This classic Italian dessert gets a modern update when melded with another classic: cheesecake. Ladyfingers make the crust and an added layer with in the cheesecake, and the addition of a chocolate ganache layer and a subtle coffee-flavoured creamy cheesecake will make this a hit at your next occasion.
Two classics meet in this dessert, with a subtle coffee flavour and a layer of rich chocolate ganache.
- 1¼ cups ladyfinger biscuit crumbs (about 16 ladyfingers)
- 60 g (¼ cup) unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup (60 ml) whipping cream
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 90 g (3 oz) dark baking/couverture chocolate, chopped
- 6-8 ladyfinger biscuits
- 3 pkg (250 g each) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (250 g) mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup (30 g) cornflour (cornstarch)
- ¼ cup (60 ml) espresso coffee, cooled
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1¼ cups (310 ml) whipping cream
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar, or to taste
- 3 tsp instant skim milk powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cocoa powder, for dusting
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling and chilling time: at least 8 hours
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease the bottom and sides of a 23 cm (9-inch) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Stir the ladyfinger crumbs and melted butter together to combine and then press this into the bottom of the prepared pan (using the back of a tablespoon makes this easy). Bake for 10 minutes and then cool on a rack while preparing the ganache.
3. Bring the cream and butter up to a full simmer in a small saucepan and pour this over the chocolate in a small bowl. Let this sit for a minute and then slowly stir the ganache until it is smooth. Pour this onto the baked crust and spread it to cover. Arrange the ladyfingers on top of the ganache, quite closely together - you can break some in half to make them fit, but there is no need to fill every bit of space.
4. Using electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. While beating, slowly pour in the sugar, stopping twice to scrape down the bowl. Add the mascarpone and, from this point on, mix the cheesecake on medium-low speed. Beat in the cornflour followed by the espresso and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time until combined.
5. Pour this into the pan and bake (still at 180°C (350°F)) for about 45 minutes, until the outside edges of the cheesecake are set and start to rise a little, but the centre of the cheesecake will still have a jiggle to it. Cool the cheesecake on a rack for an hour and then run a palette knife around the inside edge of the cheesecake (this prevents any cracks from forming later). Cool the cheesecake to room temperature and then chill for at least 6 hours in its pan.
6. For the topping, whip the cream using electric beaters or in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, until they hold a soft peak. Stir in the sugar, skim milk powder and vanilla.
7. Run a palette knife again around the inside edge of the springform pan and remove. Lift the cheesecake up carefully and peel away the parchment paper, setting the cheesecake onto your serving platter or cake stand. Spread or pipe the whipped cream to cover the entire surface of the cheesecake and dust it generously with cocoa powder. Chill uncovered until ready to serve.