Cheesecake con pomodoro al profumo di arancia

Ciao everyone! I am back here to tell you all how well the event went Friday. The morning was busy making all eight cheesecakes, six small for the judges and two large ones for the guests who will arrive after the judging takes place. It was such a wonderful day watching the rest of the finalist prepare their dolci and meeting everyone. It was an honor to be a finalist and I still can't believe how lucky I was to be involved in such an important event. There were journalists, photographers and not to mention the guest of honor, Loretta Fanella. Loretta is a well known pastry chef here in Italy who has worked with the Italian Master Chef, Carlo Cracco, who is a judge on Master Chef Italia and a very highly rated chef in Europe.

There were five finalist including me that made fabulous desserts I couldn't wait to taste! Rose-tomato macaroons with vanilla rum and raspberry (Macaron alle Rose con confettura di Pomodorini Vaniglia e Rum al Profumo di Lampone), Tomato Cake Pops with a hint of pepper (Cake Pops al Pomodoro Piccante), Candied Tomato Crumble with yogurt gelato, Tomato Chocolate Cake (Tomato Cake) and my Tomato-Citrus Cheesecake with aroma of orange. All were such creative ideas. It was nice to get to know all the ladies and most of them were food bloggers too.

(photo by Andrea Gattini)

First place went to restaurant owner, Roberta Piazza (pictured right), with her divine Candied Tomato Crumble. I am beyond thrilled to tell you all that my dessert took second place! I was shocked and incredibly happy! Third place went to Silvia Iacoponi who made the Cake Pops. After the contest was finished the guests arrived and gathered around the front of the store while Loretta presented her 'cooking show' where she showed and explained to all how she made her dessert with tomato. She made a Plum Cake with Tomato served with a lavender and a raspberry cream. Afterwards the guests were able to taste all the finalist's desserts with tomato. Unfortunately I had to leave early because E was really sick at home, but I heard that everyone loved the cheesecake and wanted the recipe. Happy news to hear.

It was such a fun event and I feel fortunate to have been involved, especially with what little experience I have cooking and baking. I couldn't have done it without the help of E's mom. Here is my recipe for my 2nd place prized Chessecake con Pomodoro al Profuma di Arancia! (Pictured are the one person servings I made for the contest)

Cheesecake con Pomodoro al Profumo di Arancia 

Serving size; six 

Cheesecake filling;
3/4 cup (175 g)  fresh ricotta 
3/4 cup (175 g) Philadelphia cream cheese
3/4 cup (200 g) heavy cream 
2/3 cup (150 g) caster sugar 
2 egg yolks (organic fresh eggs are necessary!)
3 gelatin sheets 
about 2 cups of graham crackers (200 g biscotti)
7 tablespoon (100 g) butter 

Tomato filling;
3 cups (750 ml) tomato sauce 
(as natural as you can find without any seasonings)
1/2 cup (150 g) caster sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
Zest of 1 lemon

9" springform pan

I used a product from Mediterranea Belfiore which is unavailable online unfortunately, but it is basically a light sauce with tomato, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar. You can use any glaze you would like or even an orange marmalade on top.

Blood orange cooked in whole form in pot of water for 30 minutes.
(sliced once cool)

First you want to take your gelatin sheets and cover them completely in cold water and rest in a bowl for 15 minutes. Then you need to get your tomato filling started because you need time to let it cool after cooking. In a medium pot on medium heat, pour your tomato sauce in along with the sugar, zest of two oranges and one lemon. Stir frequently for the next 15 minutes. This is necessary so that the aroma of orange and lemon are released. Take one sheet of gelatin and a little but of water over the stove for 1-2 minute until completely melted and dissolved, then mix in with tomato sauce. Pour the sauce into a large bowl to cool. 

While your tomato filling is cooling it's now time to make the crust. In a food processor grind all the cookies until fine and transfer into large bowl. Melt butter on the stove and pour over cookies and mix until it feels damp. Pour the cookie mixture in your 9" springform pan and press until compact. Place in fridge while you start your cheese filling.

For the cheesecake filling you want to first whip together the egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar for 4-5 minutes until light colored yellow and becomes somewhat creamy. It is important to use fresh and organic eggs because you will not be cooking this cheesecake, therefore it has raw eggs. Whisk together the ricotta and cream cheese with the egg yolk mixture until very creamy with no lumps. In a separate bowl whisk with an electric mixer the heavy cream until it peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture and set aside. Now heat the other two gelatin sheets with a little water over the stove until dissolved (takes less than 1 minute) and slowly whisk into the cheese mixture a little at a time. Set aside.

Once your tomato mixture has cooled and has become a bit thicker, spoon a layer on top of the cookie crust. (Set in fridge for 15 minutes if you have time before adding cheese filling) Take your cheese filling and spread it gently over the top of the tomato layer. Rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set before serving. 

I decorated with the glaze and slivered blood orange pieces right before serving. 


  1. At last the recipe of your delicious cheesecake on your blog!! it was a pleasure to meet you, keep in touch!
    Congratulations again

    1. Thank you so much, Cristina! I had a great time!

  2. wow this sounds like a really unusual combination! looks good though thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for stopping by! Yes it is an unusual combo, but it was very delicious!