This cheesecake is a harmonious blend of airy wine-kissed eggnog, a beloved Italian custard, and the classic, rich texture of a traditional cheesecake.
Meticulously crafted for those who prefer desserts without the heaviness of sour cream or heavy cream, this cheesecake retains all the creamy decadence you crave, but with a lighter, more ethereal quality.
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup sugar (for the zabaione)
- 1/2 cup Marsala wine
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- Fresh berries, for garnish (optional)
- Mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)Instructions:
Prepare the Crust:
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of sugar until well mixed.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to form a crust.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and let it cool while you prepare the filling.
Make the Zabaione:
In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until the mixture is pale and thick.
Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler), making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
Gradually pour in the Marsala wine while continuously whisking.
Keep whisking vigorously until the mixture is thick and foamy, about 10 minutes. It should form a ribbon when the whisk is lifted.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let the zabaione cool to room temperature.
Prepare the Cheesecake Filling:
In a large mixing bowl, gently fold the mascarpone cheese into the cooled zabaione until well combined.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone and zabaione mixture, maintaining as much air as possible.
If the mixture is too thick, gradually add whole milk to reach a creamy consistency.
Assemble the Cheesecake:
Pour the filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake the Cheesecake:
Bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center is slightly wobbly.
Turn off the oven, open the door slightly, and let the cheesecake cool inside for 1 hour to prevent cracking.
Chill and Serve:
After cooling, refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.
Before serving, garnish with fresh berries, mint leaves, and a dusting of powdered sugar if desired.
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