(Makes one 9-inch cheesecake)
4.5 ounce package cannoli shells
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups ricotta cheese
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (optional)
Grated zest of 1 medium orange
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
Sweetened whipped cream
To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Crumble the cannoli shells into the bowl of a food processor.
Add the melted butter and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Pulse to medium-fine crumbs. Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
To make the filling:
Combine the ricotta, cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and flour in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until well blended. Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, Fiori di Sicilia (optional), and orange zest; mix well.
Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.
Stir in the 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into the crust.
To bake the cheesecake:
Bake for 1 hour.
Spread the 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips and the chopped pistachios over the top of the cake. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the center is almost set. The center of the cake will still move slightly when the pan is gently shaken. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and allow to cool for 1 hour.
Run the blade of a knife around the inside of the cake pan to loosen.
Remove the springform band. Refrigerate for 4 hours or more before serving.
Before serving you can simply sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with confectioners' sugar. If desired, use a pastry bag to pipe rosettes of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Top each rosette with a maraschino cherry.
This recipe combines two favorite Italian desserts ... Cannoli and Italian Cheesecake.
Every bite of this luscious cheesecake will have your family and friends saying, "Mmmmm."