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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who doesnt love pistachios and chocolate ??


So now that I've made this a couple times ( literally twice) I feel confident enough to give you all the recipe.... Here goes.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees


For the filling...*all of these should be room temp before combining

12 oz cream cheese
12 oz ricotta
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup rough chopped UNSALTED pistachios ( half will go inside , and half for around the edge)
1/3 cup pistachio paste ( got mine at Whole Foods)
1 tsp vanilla

For the ganache ( chocolate covering)...
1 cup semi-sweet choc chips
1/2 bar of dark chocolate of your choice ( broken into small bits)
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup half and half ( or cream )

For the crust...
this is up to you... Ive done it with almond biscotti but I thought the flavor took away from the pistachio a little, so I made my second with regular graham cracker crust, you can even just buy it to make it easier !

Okay... prep crust whether home made or bought, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, ricotta and sugar. Mix or beat till smooth.The whole thing can be mixed on the medium setting. Add one egg at a time mixing in each thoroughly. Then add vanilla, pistachios and paste and beat again till smooth ( this can all be mixed by hand but easier and better with a standing or even hand held beater...or even a blender!). Pour over crust evenly and set in oven for 50 minutes. As every oven is different, just look for the middle to be a little loose but should set during the cooling process. If any part still looks liquid leave it in turned off oven till you feel ok about it.

When done take out and let cool a while, at least 15 minutes, also if you made it in a spring form pan release it.

While your cheesecake is cooling you can make the ganache.

Set up a double boiler ( your gonna have to look this one up, Im sorry! I just dont think Ill explain it very well ) .

In the dbl boiler put half of all your choc and all of the half and half and butter.
Let sit a minute to warm up and then begin slowly mixing this while it melts. Just folding slowly with a spatula. Add the rest of the chocolate slowly, never too much at a time. Once consistent and your cheesecake isnt hot anymore take the ganache off the heat and set it next to cheesecake.

Pour about half of the warm chocolate on the center of the cake and spread slowly over and around edges with a spatula... this could take some getting used to, just do it slowly and add chocolate as necessary. Make sure you cover edges evenly and with a thick enough layer as this will act as the glue for the pistachios.

Placing the rest of the pistachios around the edges is a little tricky. Im actually hoping someone comes up with a better, smarter way to do this. So far the method Ive been using is to use a soup spoon, or tbsp and just push it lightly around the cake one spoonful at a time . After each spoonful turn over spoon to the clean side and give a little extra push into the ganache. Once you've tediously gone around the cake take a look around to see if any areas have been neglected or lost too many soldiers. You can fill these in by hand with pieces of pistachios... just BE CAREFUL ! You can easily make a mark in the ganache that cannot be fixed ( at least to my knowledge). Chill for at least 3 hrs...

Have fun with this, it is DELICIOUS ! And remember you can do whatever you want with the pistachios as far as decorating, this is just how I did it.

Happy eating !