Saturday, June 16, 2018

Mascarpone Cannoli Cheesecake

As we occasionally do, we celebrated Kevin, Matteo, and Declan's birthdays all at once this year. Mom had Kevin's cake covered: a family friend volunteered to make him a Minions cake. For Matteo and Declan, I asked their moms for ideas. Cheesecake for Matteo, chocolate for Declan. Since our family is mainly Italian, I decided to make a cannoli cheesecake that I saw on one of Giada De Laurentiis's TV shows last fall (the decision may or may not have also been guided by the fact that Matteo will be spending some time in Italy this summer).

Mascarpone Cannoli Cheesecake (source)


  • 8 large dry almond-anise biscotti, or your favorite biscotti
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature 
  • One 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, at room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon) 
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips 
  • Italian cherries in syrup, such as Amarena, for serving, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pulse the biscotti to fine crumbs in a food processor. Drizzle in the butter, add the salt and pulse until the mixture has the texture of wet sand. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes, until the crust smells toasted and is beginning to brown. Set aside to cool while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula. Add the salt, vanilla and lemon zest; beat on medium speed until combined. (I honestly think this second mention of salt was a typo of some kind as I don't think anyone noticed that it was missing.)Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the crust and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the center of the cake still moves just slightly.
  6. Allow the cheesecake to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Run a knife around the edge of the pan before releasing the collar.
  7. Top each slice of cheesecake with a spoonful of cherries, if using.

BIG. HIT. Anne - who pointed out to me that she almost never eats dessert - even had a slice. Plus, I took home an empty cheesecake plate.

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