This is one of our new regular rotations. All glory and credit to my husband Glenn, who wrote and tested this recipe all by himself! The hardest thing about this cheesecake is waiting for it to set up and chill! (Sometimes I stick one in the freezer to cheat and eat in within the hour.) We decided to go for a ricotta-cream cheese combination, because ricotta is a little healthier and gives the cheesecake more tartness and texture, and for someone like me, who is a little sensitive to casein proteins, whey-based ricotta is a little easier on my stomach. (I can't drink a glass of milk, but I cook with milk all the time, and am learning which cheeses are easier to eat.)
Gluten-Free Crust-less Chocolate Ricotta Cheese Cake
· 16 oz. (one tub) fresh whole milk ricotta (drained)
· 8 oz. (one package) cream cheese (regular--not reduced fat)
· 1 cup sugar
· 4 large eggs
· 1 tsp. vanilla extract
· Pinch of salt
· 4 oz. dark chocolate (60-70%) (We've been using Scharffenberger)
1. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with two layers of heavy-duty foil.
2. Preheat oven to 300°F and heavily grease the inside of the pan with cooking spray or shortening.
3. In a food processor, blend the ricotta cheese until creamy, then add the cream cheese and sugar and blend until smooth.
4. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and salt and blend until smooth.
5. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate by 20 second increments until just melted.
6. Blend the chocolate until smooth, then add 1/3 of the cheese mixture to the chocolate and mix until smooth.
7. Add the chocolate mixture back into the remaining cheese mixture and blend until smooth and uniform.
8. Pour mixture into the pan (not above one-half inch from the top) and place the pan in a large shallow oven-save dish.
9. Fill the dish with water so that the water level comes half way up the side of the cheesecake pan.
10. Back until the cheesecake is firm to the touch, but not cracking, at least 1 hour and 20 minutes.
11. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for at least one hour, and then refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours until very firm.