If you want to make this a little faster, you can use a store-bought crust. But I really like making the crust myself, and trust me – it is worth the effort! Instead of graham crackers try your favorite kind of cookies, for different flavors.
My son is not a fan of ricotta so I had my doubts about adding it to this cheesecake. However, it turned out so amazing and he didn’t complain at all! In fact, he had barely finished his first slice when he already asked if he could have a second serving!
8 oz. graham crackers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs)
3 Tbs. Domino granulated sugar
7 Tbs. Land O Lakes unsalted butter, melted
3 8-oz. packages Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta
2 Tbs. Gold Medal all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups Domino granulated sugar
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
4 large Eggland’s eggs, at room temperature
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
Add the chocolate chips, orange zest, and vanilla, and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month (see make-ahead tip, below).
Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate.
Garnish with confectioners’ sugar sifted over the cake and serve immediately. To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.
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Quick tip: This is a very rich, beautifully sweet cheesecake so a little goes a long way!