Just before serving, grate some dark chocolate on the top for a more professional look.
Thought this might help some cut the cost of this cake. mascarpone = mascherpone = Italian cream cheese Pronunciation: mas-car-POH-nay Notes: A key ingredient in tiramisu and zabaglione, mascarpone is velvety soft, slightly acidic, and very expensive. Although Italian in origin, the name may come from the Spanish mas que bueno, "better than good." It's usually sold in tubs. Use it soon after you purchase it since it's highly perishable. Substitutes: Blend 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup whipping cream. OR Blend 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup cream OR Blend 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/8 cup whipping cream and 1/8 cup sour cream. OR Whip ricotta cheese in a blender until smooth (lower in fat) - 13 Feb 2002 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I served this for Christmas dinner and it was a big hit. The recipe did need more Kaluha as previously mentioned so I used 3 Tbs. in the crust, 6 Tbs. in the cheese mixture. I would use even more - next time I'll use 5 & 10. I used shortbread cookies instead of the lady fingers. Couldn't find the mascarpone cheese so I mixed together 8 oz. of cream cheese with 1/4 c. sour cream & 2 Tbs. heavy cream. The substitutions were necessary and worked just fine. I can't imagine the recipe getting any better. The cheesecake top didn't split but it did brown too much so I mixed up a simple chocolate ganache and poured over the cooled cake. Very attractive served with whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa a dash of cinnamon sitting in a puddle of Kaluha. TIP: For nice clean cuts you can cut your cheesecakes with dental floss. Push down and pull straight out, not up. - 26 Dec 2003 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
A 5-star recipe with a couple of changes: 4 T. coffee liqr in the crust, and 4 T. coffee liqr plus 8 T. Starbucks espresso in the filling gives the cheesecake a perfect coffee flavor! Coarsely crumble lady fingers for the crust, leaving small chunks of cookie. The extra liqueur makes the crust soft, giving more of a Tiramisu taste and texture. I found mascarpone (made in Vermont) at my local Whole Foods market. It cost $4.99 for 8oz, as opposed to imported mascarpone-$15.49 for 16oz! The mascarpone makes this cheesecake, and is well worth it! I turned off the oven after 45 minutes and left the cake in until close to room-temp. It came out perfectly! If you want an easy way to remove the cheesecake from the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper before starting. Press the crust on top of the parchment. When ready to remove chilled cheesecake, undo the side pan, place plastic wrap and plate over top of cake and flip over. Remove bottom pan and peel off parchment. Place serving plate against bottom of crust and flip over. If you want a softer, tiramisu-like crust, brush some extra coffee liqr across the crust before inverting onto serving plate. I topped it with a layer of Ganache I from this site, soaked two lady fingers in espresso, cut them lengthwise, then in half again, and fanned the small strips in a circle on top of the ganache. I topped the cake with chocolate shavings and coffee beans for decor. This recipe was amazingly easy for such a beautiful and gormet dessert! - 03 Jul 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)