This is not necessarily a Moldovan recipe, although E does make a variation of this cake from time to time. Curt loves cheesecake, and I’m just so-so about it, which is weird because I absolutely LOVE cheeses. So I’ve been looking a long time for a recipe that would convert me. I came across a recipe and decided I would try it out making some adjustments. First, I love mascrapone cheese. My sister, K, introduced it to me several years ago, and I’ve been grateful ever since. It’s basically an Italian triple cheese cream cheese. Secondly, the brînza de vacă (basically whole ricotta) in Moldova is so fresh and delicious. I decided to make the cake with these two cheeses, and it turned out to be a very good decision. I am now converted to cheesecake.

Brînza de Vacă Mascrapone Cheesecake

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup (150 g) graham crackers or biscuiți cu lapte
2 Tbs (30 g) sugar
1/4 cup (55 g) melted butter

Smash the crackers into little crumbs. Add sugar and butter and mix together. Press to the bottom of your baking dish (they suggested a spring form pan, but I just used a tart dish). Cover and put in refrigerator.

Filling Ingredients:

2 cups (about 500 g) fresh bînza de vacă or ricotta drained.
8 ounces (about 200 g) mascrapone
3/4 cups sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
4 eggs
zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla/ 1 packet of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Place mascrapone in a bowl and beat until free of lumps. (I don’t have a mixer, so you’ll notice lumps in my batter.) Add drained ricotta and sugar and mix together until creamy and smooth. Add cornstarch and mix. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add zest and vanilla and mix. Pour batter onto the crust and place in a roasting pan. Add hot water to the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of your cake pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cake browns on the top and slightly jiggles in the middle. Cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or cooled.

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