Have you ever struggled with choosing a perfect dessert when making dinner for your friends? That’d be me yesterday. I’ve created a nice combination of a starter and a main and couldn’t think of a dessert which would complete my dinner. I knew my boyfriend loves cheesecake but I thought it too simple to act as a star at the end of my dinner. So I’ve decided to give it a kick! And that’s how my amaretto cheesecake happened ;)
Worth mentioning, cheesecake is called sernik in Polish and is one of the most loved cakes among Polish people. My boyfriend too, fell in love with Polish rich and creamy sernik immediately, eating it in crazy quantities while in Poland.
My version of cheesecake is a Polish version, too. I didn’t use mascarpone or ricotta cheese. I walked all the way to the Polish shop in town, bought 1kg of Polish white curd cheese (sold in every Polish shop, in 200-300g cubes, called ser biały or twaróg), then minced it in a meat mincer (twice!). And that’s how my cheesecake happened.
Not very humble of me to say, probably, but it was delicious!
for the cake base
4 tbsp wheat flour
6 tbsp ground almonds
2 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
2 tbsp amaretto liquor
12-15 amaretti biscuits (tiny ones)
for the cheese filling
1 kg white curd cheese (ser biały or twaróg)
1 cup of sugar
3 tbsp wheat flour
75ml amaretto liquor
for the chocolate ganache
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
2 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp milk
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Making the cake base first. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a 22cm round cake tin with butter (bottom and sides) and put some baking parchment on the bottom of the tin. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter. Mix in the amaretto liquor. In a big mixing bowl, mix together the flour with almonds and cocoa powder. Crush the amaretti biscuits and mix them into the bowl with flour. Add melted butter with amaretto and mix everything with your electric mixer until you get a consistency of wet sand.
3. Move the mixture into the previously prepared tin and spread evenly on the bottom. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
4. Prepare the cheese filling. Mince the cheese twice in your meat mincer. It’s important that you do it. Curd cheese is quite lumpy, that’s why it requires mincing twice, so you can get a nice, smooth cheese. I do not advise substituting curd cheese with ricotta or mascarpone, both of them are not thick enough to make a proper, smooth but thick cheesecake.
5. Add 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks into the big mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix everything with your electric mixer until your egg and sugar mixture will look like a fluffy foam. Still mixing, start adding cheese (not all at once!), flour and amaretto liquor. Mix until well combined.
6. Add the cheese filling into the baking tin with previously baked cake base. Bake for about 50 minutes. When ready, switch off your oven and let the cake cool down inside for about 10 minutes, with the over door open. After this time, take the cake out and let it cool down completely.
7. Prepare the ganache. Melt the butter with cocoa powder and sugar, mixing all the time. When melted and well combined, remove from the heat and slowly add the double cream, mixing all the time. If the mixture is too thick, add some milk and mix just until well combined.
8. When your cheesecake has completely cooled down, decorate it with slightly chilled ganache. For decoration you can also use amaretti biscuits and almond flakes.