Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cheesecake a mi manera: Raspberry Ricotta Cheesecake w Rose Water, White Tea & Sesame

It is very likely that you all know how to make a cheesecake. Just looking at it, one can easily notice what it's made of: a biscuit base and a creamy cheese layer topped with whatever the pastry chef was inspired by.

Frankly, baking makes me nervous because I don't have the heart to follow the recipe :( verbatim - *sigh* - I use shortcuts. My cakes will always lack in butter, sugar, white flour...which will constantly be replaced with honey / whole wheat flour / olive oil. Call it a curse - I am obsessed with the idea of "healthy".

On the other hand, if I bake a cake and use everything I ought to be using, then I will just have a slice and the rest...will be shared among the ones I love. A slice (or more) for each. So everybody will be happy.

Raspberry Ricotta Cheesecake with Rose Water, White Tea and Sesame

Problem solved, I decided not to skimp anymore (!), make a killer cake (hopefully, not literally), take some pictures, blog and boast about it (a little), then cut it piece by piece and give it away.

Inspired by Claude Olivier's variety of cheesecakes and Delicioasa's pink cheesecake, I sat down and planned my signature delight.

Base: melted butter, crushed butter biscuits, toasted sesame.

Creamy cheese layer: ricotta, Philadelphia light, condensed milk, creme fraiche, preserved lemon & orange rind, loose lemon & rose silver tips white tea, rose water, gelatine dissolved in strong white tea.

Top: 800 gr frozen raspberries turned into a delicious home-made marmalade  (berries, sugar, gelatine)

You know the stages - melt the butter, mix it with the crushed biscuits & sesame, bake for 10 minutes, work on the cheese cream, store in the fridge, top with raspberry jam, wait for a couple of hours to set, and finally do one of these things ...

a) enjoy it alone spoon by spoon

b) enjoy it with the ones you love

c) give it away as a present (the sweetest thing one can do)

My conclusion

I have made cheesecake before, but it had never occurred to me to use rose water and white tea. Rose water, which is so natural and obviously used in most Middle Eastern desserts, revamps this classic cake giving it an understated beauty and a haunting "je ne sais quoi" subtle taste. Somebody who would taste it, will have a familiar feeling about it, but wouldn't know for sure where to place it. The toasted sesame seeds are crunchy and, when blended with butter, offered an undertone of tahini and halwa.
Apart from my being curious, DK what made me add a generous pinch of white tea. I had a hunch it could work out just fine. White tea is healthy, an antiviral which protects the heart, lowers the cholesterol (among others), and it is also known to have more properties than green tea. Its taste is subtle and delicate, I often drink it unsweetened in small Japanese tea cups. Lovely. Paired with creamy ricotta, condensed milk and rosewater, the fragile white tea leaves stand on their own to tell a wonderful story: oh, in your urban kitchen you may allow yourself to day dream, mix and match, taste, sample and compare, speed-travel through your senses to far-away realms...


  1. Me encanta su manera <3 I love this delightful cheese cake ricotta

  2. great combo: raspberry and rosewater! I'll keep it in mind next time I'll make a cheesecake.

  3. I really got into this article. I found it to be interesting and loaded with unique points of interest. I like to read material that makes me think. Thank you for writing this great content. upma recipe