During our honeymoon, lobster and I spent a week in Italy and had the most amazing meals during our visit. I remember one meal in particular was cheesecake we had at a cute little restaurant in Florence called, Trattoria Garga. I had read numerous reviews about their famous cheesecake - that should not be missed. Therefore, we made a detour to the restaurant so WE could have this dessert. The cheesecake was light, creamy and not overly sweet. It was a nice change from the dense rich cheesecakes we are all too familiar with - aka The Cheesecake Factory. This was more like a dainty little cheesecake that was smooth and velvety - which could be dangerous to the gluteous maximus area. Since it's so light and airy you could quite possibly consume too much in one sitting - so I've heard.
After we returned home, I googled the recipe and to my surprise I actually found it online. Hence, I present you with: Sharon's Cheesecake - light, smooth and velvety flavored with sweet mascarpone. Don't know who Sharon is, but Sharon's cheesecake is damn good and definite keeper.
Sharon's Cheesecake – TRATTORIA GARGA CHEESECAKE
Recipe from Saveur magazine
Makes one 10 inch Cake
FOR THE CRUST:
2 cups finely crushed digestives - English whole wheat biscuits (I used graham crackers)
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING:
11/2 cups cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. mascarpone
1 cup sugar
FOR THE TOPPING:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 325°. Mix crushed biscuits and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add butter and stir until well combined. Transfer crumb mixture to a 10" springform pan. Using your hands, spread mixture out in an even layer, then use your fingertips to press crumb mixture into bottom and up side of pan about 1" to form an even crust. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until crust is set and golden in places, 15–20 minutes. Set crust aside until cool.
2. For the filling: Beat cream cheese and mascarpone together in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add sugar, beating well, about 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Pour filling into crust and bake until just set, 40–45 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
3. For the topping: Combine yogurt, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pour onto cheesecake, spreading it out to cover top of cheesecake completely. Set aside at room temperature at least 2 hours before serving.
4. Run a knife between crust and inside ring of pan and remove ring. Serve cheesecake with sliced strawberries, if you like.