Friday, August 3, 2012

Chocolate Orange Mascarpone Cheesecake Pie

I am the type of person who sometimes apologizes too much. Generally speaking, I don't actually believe this is a bad thing. I'd rather over-apologize than under-apologize. However, I almost began this post with an apology--an apology about posting another creamy chocolate-y pie-y thing when I just posted one last week. Well, that would be silly. Because posting multiple creamy chocolate-y pie-y things is definitely not reason for apology. Especially when they are both incredibly, fantastically delicious. Especially when they use a very different ingredient set so that if you're really pining for chocolate pie, you can make the one for which you have the stuff. Especially when they are both fast and easy to make. Especially when they can be made in teeny ramekins or dishes so that you don't have to eat too much. And especially when the ingredients are sweet, yes, but made with mostly whole foods.

So instead of "I'm sorry" let me give you a big "You're welcome."

Chocolate Orange Mascarpone Cheesecake Pie
adapted from Chocolate Treats
Makes 1 8-inch spring form pan, or 4-8 ramekins, depending on size
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 3-4 hours of chill time
Cost: Oh, heck, it's more than I'd like, but it's still just so incredible for a special occasion or for any occasion when you find mascarpone on sale. Also, I usually halve it and that cuts cost. Also, let me state for the record that it's still so much cheaper than going out for a treat. The whole thing costs about $6.75
butter: .25, mascarpone: $4-5, sugar: .40, chocolate: 1.00, other stuff: .10

Note: You can probably make this with cream cheese instead of mascarpone. I realize that it is way cheaper. And it would probably be fine. But it will not be the incredible, amazing, awesome dessert that this is unless you use mascarpone. It just won't.

Another note: This crust is really great, but sometimes I just skip it and it's completely great anyway.

Another note: This is supposed to be made in an 8-inch spring form pan. I only have a 10-inch, so I always make this in ramekins.

Still another note: You can omit the orange if you don't have it or don't like it. However, if you do you might want to add 1/4 tsp almond extract to give it just that little something special.

And one more: You can omit the zest if you'd like, but I recommend adding at least a pinch (at least if you like orange) because it really ups the flavor.

4 Tbsp butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
1 C (about 15 squares) finely crushed graham crackers
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cocoa

Creamy part:
1 lb - 1 lb 12 oz mascarpone cheese (Does that range sound odd to you? The original recipe called for 1 lb 12 oz. I made it that way. Then the next time I made this, I somehow skipped the 12 oz. part and only used 1 lb. It still turned out great when I skipped part of the mascarpone. It was a bit thicker, yes, but not too thick. Don't you just love it when a recipe can be screwed up and still turn out tasting gourmet? To me, that's the definition of a perfect recipe.)
1 1/2 C confectioner's sugar, sifted
juice of 1/2 orange
finely grated zest (Note: The original recipe said to add that from your orange. I think this is toooo much. I added a tsp or two. I'd say to go by taste, but know this: The strength of the orange taste will increase as this chills, so go a little less than you think you'd like.)
6 oz dark chocolate, melted
2 Tbsp vanilla

To make the crust:

Put crushed graham crackers, sugar, cocoa, and butter into a bowl (or your pan if you're lazy like me). Mix it together and press evenly into pan or your ramekins.

To make creamy part:

Beat together mascarpone and sugar. Beat in juice and zest. Beat in melted chocolate (I melt mine in the microwave in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between). Add vanilla and beat.

Spread this over your crust.

Chill for 4 hours.

Garnish with curls of orange rind if you're fancy. I'm not.


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