Thursday, August 6, 2015

Orange and Poppy Seed Cheesecake Dessert

Make healthy, delicious dessert from your homemade ricotta or cottage cheese. Heavenly orange flavor in combination with a tenderly-crunchy poppy seeds, create unforgettable experience for your gourmet taste buds ;) 

Blog's Category: International, Vegetarian


Homemade ricotta, or my Homemade Cottage Cheese are ideal for this recipe. But if you are not up to making your own cheese, just grab a container of cottage cheese at your local grocery - it will work perfectly too! 

This dessert is inspired by well known Ukrainian dish made of cottage cheese called "zapekanka". It is a mix of cottage cheese, eggs, some binding and flavoring ingredients such as flour or cream-of-wheat, vanilla, raisins and such. Then it is baked in an oven and served for breakfast or as a dessert. This Cheesecake Dessert is pretty much the same. For a flavoring and as a filler, I used orange zest and poppy seeds. These additions took a dish on a different level, making it wonderful and healthy gourmet dessert.

What is it?

Mix of  homemade cottage cheese with some sugar, eggs, poppy seeds and orange zest, baked in a muffin cups and then covered with a chocolate ganache or dropped in a shallow pool of syrupy liquid from a cherry preserves.

Taste Description

You will definitely appreciate wonderful orange flavor and tender crunch of poppy seeds, releasing their unique subtle flavor whenever your teeth smashes them. You will love that soft tender texture with a fun poppy seed "popping" here and there.

How to Serve/Store

It's best at room temperature, when cheesecake is tender and melts in your mouth. It will keep in a fridge for a several days. I love take a couple of those cheesecakes, throw on them a couple of tablespoons of roasted hazelnuts and enjoy it for a dessert-style breakfast. 

Orange and Poppy Seed Cheesecake Dessert

For about 12 small muffin forms:
  • 4 cups of cottage cheese (or ricotta)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs corn starch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of poppy seeds
  • zest from 1 orange

For chocolate ganache:
  • dark chocolate bar (about 8oz)
  • 2 tbs butter

- Using immersion blender, blend cottage cheese with sugar. Add eggs and continue to blend. 

- Add corn starch and salt. Stir well to combine.

- Divide mix between two bowls. In one bowl, add poppy seeds, into another - orange zest. Mix well.

- Half-fill muffin cups with a poppy seed mix. I would highly recommend using silicon muffin cups to avoid sticking. If using metal forms (even if it is non-stick), butter them nicely before pouring the mix into it.

- Make second layer spooning orange mix on a top of poppy seed mix. If you have any mix leftover - make it one-flavor piece but, for a fun, place raisin, or walnut, or cherry in a middle of it as a bonus.

- Bake in a pre-heated to 330F oven for about an hour until set. Press lightly with a finger to check if it's done. 

- Cool down, remove from a form, and flip them over onto a shallow dish.

- Make chocolate ganache by melting chocolate bar on a double boiler (place bowl with a chocolate over another bowl with a slowly boiling water). When chocolate melts, add butter and stir.

- Pour hot ganache over a top of each cheesecake.

- Enjoy!



Immersion blender does a great job creating very smooth mixture. As a bonus, immersion blender is a piece of cake to clean! 

This year, my homemade cherry preserves turned out to have a lot of flavorful liquid in it. I used it to garnish these cheesecakes.

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