“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chocolate espresso mascarpone cheesecake with amaretti crust, guest post with buttercarb.com

Today, I am very happy to be featured as a guest blogger on the wonderful and hilarious site, buttercarb.com. For Mean Girls fans, you should get the reference to Regina Georges famous line, “Is butter a carb?” Liam, who runs buttercarb.com, LOVES to bake, as made clear by all of his mouthwatering recipes. His site is a virtual feast for the eyes. His treats look amazing, but I must admit, when I saw his post for Nutella Thumbprint cookies, he sold me. When someone makes anything with Nutella, they’ve got my attention. So please, take a look at his site. I dare you not to laugh…and be tempted by his delicious sweets!! Enjoy!

I love that part of dinner when you’ve just finished up, you’re sitting and relaxing, letting your food digest….and waiting “patiently” for dessert. You don’t want to appear overeager; you just really want that slice of cake.  So for tonight we will be serving a lovely chocolate espresso mascarpone cheesecake with an amaretti crust. It’s creamy and sweet, while the chocolate and espresso add a nice density and round out the flavor.

What I love about my recipe is that it is very easy to make and it doesn’t take a long time to prepare. I make mine in a 5 inch tart pan as a single serve, but it can easily be doubled or tripled to make a larger dessert for a crowd….or if you’re really hungry.

With cheesecake, there are countless ways to make a crust to frame your cake. You have the traditional graham cracker crust, the chocolate wafer crust, a shortbread crust. But when I make a good old fashioned Italian cheesecake, I can think of no better way to “Italian” it up, then by adding the classic amaretti cookie which literally translates to “bitter little things”.

In the early 18th century, a Milanese bishop made an unexpected visit to the town of Saronno. A young couple who lived there welcomed him with an original creation; they made wafers of sugar, egg whites and crushed apricot kernels or almonds. The bishop clearly enjoyed the cookies and blessed the couple with a happy and lifelong marriage.

So how should we commemorate the unique history of this classic Italian cookie? Why, by making it into a yummy buttery crust and filling it with creamy, sweet, mascarpone cheese of course?!?

Chocolate espresso mascarpone cheesecake with amaretti crust:

2 tablespoons of softened butter
15 amaretti cookies


5 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2 ounces of chocolate
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. instant espresso dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
1 tbsp. of sugar

For the crust, you will want to grind the amaretti cookies in a food processor and add 2 tablespoons of softened butter. Shape the dough in a 5 inch tart pan. Bake in the oven for seven minutes. Take out to cool.

For the filling, melt 2 ounces of chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons of water in a cup and add the 1 tablespoon of instant espresso. Mix the chocolate, espresso, 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Gently pour the chocolate mascarpone filling into the crust and make sure the top is nice and smooth. Put in your refrigerator to set for around one hour. Take out and enjoy!!