If you’re looking for the ultimate Italian dessert, what could be more Italian than a Giada De Laurentiis after-dinner recipe?
The Rome-born chef’s Mascarpone Cannoli Cheesecake is rich, smooth, creamy, and amazing with an espresso. Featuring mini chocolate chips and a ground biscotti crust that gives the dish a subtle anise flavor, this decadent dessert will satisfy any sweet tooth.
De Laurentiis’ other favorite desserts
The petite chef has an admittedly fierce sweet tooth and counts among her favorite Italian desserts Torta Caprese, Easter Pie, and Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake, to name a few.
Another favorite? Ciambella, an Italian cake typically eaten for breakfast.
“As someone with a serious sweet tooth, one thing I love about Italian breakfasts is how they tend to be focused around pastries and sweets,” De Laurentiis wrote on her blog, Giadzy. “Ciambella is incredibly simple and easy to make. Light, fluffy, tender, and with a great aromatic flavor of lemon and olive oil and a touch of fennel – it really is perfect with espresso in the morning!”
De Laurentiis also enjoys Honey Ricotta Cheesecake which she thinks is “absolutely delicious topped with fresh whipped cream, local honey and some flaky salt!”
What’s in De Laurentiis’ Mascarpone Cannoli Cheesecake?
De Laurentiis’ decidedly Italian cheesecake recipe (you can find full recipe here) calls for eight pieces of your favorite biscotti, melted butter, salt, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, eggs, semisweet mini chocolate chips, and, if desired, Italian cherries in syrup.
You’ll also need a food processor, a 9-inch springform pan, and a stand mixer.
About this delicately flavored cheesecake, De Laurentiis said on her blog, “All the flavors of Italian Cannoli in a creamy cheesecake. Mascarpone gives it an incredibly rich, decadent flavor, all while giving it an extra creamy texture as well.
“I love to serve up slices of this cheesecake with freshly whipped cream and Amarena cherries. Toasted pistachios would be a great addition as well.”
How to put together De Laurentiis’ Mascarpone Cannoli Cheesecake
Before anything else, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the food processor, finely grind the biscotti cookies. Add the melted butter and salt and mix until well combined. Place the mixture firmly into a 9-inch springform pan, pressing it in.
Bake for about ten minutes, then set aside while you start on the filling. Reduce the oven’s temperature to 325.
In the stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar on medium to high speed for about three minutes. The salt, lemon zest, and vanilla are then added, followed by the eggs. Mix in the chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.
Add this mixture to the baked crust, spreading it out and bake for 45 minutes. Afterward, let the cheesecake cool for an hour, then refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight. Enjoy with an espresso, of course.