Many of us likely depend upon desserts to make us feel better after a bad day. Whether you get joy from baking them or eating them or both, there is no comparable comfort.
Recently, I was given a copy of Marian Keyes’ Saved by Cake. I’ve been a fan of Marian Keyes’ fiction books for many years. She has such a unique and witty voice that it’s hard not to enjoy her writing.
When Ms. Keyes was recently dealing with depression that far exceeded just a bad day, she found happiness in baking. Now, she has this wonderful book that is both memoir and cookbook. It’s filled with many delicious recipes and plenty of her trademark wit. Just reading the notes and recipe directions is entertainment on its own.
After much deliberation, I chose this cheesecake to bake first from her book. I was intrigued by it for a couple of reasons. First, I took the opportunity to make it at least partially a ricotta cheesecake, which is one of my favorites (although I’ve yet to bake one successfully). This cheesecake is a combination of cream cheese and ricotta cheese. Not being solely one or the other makes it quite nontraditional in taste and in texture. It’s not creamy like a cream cheese cheesecake, and it’s not crumbly like a ricotta cheesecake. It’s somewhere in the middle.
Secondly, I kept pondering the little bit of black pepper in the list of ingredients. Her note in the recipe just says, “I know, strange, but trust me.” I went as extreme as possible with the pepper. I used a freshly ground, very strong black pepper. And, I have to say that while I could tell it was there when I tasted the cheesecake, it’s not remotely overpowering. Without knowing about its presence, you might not single out the flavor. It does add a complexity and a bit of bite that really just works.
The name of the recipe – Black Hole Chocolate Cheesecake – is a reference to the denseness of the cheesecake. It will tend to fall down on itself as it cools.
If you have a kitchen scale, it is a must for this recipe. If you don’t have one, I’ve made some suggested equivalents in the recipe. (But, if you bake often, you should really consider a digital scale. I have this one and love it!)
This is a rich and delicious cheesecake that doesn’t mess around. It’s not too sweet, but rather focuses on the chocolate. That’s always fine with me. Be sure to use the good stuff for this one.
I’m excited to be able to give one of you a copy of Saved by Cake! I think you’ll love the recipes and the writing.
Please see below for entry details, and be sure to read the Terms & Conditions for eligibility requirements. Don’t forget to add bakeorbreak at gmail dot com to your address book. Good luck!