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Archive for February 2014

This is not your ordinary pizza.

This is not your ordinary pizza.

Everyone loves pizza. Right? Right! Everyone loves strawberries, right? Right! Everyone loves goat cheese, right? Okay. I‘m not going to push my luck with the goat cheese, but most people enjoy it, and if they’ve never had goat cheese but are willing to try it, I am sure you will have converts. If not, well you can change to some other type of spreadable cheese such as brie, boursin, camembert or queso fresco.

These individual dessert pizzas are easy to prepare and easy to eat, so they are sure to be a hit with the entire family, and once your kids have had them once, they’ll be asking for them again and again.


Grilled Strawberry and Goat Cheese Dessert Pizza

Amoretti Premium Grand Orange Syrup is a unique replica of an extremely popular, and very expensive, orange-and-cognac flavored liqueur often found in beverage, cooking, and baking recipes.

Amoretti Premium Grand Orange Syrup is a unique replica of an extremely popular, and very expensive, orange-and-cognac flavored liqueur often found in beverage, cooking, and baking recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 6 English muffins or sandwich rounds
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbs Amoretti Premium Grand Orange Syrup
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 Tbs honey, divided
  • ¼   tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • mint leaves, for garnish

Instructions:

On a baking sheet, lay out the English muffin or sandwich round halves, cut side up, and place them under the broiler until lightly toasted.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the goat cheese and 3 Tbs of the honey in a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth and creamy. Combine the strawberries, Amoretti Premium Grand Orange Syrup, and sugar in a medium bowl, and toss to coat.

Spread each English muffin or sandwich round half with the goat cheese mixture and divide the berries evenly among the halves. Bake the pizzas in a 350°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt. While the pizzas are baking, chiffonade the mint leaves.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the pizzas to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the pizzas to individual serving plates, sprinkle each pizza with a pinch of black pepper and some of the mint leaves, and drizzle each with ½ tsp of the remaining honey.

Layered Spumoni Italian Cheesecake

Spumoni Italian cheesecake, made with ricotta and mascarpone.

We have had this Italian cheesecake recipe kicking around the Amoretti Test Kitchens for some time now. Italian cheesecakes are made with ricotta and mascarpone cheeses, which makes them lighter and fluffier than the traditional cheesecake.

Because it is an Italian cheesecake, the idea of presenting it in the traditional spumoni colors and flavors just came naturally. Of course, if you lean more towards Northern Italy than Southern Italy, you can make it with the Neapolitan colors and flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry instead.

This recipe should be made in a 9-inch round springform pan, and limit the crust to the bottom only, so you can clearly see the colorful layers even before you cut the cheesecake.

Allowing the cheesecake to cool gradually in the oven after you have turned it off will help to prevent cracking of the filling as it cools. Loosening the springform rim from the cheesecake with a butter knife will also aid in preventing cracks as it cools and contracts. This is especially important with this cheesecake, because it has no topping to hide any cracks.

August 21 is National Spumoni Day in the United States and November 13 is National Spumoni Day in Canada. We certainly aren’t waiting! Are you?


Spumoni Italian Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crema di Pistachio & Cherry Syrups

Crema di Pistachio & Cherry Syrups

Crust

  • 7oz amaretti cookie snaps
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Filling
  • 32 oz ricotta cheese
  • 16 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbs flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios, divided
  • 2 Tbs Amoretti Premium Crema di Pistachio Syrup
  • 1 cup cherries, chopped
  • 2 Tbs Amoretti Premium Cherry Syrup
  • 1 Tbs corn starch
  • ½ cup cocoa

Instructions:

Crust

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Tightly wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with a double layer of aluminum foil to prevent seepage. Crush the cookies in a food processor. Spray the sides and bottom of the springform pan with cooking spray. Combine the cookie crumbs and the melted butter and evenly disburse and pack down the crumbs in the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust at 350°F for 10 minutes. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Filling

Place the ricotta cheese in a collander over a bowl and allow to drain for 30 minutes. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the ricotta cheese and mascarpone cheese together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, add the sugar and continue to mix until combined. Continue to beat the mixture as you add the eggs one at a time, add in the salt, the flour and the vanilla extract and continue to beat until completely blended.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Divide the filling among three mixing bowls. Put ½ cup of the pistachios in the food processor and pulse until they are the consistency of coarse flour. In one bowl, combine the pistachio flour, the pistachios and the Amoretti Premium Crema di Pistachio Syrup. In the second bowl, fold in the chopped cherries, the Amoretti Premium Cherry Syrup, and 1 Tbs cornstarch. In the third bowl, fold in the cocoa. Place the bowls in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes.

Layer the three fillings carefully into the prepared pan, the chocolate first, then the pistachio, and finally the cherry, making sure not to mix them together. You may want to allow the cheesecake to chill in the refrigerator for an additional 30 minutes between filling additions.

Place a large pan on the middle shelf of your oven, place the springform pan inside the large pan and carefully pour boiling water into the large pan until it is about 1-inch up the sides of the springform pan. Do not go above the aluminum foil.
 
Bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the cake to sit in the oven 45 minutes longer. 
Remove the cake from the larger pan. Run the back (dull) edge of a butter knife between the rim and the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan. Allow the cake to cool for an additional 30 minutes. Carefully remove and discard the aluminum foil, cover the top of the cake loosely with wax paper and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
 
When ready to serve, allow the cake to come to room temperature. Unlatch the springform pan and carefully remove the rim. Place the cheesecake, with the springform pan base, on a serving platter. Cut the cheesecake into wedges for serving. This is done best with unflavored dental floss or a long, thin knife heated with boiling water and dried before each cut.

Buon Appetito!