Kinda just give this whole thing
a wipe down because if it sticks and falls apart on me,
I will cry on the show.
Hi, I’m Lani.
I’m a professional baker
and in this box are all the ingredients
for a $97 cheesecake.
Hi, I’m Daniel.
I’m a home cook and these are my $17 cheesecake ingredients.
[flipping book pages]
What do we have here?
Ay ay ay.
It’s a spiced orange ricotta cheesecake
with ginger cookie crust.
Sounds bangin’, not gonna lie.
I had some excellent ingredients.
For my filling I had ricotta cheese,
cream cheese, and organic sour cream.
Ricotta cheese, never in my life have I seen this.
[Lani] Granulated sugar, organic pasture raised eggs,
lemon, butter, corn starch.
America’s favorite thickener.
Yeah, okay yup I was right.
It does thicken things, cool.
And my favorite, vanilla extract.
I was planning on swirling some homemade marmalade
into the filling, made from orange, lemon, sugar–
And cayenne pepper.
When have you used that in baking?
I have not ever.
And I had everything I needed
for a lovely ginger cookie base.
Grapeseed oil, molasses, aquafaba, and even more sugar.
Chickpeas for some reason, I dunno, we’ll see.
[Lani] Baking soda, gluten-free baking flour,
ground ginger, clove, and cinnamon.
I think my cheesecake had like five, six things.
With Daniel’s recipe, I have simpler ingredients.
Stuff you’re likely to find in your local grocery store,
or in your pantry.
Cream cheese, graham crackers, vanilla, butter,
eggs, sour cream, sugar, and last but not least,
canned cherry topping.
These ingredients might be simple,
but I think I can use my chef skills
to make them even better.
If I had to guess, I would say these ingredients
probably cost about $22.
[cash register dings]
That’s great, I love that.
I was not super far off, but I wasn’t super close either.
If I had a guess, maybe 80 bucks.
[cash register dinging]
Wow, a $97 cake.
Just think about that for a second.
You better love your guests.
As per usual, I don’t get anything.
I dunno, cheesecake’s sort of like an easy kinda dessert.
And this looks like it’s gonna shatter my thoughts on that.
You have to understand that cheesecakes,
they’re sort of the diva of cakes.
If you wanna avoid cracks, you gotta give her time.
There’s a marmalade swirl.
I’m guessing marmalade’s like a jelly, right?
Like a jelly kinda.
Marmalade is delicious, it’s rewarding,
you can make big batches and keep them in your fridge
and use them for all different kinds of things.
But use caution, pay attention,
and just be really careful.
I think it’s time to call Rose.
Hey Daniel, how are you?
I’m doing well.
How are you doing?
It’s been a long time, too long.
What are you making today?
Spiced orange ricotta cheesecake
with a ginger cookie crust.
Oh, that sounds wonderful.
I think what I’m most sort of unsure of is this ricotta.
I haven’t tasted it yet,
because I don’t know how to get it open
and there’s stuff inside.
You’re gonna have this really fresh, creamy taste,
so I think it’s perfect for a cheesecake.
If you have a standing mixer, use the paddle attachment,
not the whisk.
So when you add too much air,
when you put it in the oven the air expands, it rises.
And then once it comes out, it cools, it collapses,
and that’s how you get cracks.
Less air is better.
For whatever reason, cayenne pepper is in this.
And it looks like it’s included in like a marmalade swirl
of oranges, some lemon.
Marmalade’s kinda like jam right?
It’s like jelly, I’m not crazy?
It is, and it isn’t.
Marmalade has the rind,
and it has a lot of pectin in it,
and that’s where the thickening is gonna come in.
Definitely err on the side of undercooked than overcooked
with your sugar.
You’re making a sugar syrup not a candy.
Start with that first.
It’s gonna take the longest time.
But this is a really nice recipe,
and you’re a really good chef,
so you’re gonna have a really nice cheesecake
at the end of this.
I can’t wait to see it.
Thank you so much.
I’m super excited and I will send you photos
when everything’s all hopefully done correctly.
I feel I have like a little bit more of a direction
in where this has to go.
Fingers crossed I can bring it all together.
So Rose said I should start with the marmalade.
I’m just gonna get the zest
and the juice of the lemon first,
and then I’m gonna slice down the oranges nice and thin.
It smells really good.
I can see why so many cleaning products are lemon scented.
Now I’m gonna make the juice of the lemon
in the other little bowl.
Ooh, you know what?
I should’ve strained the seeds out.
That’s what the second half’s for.
So I’m gonna use a mandolin to thinly slice these oranges.
I don’t use mandolins that often,
I haven’t bought one for my home.
So this is really nice to actually have access to one.
So these are super, super thinly sliced,
and they’re like entirely circular.
Oh, I’m just gonna quarter them,
and then throw the oranges, the lemon juice,
the lemon zest into the pot, add some water,
get this to a boil and just sorta let it cook down.
I’m already nervous.
Making the marmalade is basically like making candy.
It’s going to be simmering, it’s going to be bubbling.
In the professional kitchen we call it kitchen napalm.
So now I’m horrified.
They look soft, they feel soft.
So I’m gonna add my sugar and cayenne to this.
See this is bubbly, this is very bubbly.
It’s lookin’ really brown.
222 is okay, I’m gonna, 223,
okay, good, good, good, solid, okay.
My kitchen napalm is up to temperature
so now I’m just gonna fill jars with it.
Can you tell that I’m horrified of getting this on myself?
Daniel has sent me these lovely
and delicious Nabisco Grahams, grade school favorite.
But I’ve been gluten free for about 20 years,
so for my cheesecake I’m gonna make my own
graham cracker base of it all.
All-purpose gluten-free flour blend.
Straight one-to-one substitution
for any recipe where you’ve got all-purpose flour listed.
Sugar, baking powder, and baking soda for leavening,
kosher salt and cinnamon.
The cinnamon gives the graham crackers
it’s classic graham cracker flavor.
I’m gonna add my egg.
I always break eggs into a separate vessel
just in case that egg is bad.
This is room temperature butter.
Molasses gives a really lovely deep flavor.
Honey, vanilla, and last but not least, milk.
I guess I’m now I’m gonna work on the ginger cookie crust,
and the what’s gonna be the aquafaba.
It’s the chick pea liquid.
So I guess it kinda replaces egg in some instances.
Flour first, I’m gonna do the same with my cinnamon,
the cloves, and then the ginger.
And then baking powder, soda, baking soda.
Sprinkle in the salt.
Now, for the other portion.
So there’s sugar in there,
I’m gonna start off nice and slow.
I’ve got the paddle attachment on
because that is what I was recommended to use.
I’m gonna throw in my molasses, my aquafaba.
I’m gonna slowly start adding in my dry ingredients.
And it smells like gingerbread.
Oh, that’s so cool.
It didn’t really smell like gingerbread
until the molasses was in there.
So the final mix is a little bit shaggy.
It’s quite sticky and nice and even.
The next thing we’re gonna do
is roll this graham cracker dough out,
and get it into the oven to bake off.
Use your rolling pin to roll it out.
I want it about a quarter of an inch thick.
This is a very satisfying process.
Prick the surface of this cookie dough all over with a fork.
Get this into the oven.
In about 15 minutes.
Put a little bit of flour down just in case.
Better to not need it and have it,
than not have it and need it.
That’s the way the phrase goes.
And this is gonna go into the oven.
Take these lovely graham crackers,
break ’em all up in the food processor.
I want to eat these.
[food processor running]
It’s a nice, fine crumb in here.
I’m gonna add my sugar.
Pop it back on the processor,
and then I’m gonna stream in my butter
so that all that fat gets nicely, evenly distributed.
We’re good to go, this looks perfect.
It looks pretty good.
It came out great.
When I use my graham cracker crust,
typically they’re pretty dry.
So I think what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna take this,
I’m gonna process it up, and then cook it again
just so it gets even drier.
There we go, okay.
This I think honestly I’m just gonna save
and eat later in the dark.
I’m gonna spread this out,
rebake this so it gets like nice and dry.
[shaking pan back and forth]
Nice and dry, super crumbly.
And to this I’m just gonna add butter and sugar.
It’s kinda funny I like dried it out
just immediately to rewet it with butter.
So this is the ginger cookie crust,
ready to go into the pan and be the base of my cheesecake.
My crumbs are all ready.
This spring form pan is a wonderful tool in the kitchen
for cakes that are too delicate to turn out
when they’re finished baking.
You just get to unlock that thing,
and it comes right off.
It’s like magic.
I’m just gonna take some of these crumbs
and press it into the bottom of this pan.
Just get in there with your hands.
Start by pressing it from the center
to move all those sandy bits out to the edges.
I’m gonna take some butter,
kinda just give this whole thing a wipe down,
just so there’s no sticking.
I don’t wanna be the first one to cry
in pro versus novice.
So I’m just gonna give this a good wipe down.
I actually like using a measuring cup.
I’ve used this kind of to spread it around
so there’s no weird spaces.
Some of these crumbs are coming up the sides
of my spring form pan.
So what I’m gonna do is take my small offset spatula,
hit the tip of my knife in,
and then go all the way around the edge
to get a nice even layer.
It’s nice and flat.
It’s good to go.
I’m literally just gonna toss this back
into the oven for like the third time.
It’s ready to go into the oven
which has been preheating at 325 for about 10 minutes.
Now it’s time to get stuck into our cheesecake base.
The first thing I’m gonna do is crack these eggs.
Cracking the egg on the flat surface of my worktop
is gonna help keep me from getting shells
into this bowl of eggs.
Break them up so they’re nice and even.
That way I have less mixing to do
in this delicate cheesecake base.
Got the ricotta, which,
I’ve also got the marmalade.
I mean it smells so good.
Yes, that came out lovely.
Oh, and there’s a little kick to it.
I get it, I understand the cayenne now.
Okay, look at us, we’re learning.
Get my room temperature cream cheese into this bowl
and get it nice and smooth.
You can see I still have some shaggy stiff peaks here.
I really want that cream cheese to get nice and smooth,
so that I avoid the dreaded cheesecake lumps.
There is literally no one on planet earth
who likes lumpy cheesecake.
Don’t at me.
There’s no one, not a person.
For starters I got my cream cheese and my ricotta cheese.
Both I’m gonna put into the mixer.
I’m gonna let that do its thing,
and while that’s going, I’m gonna crack some eggs in there.
This already looks way creamier
than it did when we started.
The ricotta and the eggs are literally
just giving like this creamy.
No shells, not today.
Vanilla extract, lemon juice.
Gonna add my butter.
If it wasn’t creamy then, it’s definitely creamy now.
Gonna add a little bit of my corn starch,
and then sugar.
Can you ever have too much sugar baking?
No, I think answer is no.
This part really does take time.
It’s not even high maintenance,
it’s like, it’s a diva.
I told you, it just needs its time.
I’m just gonna add my sugar, followed by my eggs.
You wanna add those eggs little by little
so that you’re not overwhelming what’s in the bowl.
All of the vanilla extract,
and I’ve chosen to add about a teaspoon of kosher salt
to Daniel’s recipe just to give it that little extra oomph.
Finish it by adding the sour cream in last by hand.
The sour cream is the more delicate
of the two types of dairy.
This looks dreamy.
It’s nice and mixed, there aren’t any lumps.
This looks really beautiful.
It’s glossy, it’s smooth,
and it actually smells heavenly.
That, oof, look at that.
It’s way thicker than any batter I’ve made.
And the only thing left is the sour cream
which I’m going to fold it in.
It’s supposed to be like a very delicate process.
Ooh, look at the folds.
Batter looks good, it’s all mixed.
I’m literally just gonna pour this
into the spring form pan on top of the cookie crust.
I’ve been really trying to work on my presentation.
I get so close to making it look nice,
and then I just, at the end, it always falls apart.
So I’ve been trying to be mindful of how I present things.
The flat top of my spatula here,
scrape the top flat edge of my spatula across the top
of my bowl to release all of that batter nice and evenly
so it doesn’t come pouring out, is a top down approach.
Gonna give it a little wiggle so that it levels.
And then I’m gonna actually take my small offset spatula
and just run the blade of it through this cheesecake.
I’m not scraping the base because I wanna release
any air bubbles that are inside of that cheesecake base.
So this is basically almost ready to go.
The only thing missing is the fruit topping.
My thought is if I were to break this into quadrants
I would probably do like one little spoonful for each thing
and then kinda just cutting it, little cuts.
I dunno, it looks pretty good to me.
This cheesecake is ready to go into the oven.
I’m gonna be baking it in a bain-marie
which is a water bath designed to cook things gently
at a nice even heat.
I’m gonna wrap this pan in this tinfoil
so that it’s nice and secure.
Now it’s protected from alien radio waves,
and frequencies, and stuff.
The tinfoil touches the surface of my cheesecake mixture
it can just mar my final result,
and it won’t look as pretty.
And I really really wanna see this diva
in her final iteration.
The wrapped cheese cake is gonna go right into this pan,
I’m gonna fill it with warm water.
Move the oven, 325 for about 60 to 65 minutes.
You’ll know it’s finished when you give it a slight tap
and the outer inch is set,
and the inside ring is slightly jiggling.
I’m terrified of dropping this.
Okay, Rose said to bake this at like 325.
Nice and slow and low in the water bath,
so that is exactly what I’m gonna do.
Okay, fingers crossed.
I can do this.
I can do this.
It’s okay, it’s all right buddy.
Cheesecake is fully cooked.
It’s been cooling in the oven for about an extra hour.
I really want everything to settle,
I don’t want any cracks.
Daniel sent me this.
It is canned cherry topping.
Delicious on cheesecake, actually one of my favorites.
I’m gonna stick with this cherry vibe
but I’ve got a professional substitution.
I’m gonna do a two-part cherry topping.
One part’s gonna be a cherry gel,
and the other part is gonna be candied cherries.
I’m gonna use thawed, frozen cherries, some gelatin here,
little sugar and some lemon juice.
Those things I can find easy
in the freezer and in the pantry,
and I just elevate this cheesecake just that little bit.
So the very first thing I wanna do is bloom my gelatin.
Giving the gelatin a chance to hydrate in a liquid.
Yeah this actually looks perfect.
Sometimes I rush.
I’m just gonna let this gelatin do its thing.
Next thing I’m gonna do is get these cherries
and this lemon juice into the Vitamax.
There’s gonna be a little bit of texture to it
which is what I want.
Cherry puree, medium heat.
We’re gonna add our sugar and our gelatin
to this cherry puree.
And we really don’t wanna overheat the gelatin.
Overheating the gelatin breaks down
what it is actually intended to do,
which is really set your puree.
Okay, we’re at 126, that’s great.
So I’ll take this off the heat.
Pour this cherry puree over the top of our cheesecake.
This looks perfect,
I’m going to pop it into the fridge
for five or six hours and work on part two.
Okay, so check it out, check it out.
Look how cool that is.
I like the swirls and stuff.
It’s baked in the oven for like an hour,
and then I’ll let it cool down.
It had the nice firm outside, little jiggly on the inside.
And now the only thing that is left
is to put it into the fridge to cool completely,
and then plate it.
We’re going to go right into the second part
of my cherry topping which is to make some candied cherries.
I’m gonna take these maraschino cherries
and I’m gonna drain them off.
I love maraschino cherries.
They’re actually one of my favorite chef snacks.
And I’m gonna reserve about a quarter cup of this juice.
Sugar, medium heat.
And heat it until the sugar starts to dissolve.
We’re looking nice and melty altogether.
Now’s the point at which I’m gonna add
It’s gonna go for about 45 minutes
while the candying process takes place.
When we’re talking about temperature in candying things
the easiest way to look at it is the hotter your candy gets,
the harder your candy gets.
You want these cherries to be nice and soft.
So 235, the softball stage is the perfect temperature
to take them to.
You should be able to see through the bodies almost
of the cherries themselves.
They’ve hit 235, they look glassy and icy.
Just gonna pull these cherries out
to this parchment lined sheet tray to cool.
These are gonna be so pretty.
My cherries look perfect,
they’re absolutely volcanically hot.
So I’m going to let them cool,
and then I can arrange them on the top of my cheesecake.
Hoh, hoh, hoh, hoh.
It’s time to plate this.
I am gonna–
Eat this delicious cheesecake.
First I gotta get it ready.
I’ve got this metal container here
filled with hot tap water.
I’m actually just gonna pop my offset spatula
inside of this,
run my offset all around the edge of the spring form.
And the heat of that is just gonna make it
one nice clean motion.
So I’m basically just gonna take my offset spatula,
run it around, hoping nothing like flops out.
I wanna try it, but I shouldn’t yet.
Oh, beautiful. Ohh.
And I’m just gonna bejewel the top of this cheesecake
with these lovely little jems.
[Daniel] I mean it’s together,
that’s a huge win in my book.
I’m just trying to not grab these cherries.
[Daniel] There we go, okay.
A couple on the side, make the plate look cute.
This is my take on Daniel’s cherry cheesecake.
Wow, that was a horrible plating job too.
Gonna do a little reconstructive surgery on it
just to make it look a little prettier.
Okay no one’s gotta know this.
This never happened, what are you talking about?
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
This is my take at chef Lani’s cheesecake,
and I am hoping that she thinks I did a good job.
It looks ready to be eaten.
It looks ready to be eaten.
Mm, I love cheesecake.
I love cheesecake so much.
The al dente bite of this beautiful candied cherry
combined with that cherry gel.
It’s lovely and bright,
nice and sweet, but not overpowering.
Oh my God, this is like ice cream almost,
it’s so delicious.
This looks really good.
It smells good.
It’s just incredible.
There’s really not, it doesn’t taste like cheese.
You can’t taste the cream cheese in this.
I get so much more orange,
and like a citrusy zest than I do cheese.
And the marmalade’s got like a little bit
of a kick to it too, but it’s not overpowering
because of the fat in the cheesecake.
This is, wow.
I’m like on a journey right now,
I’m on a flavor journey and I never wanna stop.
There’s like, my cheesecake is down here,
and then there’s like regular cheesecake
you buy at a store,
and then if you add homemade marmalade it’s like insane.
This is so good.
I can’t wait to see what chef Lani thinks about this.
This is incredible.
I can’t wait to see what she made.
You’re so cool.
It’s an honor to actually meet you virtually.
You’re the coolest person ever, I think.
My mom tells me that, and I take that.
Cheesecake’s not my first choice typically for desserts.
And this is absolutely just mind blowing.
It’s so good.
Oh, I’m so glad you like it.
Let me see, let me see, let me see.
Yeah, it’s right here.
It looks so pretty.
You did great with the swirling, I love that.
It looks like an old book.
I heard you called it kitchen napalm
and I sort of got an idea
as to why it started bubbling, like crazy.
So I was like, I was a little scared at that point.
It looks really beautiful.
Do you wanna see what I did?
I was just, I wanna see, yeah.
I gave you a very bare bones,
easy peasy kinda thing.
So, check it out.
I did a little, okay.
Here’s like a, oh my goodness.
I did like a cherry gel and candied cherries.
Kinda did your cherry vibe a couple of different ways.
Hey, I welcome it.
Thank you so much for everything.
And like I said, this has been so much fun.