Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ricotta Cheesecake in the Instant Pot

In my wildest dreams, (yes I do dream about cooking and food!) I never imagined making cheesecake in my new Instant Pot!
Cheesecake cooked in Instant Pot

I love cheesecake but cream cheese doesn't agree with my digestive system. I have found ricotta gives no negative reaction and is an incredible treat! My Ricotta Cheesecake journey developed through my previous 'How to Make Ricotta' post, my recent Instant Pot (IP) obsession and an IP website called 'This Old Gal'. Said website came with high recommendations from the friend who inspired me to try the Instant Pot in the first place

I was advised that Jill's Blog, 'This Old Gal', had the most reliable IP cheesecake techniques and instructions... already kitchen tested with impressive results! And there they were, several incredible pressure cooker cheesecake recipes including a Meyer Lemon and Authentic Italian, both made with Ricotta cheese
Pressure Cooker Lemon Curd 

I can't get enough of Jill's 'Pressure Cooker Authentic Italian Ricotta Cheesecake'. I use Limoncello Liqueur instead of Ameretto, omit the orange zest, instead use all lemon zest and don't use the optional crust. Topped with her recipe for 'Pressure Cooker Easy Lemon Curd'; it's an impressive, delicious, light dessert or snack. Both recipes are quick and easy with the Instant Pot.

Decadent chocolate desserts are one of my specialties when entertaining, so I developed a Ricotta Chocolate Cheesecake for the Instant Pot. I follow Jill's expert method of cooking in the IP and use my homemade 'Ricotta Cheese' with the added cream. I made numerous test cakes with store bought Ricotta which produced a texture and quality was drastically inferior. I would strongly advise for Ricotta Cheesecakes to make your own Ricotta using the heavy cream, it is so easy!! I also purchased a second inner lid seal for my IP so there is no flavor/odor transfer. One seal is used for savory cooking and the other for sweet. 

Thank you Jill, for sharing your beautiful, informative food blog, incredible Ricotta Cheesecake recipes, instruction, food photography and Instant Pot knowledge!
Bon Appétit!

~This recipe is best made with creamy, homemade Ricotta Cheese that has been drained until quite dry.
    Drain overnight in the fridge. 
~If tapioca starch is used instead of flour, this recipe becomes gluten free. 
~'Dutch cocoa powder' is darker in color and has a smoother and more mellow flavor than natural cocoa. 

1 lb. (450g) drained, homemade ricotta cheese
IP Ricotta Chocolate Cheesecake with Ganache Topping

1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa powder
2 tsp. tapioca starch (or flour)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated

Ganache Topping:
3 oz. high quality, dark Belgian 
    chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream

Line a colander with 2 layers of damp cheesecloth and elevate over a bowl. Dump in the Ricotta and drain for at least 8 hours or overnight. Generously butter a 7-inch springform pan.

Place drained Ricotta, heavy cream, salt, vanilla and egg yolks in a food processor or stand mixer with a paddle attachment. In a small bowl whisk together the brown sugar, Dutch cocoa and tapioca starch, pour in with the ricotta and mix immediately on medium speed until very smooth. About 3-4 minutes.
In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold egg whites into cheese mixture. Pour into buttered pan and level.
Cover the cheesecake first with a paper towel and then with a piece of tinfoil and secure it around the sides with butcher string. Pour 1-1/2 cups water to the inner pot of the Instant Pot (IP), place cheesecake on the steam rack (or trivet) and carefully lower into the IP. Lock the pressure cooker lid into place and set to 'sealing'. Set pressure to high for 40 minutes. Allow a 10 minute natural release. After the pressure has been released, open the IP and gently remove the pan. Remove butcher string, foil and paper towel. Blot off any liquid that may have accumulated. Let cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove cheesecake from pan, cover loosely with wax or parchment paper and place in the fridge overnight or until totally cooled.

Prepare the Ganache Topping: In a small saucepan over medium/low heat, scald the cream, do not boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the finely chopped chocolate until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Pour topping over chilled cheesecake and smooth so it drizzles down the sides. Keep cake loosely covered in the fridge.
* For a Ganache Sauce to serve on the side:  adjust the Ganache Topping recipe above, increase heavy cream to 1/2 cup, once the mixture is smooth, add 1-1/2 Tbsp. liqueur or strong brewed coffee.
Alternately, serve slightly cooled *Ganache Sauce on the side
Till next time... Happy Easter and Bon Appétit!

Recipe by Sally Rae
Photos by Sally Rae

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