Year’s, and any occasion that calls for major celebrations really. It attracts good feng shui or something like that. Apart from that, red is just a powerful colour to me. It’s bright and feisty, even when it’s in the form of strawberry compote poured over a dessert.
That eye-catching red compote certainly creates a pretty picture for this Ginger Ricotta Cheesecake recipe. I know that everyone is probably doing a clean-eating thing right now but gosh, look at this cheesecake and tell me you don’t want a bite of it!
Before we talk more about the cheesecake, I wanted to talk a bit about resolutions. They say the only constant thing in this world is change, and I’m just glad most people don’t find making resolutions cliché. It’s good because I take it to mean that a lot of us still want to become better versions of ourselves every year. Having the intention, the desire, to actually change the bad bits about ourself is the most important right?
This year I don’t have a long list, but more or less, there are two main things I want to make a conscious effort in addressing:
First of all, patience is a virtue I think I have a scarcity of. I’m the type of person who likes to move fast and sometimes that rubs people the wrong way. Most cases, moving fast can be a good thing, but on regular situations I need to learn how to cool it. My impatience can sometimes lead to me being irritable (or worse!), so this is something I really need to work on.
And the second thing, although it’s not too obvious since I can be a workaholic sometimes, is that I really need to stop procrastinating. This is a disease of many people in my generation, and unfortunately I’m the type of person who ends up hating myself when I don’t finish my work as planned. I don’t do the whole shrugging things off routine. There are days when my procrastination leads me to sleeping a lot later than I should, which makes me fairly cranky the next morning, which I guess leads to my impatience… It’s a vicious cycle!
Funny thing is, I practiced neither patience nor procrastination when it came to this cheesecake. Okay, maybe a little patience because I managed to snap a bunch of photos before my self-control crumbled to pieces. The moment I took my last shot, I gobbled up that already-halved slice. And this. Cheesecake. You. Guys. It’s so easy but so effing good! The only thing to remember is not to overbake the cheesecake and watch for that jiggle. The cheesecake comes out a light pink colour. 🙂
The cheesecake itself has strawberry jam, ginger, and lemon zest in it so it has a nice flavour; with the ricotta and cream cheese combining for that tangy savouriness that makes cheesecakes so great! But once you eat it with the strawberry compote, it adds a tart sweetness that elevates this dessert from great to simply irresistible.
Ginger Ricotta Cheesecake with Quick Strawberry Compote
For the cheesecake
- 250 grams gingersnaps or graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
- 80 grams butter, melted
- 165 grams cream cheese, softened
- 250 grams ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
- 1/2 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 3/4 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 3/4 Tablespoon water
- 2 large eggs
For the strawberry compote
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 Tablespoon orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- A sprinkle of cinnamon or ground ginger
Make the cheesecake
- 1. Preheat oven to 165°C (330°F). Grease and line the base of a 9-inch springform pan.
- 2. In a small bowl, mix together crushed gingersnaps or graham crackers with melted butter, until wet and sandy. Transfer crumbs into the springform pan and press into the bottom of the pan using the back of a spoon. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling
- 3. In the bowl of a food processor (or using a handheld mixer), place cream cheese, ricotta, strawberry jam, ground ginger, and lemon zest. Pulse until smooth.
- 4. In a separate small bowl, combine water and cornstarch until completely smooth. Add into the food processor bowl, then add the eggs, and pulse until smooth and combined.
- 5. Pour mixture over the chilled base and bake for 40 to 60 minutes. Check the cheesecake on the 40th minute. The edges should be just golden and the centre still slightly wobbly. Do not remove cheesecake from oven. Turn off the heat and keep the door closed, allowing the cheesecake to rest in the oven for another hour.
- 6. Remove cheesecake from oven and let sit inside the springform pan on a wire rack until completely cool. Refrigerate if not yet ready to serve.
While cheesecake is cooling, make the strawberry compote
- 7. Place fruit and juice in a small saucepan on medium heat. Once bubbling, reduce heat slightly and use a wooden spoon to slightly mash the fruit.
- 8. Continue cooking over medium low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes, occasionally mashing the fruit a bit more. Add the sugar and flavorings and mix to combine. Remove from heat and store in an uncovered jar to cool completely. Store in the fridge with the lid on.
- 9. The cheesecake is best served a bit cold, along with the compote. Remove the cheesecake from the springform tin carefully and top with compote only when about to serve.
The last couple of times I’ve made cheesecake, they’ve all been in memorable flavours. When it comes to choosing recipes, I’m really glad I’m picky! This one is for sure another unique cheesecake recipe for the books. I hope you all give this a go. 🙂