A simple recipe with a taste that lingers long in the memory, this parmesan cheesecake is a pure delight.
With a flavor that straddles the line between sweet and savory, it’s easily paired with lots of different flavors. If you’re looking for a new way to use Parmigiano Reggiano, look no further!
Products you need for this recipe
There are a few important items you’ll need for this recipe:
- 23cm (9inch) springform pan – a springform pan is an essential piece of kit for any cheesecake maker. It makes removing the cheesecake so much easier
- Stand mixer – use a stand mixer to mix up your cheesecake base and whisk up your cheesecake batter. You can’t go wrong with a trusty KitchenAid
- Baking dish – you’ll need this for the all-important water bath, which helps to keep your cheesecake from becoming too dry in the oven
- Amaretti biscuits – the important element to your biscuit base, these authentic Italian biscuits are delicious
- Parmigiano Reggiano – the authentic Italian cheese is the star of this recipe. You can use a parmesan substitute, but you can’t beat the real deal
Parmesan cheesecake recipe
This Parmigiano Reggiano cheesecake is sensational! With savoury, sweet and spicy flavors, it has a level of complexity that makes it so much more than a simple cheesecake. While it’s not a quick recipe, the time it takes is well worth it.
Once it’s cooled completely, you’ll be absolutely blown away by the taste and texture. This cheesecake has two elements:
The biscuit base
The Amaretti biscuits are buttery, slightly sweet and with an almond flavor that just works so well with the cheesecake filling.
The Amaretti biscuits are complemented by digestive biscuits, as well as lemon zest, ground almonds and the ground cloves bring some wonderful spiced warmth that takes the cheesecake to another level.
The cheesecake filling
The filling is a tale of three cheeses – Parmigiano Reggiano, ricotta and mascarpone. Luxuriously creamy and deliciously rich, this cheesecake filling makes this savory cheesecake very special.
What is Parmigiano Reggiano?
It’s one of the oldest, best-loved cheeses in the world.
First made over 1,000 years ago, Parmigiano Reggiano is still made using the same specific methods. It has to be made within a specific region in Northern Italy, by one of 300 certified artisanal dairies.
Only three ingredients can be used – raw, unpasteurised milk; salt; and rennet. This gives parmesan its distinctive taste. Also, no additives are allowed to be used.
The cows that produce the milk forage on a specially selected diet, to ensure maximum flavor. Once it’s made, the cheese is left to mature for up to four years. This gives it a wonderful unique flavor.
The flavor of Parmigiano Reggiano can be described as nutty and slightly fruity, with a subtle hint of spice. It has a specific umami quality to it, which makes it amazing when used as a flavor enhancer. This makes it a favorite for everyone from master chefs to humble cooks.
Parmigiano Reggiano is such a protected product that it’s legally the only cheese that can be called “Parmesan” within the EU.
Can I use cream cheese in this recipe?
You can replace the mascarpone and ricotta with a standard cream cheese. It won’t have the wonderful flavor that is brought by these two cheeses.
As always, keep your creamy cheeses at room temperature, as this makes for a better texture.
Can you freeze parmesan cheesecake?
Yes you can. Make sure the cheesecake is wrapped properly in plastic wrap, before storing it in an airtight container.
You can also cut your cheesecake up into smaller portions, before freezing it.
For white wine, an Italian pinot grigio is perfect. It’s crisp, light and refreshing, the perfect complement for this parmesan cheesecake.
Fruity, rich wines with high acidity and low tannins are the best to pair with parmesan cheesecake. Italian Barbera wines are ideal.
Variations on this recipe
- If you don’t like the spiciness of the cloves, swap for a herb. Something like basil would straddle the sweet/savory line quite well
- If you want a less sweet biscuit base or you have a nut allergy, omit the Amaretti biscuits and use 100% digestive biscuits
- Use almond slivers in place of ground almond for a crunchier texture to your biscuit base
More parmesan recipes
Can’t get enough of this wonderful Italian cheese? Try these recipes:
- Parmesan crisps – the best crispy you’ve ever tasted! These delicious homemade crisps are deliciously elegant and impossible to resist
- Baked parma ham and parmesan croquettes – oven baked finger food doesn’t get any better. Simple and utterly irresistible
- Parmesan parsnips – serve these up with your Sunday lunch and you can’t go wrong
- Parmesan baked cod – incredibly tasty and very simple to make, this is a supremely healthy, extremely delicious dish that you don’t want to miss
- Parmesan arancini – rice dishes don’t come much tastier than arancini. The Italians don’t mess about when it comes to flavor, as this amazing recipe proves
One winner will receive a Parmigiano Reggiano Giftbox! It will contain 1kg wedge of 24-month one Parmigiano Reggiano, one branded apron, one cap, one almond knife, one grater, one Parmigiano Reggiano storybook and one wooden cheese board.
Parmigiano Reggiano is one of the oldest and richest cheeses in the world, which is essentially still produced today with the same craftsmanship and production techniques that were used nearly 1,000 years ago.
It is made with only three ingredients (milk, salt, and rennet), no additives or preservatives, and is naturally lactose free, making it a healthy and delicious option for any dish.
Parmigiano Reggiano cannot be made just anywhere in the world, only in a small area of northern Italy where all stages of production take place – even the grating of the cheese!
The minimum maturation period for Parmigiano Reggiano is 12 months; however, it can mature for much longer – the most commonly sold age of Parmigiano Reggiano is 24 months, which is when the cheeses fully expresses its typical characteristics.
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Competition Question: When, what and how would you serve this Parmesan cheesecake?Print
This easy Parmesan Cheesecake is a savoury twist on a sweet dessert. Perfect for a tasty appetiser served with chutney or fig sauce.
- unsalted butter, for greasing
- 20g (½ cup) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 180g (2½ cups) amaretti biscuits
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 60g (½ cup) ground almonds
- 150g (1½ cups) digestive biscuits
- 1g (¼ tsp) ground cloves
- 120g (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 2g (½ tsp) sea salt
- 60g (1½ cups) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 565g (2½ cups) mascarpone, at room temperature
- 5g (1tsp) vanilla paste
- 500g (2 cups) ricotta, at room temperature
- 2g (½ tsp) sea salt
- 75ml (5 tbsp) lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- Cheesecake Base: Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Line the bottom of your 23cm (9inch) springform pan and grease the sides with butter and place to one side.
- Place the Parmigiano Reggiano, amaretti biscuits, lemon zest, granulated sugar, ground almonds, digestive biscuits and ground cloves in a food processor. Blitz all of these ingredients together until a fine crumb is formed.
- While the machine is still running, pour in the melted butter and sprinkle in the sea salt. The mixture should turn into a texture of wet sand.
- Tip the crumb mixture into the springform pan and press the crumb, with a glass, into the base and up the sides trying to compact it as much as possible.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The base should turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven. If the base has shrunk a bit and coming off the sides, use a glass again to press it gently against all sides and the base. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.
- Cheesecake Filling: Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C Fan/325°F/gas mark 3 and place a baking dish of freshly boiled water at the bottom.
- Whisk together the Parmigiano Reggiano, mascarpone, vanilla paste, ricotta, sea salt and the lemon juice and zest, I used my KitchenAid but feel free to use a hand whisk if you like.
- Once all of this is combined, add 1 egg and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs.
- Pour the mixture over the base and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for 90 minutes. After this time you should use the wobble test, which is to gently shake the tin. Iif the centre has a slight wobble then it is done. Any more wobbling than that means you will need to bake the cheesecake for another 5 minutes. Test again and repeat the process if necessary.
- Once cooked, turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for around 20 minutes. When the 20 minutes are up, cover with tin foil and move to the fridge for 4-6 hours or preferably overnight.
- Portion up and serve with the accompaniments of your choice, we chose a lovely fig and orange sauce, figs and a salad. This cheesecake goes well with walnuts, grapes, oranges or figs. Take your pick and enjoy!
- If you have a nut allergy you can just use 400g (4 cups) of crumbed digestive biscuits with the butter, Parmigiano Reggiano, sugar, lemon and ground cloves.
- If you can’t find mascarpone or ricotta, feel free to substitute it with cream cheese.
- Instead of using ground almonds you can use almond slivers to add extra texture to the cheesecake’s base.
- If you can’t get hold of amaretti biscuits then swap it for extra digestive biscuits.
- Obviously, people have different tastes so some would like the filling to be saltier. In that case, add another 3g (½ tsp) of salt to the base and filling, respectively.
- Others might prefer the base to be less sweet. You can swap some of the amaretti biscuits for digestive biscuits.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Category: Starter
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: parmesan Cheesecake, Savory Cheesecake, cheesecake starter, Parmesan Recipe, Parmigiano Reggiano Cheesecake, Italian Recipe, Parmigiano Reggiano recipe
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