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Cheesecake: ricotta? cream cheese? or both?

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Every time I've made cheesecake I've used cream cheese. Cheesecake makes a lovely dessert but is incredibly rich. It's rare to have requests for a second slice (unless they want it wrapped to take home). I will be making a cheesecake soon and saw recipes using ricotta. I've never tasted this and am curious about a few things before I'd give ricotta a try. Is the end result less 'cheesy' in flavor? Does the ricotta continue to stay 'lumpy'? Does ricotta produce a filling less rich? I've also seen recipes using both cheeses. How do they turn out?

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  1. it'll be interesting to see results. loving cheesecake, I've used strained yogurt with cream cheese.
    hope you get helpful comments. happy new year

    1. IME ricotta turns out with a fluffier texture, a more dairy flavor, not as dense and doesn't deliver that sugar rush the same. it's also good, just different.

      1. If you use ordinary ricotta, it will be grainier than cream cheese. I would recommend using ricotta impastata for a creamier texture. It's the stuff usually used for cannoli filling, to give you an idea of the texture and flavor (although it is not cooked in that application, and there are no eggs, etc.).

        2 Replies
        1. re: DeppityDawg

          I use regular ricotta which I have smoothed in the food processor for a light cake.

          1. re: magiesmom

            Me too - love the texture with the ricotta smoothed out and the lighter texture. It also takes a marbling better - swirl a little chocolate or berry puree through it.

        2. One of the best cheesecakes I've ever had was made with a combination of cream cheese and fresh chevre, with lots of lemon. I like to use homemade cream cheese, which is generally a bit thinner than the storebought stuff (sort of like iL Divo's strained yogurt technique), and I don't chill it if I can help it. If you keep it at room temperature, the cheesecake doesn't become dense. It stays custardy and rich. Still not something you'd want more than one serving of, but it has a much lighter consistency.

          1. I've used a combo of ricotta, chèvre and fromage blanc, all to good effect. Usually equal amounts of each, and I've subbed in cream cheese for the fromage blanc on occasion.

            I like the lighter style cheesecake you get from these cheeses, with a little vanilla and lemon zest. It's not too sweet, either.

            The particular recipe I adapt from is an Annie Bell recipe. It has a breadcrumb crust (which is very light) and doesn't need a water bath. I usually top it with marmalade.

            1. What about Mascarpone cheese? Can this be used to any benefit or Queso Fresco cheese? Not sure of spelling but, has anyone had success with this?