2-3 tablespoons softened butter for individual dishes
- 8 ounces pistachio nuts, ground into fine crumb for coating dishes
- 1 pound cream cheese
- 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) ricotta cheese (small curd, well drained)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup honey (Orange Blossom)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ounce cornstarch (4 tablespoons)
- 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon zest, lightly packed into measuring spoon, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (mixture of 3/4 cup white and 3/4 cup dark chocolate is a favorite combination)
- 1/4 cup candied orange peel, chopped (see recipe)
Butter the inside of 12 individual 4 ounce baking dishes. Coat with the nut “flour” on bottom and sides. Set aside. Or butter and coat a 9″ spring form pan; double wrap the bottom of the pan with foil so no water leaks into the cake while baking.
Mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth; add cornstarch, lemon zest (if using) and vanilla, mixing until smooth again. Scrape down sides and add eggs, one at a time and mix until all incorporated. Fold in the chocolate pieces and candied orange peel.
For individual servings: Divide batter evenly among the prepared individual baking dishes.
For one cake: Pour into prepared nine inch pan. Be sure the pan is wrapped with double layer of foil before placing into water bath; (see next step)
Place 9″ pan or individual dishes into shallow pan and fill pan half way up sides of baking containers. Place the water bath with cakes into 350ºF oven about 25-35 minutes for individual cakes, or 45-50 minutes for 9″ cake. Top should still wiggle in center but not be firm; or in other words ” just set;” and not cracked. Remove cakes from oven and water bath to cooling rack and cool completely before removing from pan. Store in refrigerator.
At service, cut cake or unmold individual cakes and place on small pool of freshly made ganache. Serve with pistachio brittle, a cannoli flavored pizzelle cookie, or just as is!