This recipe was inspired by Italian-style cheesecakes, which use a substantial quantity of ricotta and have a much lighter texture. Best served cold or at room temperature on the day it is made.
- 100g raw almonds
- 80g raw caster sugar
- 80g rye flour*
- finely ground sea salt
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 orange, rind finely grated
- 1½ teaspoons rosewater**
- ¾ cup honey
- 2–3 drops fresh lemon juice
- 500g ricotta, at room temperature
- 200g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 25g unsweetened, plain Greek-style natural yoghurt, at room temperature
- 25g double cream, at room temperature
- 5 eggs
- 300ml pure cream
Sugared rose petals
- 2 cups rose petals***
- 1 egg white, lightly whisked
- ⅓ cup white caster sugar
Step by step
Grease a 23cm round springform pan. Line base and side with baking paper.
Process almonds, caster sugar,rye flour and a pinch of salt in a food processor until finely chopped. Add melted butter, orange rind and 1 teaspoon of rosewater, and process until combined. Press mixture evenly over base of prepared pan. Set aside.
Place honey, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons water in a small heavy-based saucepan. Heat over a very low heat, without stirring, until honey mixture is bubbling, has darkened slightly in colour and there is a distinct ‘edge’ to smell. (It may not change colour very much but you can definitely taste the difference. This may take some time — up to 20 minutes — but don’t rush it or you’ll end up with caramel!) Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed, beat ricotta, cream cheese, yoghurt and double cream until well combined and mixture is as smooth as possible. Add a pinch of salt and mix until combined. With motor running, slowly pour in cooled honey mixture (try not to hit side of metal mixing bowl). Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition until smooth and well combined. Pour ricotta mixture into prepared pan and place on a baking tray. Bake for 50 minutes or until cheesecake has risen and is golden on top. (Have a quick look to check, but try not to lose too much heat from oven or cheesecake will crack.) Turn oven off. Leave cheesecake in oven, with door slightly ajar, for 30 minutes to cool.
Remove cheesecake from oven and cool to room temperature, then place in refrigerator for 20–30 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, to make sugared rose petals, brush rose petals with egg white, then lightly sprinkle both sides of petals with caster sugar. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour to dry.
Place pure cream and remaining ½ teaspoon of rosewater in a large
bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
Transfer cheesecake to a cake stand or serving platter. Top with whipped cream and sugared rose petals to serve.
*Available at gourmet food stores and health-food stores. If unavailable, substitute spelt or buckwheat flour.
**Available at gourmet food stores, Middle Eastern grocers and
***Ensure rose petals have not been treated with sprays.