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If ricotta is not your thing, then you probably no need to read further. This post is all about ricotta, well not just ricotta, but food made with Perfect Italiano ricotta cheese. Thanks for Fleur at Mark Communications for sending me a huge bag full of tubs and tubs of ricotta cheese. It also only means that anything I cook for the next few weeks (if not months) will involved ricotta cheese!

Just to make sure that I eat, sleep, and poo write about ricotta, they even sent me a list of ricotta cheese recipes as bed time reading material, so all I can dream of is white fluffy ricotta clouds with lamb chops jumping over it again and again…

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In my Perfect Italiano ricotta stash, there are options of original, light and savoury; each has its own purpose for what kind of food you are going to make. I also noticed there are extra light and sweet ricotta in the range on their website. The sweet ricotta with added sugar content is suggested to be used for baking and desserts. Since I didn’t get any of the sweet vatiery, I made a ricotta cheesecake using the original flavour by adding a cup of sugar into the recipe and it works just as perfectly fine.

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I also make a cos lettuce, asparagus ricotta salad with crispy bacon by using the light Perfect Italiano ricotta to go with a Sunday roast. The light ricotta cheese balanced really well with the lightly grilled asparagus and the oven roasted crispy bacon. The cheese gives the salad a nice creamy texture among all the crunch. It is very simple to toss together, definitely will do it more often.

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We also had some potato wedges to go with the roast. I love my wedges especially with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. Since I don’t have sour cream at hand, that’s when the left over ricotta cheese come to rescue. It works perfectly as a dip for the wedges. It is light, creamy and is cheese, it’s gotta be good right? 🙂

Amazingly after all this cooking and eating using Perfect Italiano ricotta, there are still heaps of them left in the fridge! So if anyone out there has any good suggestions what I can do with them, you are more than welcome to drop me a line in the comment box.

Oh yes… I also already done the Bill’s ricotta pancakes recipe too!

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Anyway, whoever wants the ricotta cheesecake recipe, here goes:

Ingredients

crust
2 cups / 180 gram graham cracker crumbs (I used half scotchfingers, half gingernut. Oreo’s is also a favorite)
4 oz / 100 gram butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 gram sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

cheesecake
500 gram of ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean

Methods

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350 degrees F).

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into 24cm springform cake tin. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine ricotta cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the ramekins on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Wrap the side of the caketin with aluminium foil. Make sure water can’t leak into the crust and becomes soggy. Place ramekins into a large baking tray and pour boiling water into the tray until halfway up the side of the ramekins.

5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.