Ricotta Mascarpone Sopapilla Cheesecake – Recipe

I'd never heard of sopapillas until I saw the episode of South Park where Cartman creates an elaborate plan to get himself invited to a birthday party at Casa Bonita. Cartman literally dreams about the sopapillas- so of course I had to research them. A sopapilla is basically a fried pastry, served sweet with honey or cinnamon sugar. This sounded awesome enough, but when I found out about sopapilla cheesecake with a crispy cinnamon sugar topping... I had to try it.


I've known about sopapilla cheesecakes for a few years now, but have never gotten around to making one. Last week however, I needed a quick dessert to make as I was already busy baking red velvet cupcakes for a day round a friend's house on the following day. This recipe calls for ready-made croissant dough (the rolled-up canned kind), and is super quick and easy to make.


Mine literally exploded open. Made me jump!


Freaky.

I'm not sure who made the first sopapilla cheesecake- there seem to be many different takes on it on the internet. My version is different again: where other versions use regular cream cheese, I used a mix of ricotta and mascarpone for a more delicate flavour. I also added a smidgen of nutmeg to the cinnamon sugar topping (just because I like nutmeg).

Another slightly different ingredient I used was vanilla bean paste- since the flavour of the types of cheeses I used were more delicate, I figured they could use an extra bit of vanilla 'oomph', and the aromatic bean paste worked quite well. Plus you also get the pretty little flecks of vanilla bean seeds running through the cheesecake filling.

My goodness the fragrance of this thing that came from the oven... heaven. You have to go through the hell of taking it out of the oven and then waiting a few hours for it to cool completely before digging in (hell because you spend those few hours smelling the sweet cinnamonny vanillary smell without being able to taste it!) But it's worth the cool-down wait for the crispy caramelised cinnamon topping, buttery danish pastry and creamy vanilla cheesecake filling.

Make it. Now. And fight over the crunchy corner pieces.

Ingredients for Pastry:

-2 cans of croissant dough (that's it!)

Ingredients for Topping:

-3tbsp caster sugar
-2tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-2oz softened slightly salted butter (slightly salted is best! Think salted caramel...)

Ingredients for Cheesecake Filling:

-250g ricotta
-250g mascarpone
-150g caster sugar
-1tsp vanilla bean paste (regular extract will do, too)

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease a 9 x 13" baking dish with a bit of butter or oil

2) Crack open one can of dough and line the bottom of your dish with it (you may need to break the sheet of dough up , reposition and pinch holes closed to get it to fit, but it doesn't have to be pristine)

3) Stir the cheesecake filling ingredients together in a bowl (wooden spoon time!), and pour and smooth straight over your bottom layer of dough.

4) Crack open the second can of dough and repeat step 2 to cover the top (again filling in cracks and not worrying about getting perfectly even layer)

5) Spread the softened butter on top of the top layer of dough



6) Stir the topping ingredients together until well-combined, and sprinkle evenly on top of your buttered top layer

7) Bake for 30-40 minutes, until caramelised and golden. Mine looked like this:


Soooo tempting, but don't eat it yet or the hot sugar will MELT YOUR FACE

8) Let it cool completely before slicing up and serving: not only will the flavours be more pronounced, but the cheesecake filling will be a bit easier to keep intact when cutting once it's cool and set a little.

You could also serve this with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream and some hot honey drizzled on top. You're welcome.

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