This recipe has been a long time coming. I first saw a discussion about making a cheesecake using ricotta cheese on Facebook months ago and was intrigued. I have never made cheesecake with anything but cream cheese or Mascarpone cheese and I was left wondering why. So I put the idea into my drafts and then forgot about it (like 400 others I have there!). I should not have delayed…the results for this Orange Cannoli Cheesecake with Chocolate Chips beat any inflated expectations I might have had. Light, flavorful and with a flavor combination I simply love; it is divine.
I’m not sure why it came to me again recently; it’s not like I had a cannoli incident or visited Italy recently (I wish). Maybe it was the Chocolate Orange Stout Cake I made recently that shared the same flavors I love in cannoli that instigated a memory to bubble up from the recesses of my brain? But no matter exactly what the cause was, the symptoms were a craving and the antidote a slice of this heavenly treat. I’m including it today because I think it would be a fantastic dessert to serve for the upcoming Valentine holiday. Who says all desserts have to have strawberries or raspberries. I say go for the orange!
Once I decided it was time to move forward, I read several recipes on the making of a cannoli cheesecake…as well as several comments. Some bakers insisted that a homemade ricotta was necessary (not true) and others cited distaste for the texture when comparing ricotta to cream cheese. While that second statement might have dissuaded many, for me it only fired me up to make something that would prove them wrong and we couldn’t have been happier with this version of an Orange Cannoli Cheesecake with Chocolate Chips.
The texture is still creamy and even lighter than with cream cheese so that was a plus. The touch of orange in the cake and whipped cream was sublime and balanced perfectly with the smattering of chocolate chips. The candied oranges on top? A treat you should not deny yourself.
It wasn’t hard. This is a simple cheesecake. There is nothing about it that make it more complicated than others you might have made; save those oranges on top and they are not difficult to make at all. They are optional but please make them. I use the recipe for Grace Parisi’s Candied Orange Slices quite often and it’s easy and the results are wonderful. Even the kids around me will eat these candied treats! While I also may have topped mine with some cream filled cannoli shells you certainly don’t have to; I need to make my efforts photo worthy…you have the luxury of just making something wonderful to eat!