Mascarpone cheese tart

If there’s one word to describe cheesecakes for me, it’s nostalgia. A little strange because it’s not a cake I grew up eating…

For a short period when I was in primary school, I hung out with my good friend Ashura at Coffee Bean. We used to share cakes at the cafe together and the cheesecake was one of them. Those were fun times, and sinful times, because all the CoffeeBean trips made me balloon quite a bit – I was overweight by the time I reached secondary school. Oops.

Cheesecakes also make me think of my god brother, Colin, who passed on 6 years ago. Colin loved to cook like his parents, and whipped up delicious dishes when we visited during festive seasons. He made a cheesecake during Christmas one year, and I loved it so much I asked him for the recipe. And that recipe was the last thing he gave me before he passed on. It’s a simple cheesecake recipe I hold close to my heart, which I will share in time :)

Mascarpone cheese tart

I love cheesecakes, though I always have problems finishing a whole slice of cheesecake by myself (maybe it’s just me, but it gets a little too much after a while). Unless it’s the Japanese cotton cheesecake… now that’s a different story altogether.

I ate a cheesecake that was lighter than the usual New York cheesecake during my holiday last year in Quebec City, and that was one of the rare occasions I actually finished a whole slice myself. From then I was curious, what made it lighter? I had a feeling that the cake had more than cream cheese… So when I stumbled across this recipe which included mascarpone cheese, I had to have a go at it!

Mascarpone Cheese Tart

(Adapted from Taste of Home Mascarpone Cheesecake Recipe)
Makes a 9 inch tart

Ingredients for biscuit crust
200g digestive biscuits, finely ground
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
60g butter, melted

Ingredients for cheese tart filling
250g cream cheese
250g mascarpone cheese
100g castor sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla
100g eggs (about 2 eggs)

Directions for the biscuit crust
1. Pre-heat the oven at 175°C.  Lightly butter the bottom and sides of your tart pan.

2. For the biscuit crust, mix the finely ground digestives together with the sugars. Add in the melted butter and press the mixture into prepared pan.

3. Bake the crust in the oven for about 10 minutes and leave to cool.

Masarpone cheese tart

Directions for the cheese tart filling
1. Keep your oven at the same temperature :)

2. Beat together cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla until smooth.

3. Add in the eggs and and beat on low until just combined. Once done, pour your batter into the cooled biscuit crust.

4. Before you place your tart in for baking, put a tray of water at the bottom of the oven. I use this method instead of the usual water bath for cheesecakes – so I have no issues with leakages or soggy bottoms!

5. Bake the tart for about 35 – 40 minutes. It is done once the outside of the cheese tart is almost set, and the centre is still a little wobbly.

6. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

Mascarpone cheese tart

I love this recipe because the mascarpone somehow makes the ‘cheesecake’ portion of the tart lighter. Most people who tried it loved this, though a friend who is a fan of cheesecakes said it was not ‘cheesy’ enough. I guess it isn’t, because it’s not made fully of cream cheese ;)

Oh, if you want to make this into a cheesecake, just double the cheese portion and bake it in a 9 inch springform pan for 50 – 60 mins (check out the Taste of Home recipe).

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