Quick Bites from Pender

Tiramisu Cheesecake, Espresso Glaze

In Island Life, Lessons From Cooking School, Recipes on April 10, 2010 at 7:35 am


Very few people will refuse a piece of cheesecake.  I have found this to be a universal truth — except when it’s not — like last week, when I hosted my first ever CHEESECAKE GIVEAWAY.

The long and short of it is that no one showed up.  And it was almost time for me to go home for the day — and I couldn’t take it with me.  No, no, no.  Howard and I had quite enough of this indulgent full-fat homemade mascarpone cheese filling, rum, ladyfinger crumb crust and coffee (espresso) extract glaze.

Next time, I won’t require the winner to tell me that “Island Vittles Rocks!”  I guess I found the limit of what Penderites will do for a free piece of cheesecake.


In the end, it was Roger, the skilled craftsmen who built our deck last spring who won the cheesecake by default.  He had no idea about the giveaway, but he walked in the store at the right time (and he did a really good job on our deck).

ladyfinger-crumb-crust mascarpone-cheesecake-filling

As for the cheesecake itself, I have to tell you you’re sorry you missed it.  New York in style, Italian in flavour, Pender in execution.

The tastes are rich and decadent, but not overbearing.  The rum is subtle, the mascarpone create a slightly soft texture, the ladyfinger crust is less sweet than the traditional graham version, and the espresso crowns it all — and provides the “pick-me-up” — the literal translation of Tiramisu.


My Culinary Skills Instructor, Chef P, taught us to bake cheesecakes low and slow.  (My words, not his.  His involved a thick, at times unintelligible french accent.)   As you’ll see this cheesecake is baked at 200° F for 3 -4 hours.  A long time, yes.  And worth every minute.  No cracks on the top, and a texture so soft, people will think you baked it in a water bath.

This cake should be baked the day before you plan to serve it.  Glaze it the morning of your event and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Tiramisu Cheesecake, Espresso Glaze

9” Cheesecake – serves 12-16


Ladyfingers, processed into fine crumbs 7 oz 200 g
Sugar ¼ C 40 g
Melted Butter ¼ C 80 g


Mascarpone, at room temp. 1 lb 500 g
Cream Cheese, at room temp. 1 lb 500 g
Sugar 1 C 160 g
Rum ¼ C 60 ml
Cornstarch ¼ C 30 g
Salt ½ t 3 ml
Eggs, at room temp 4


Coffee Extract or Double Strength Espresso, at room temp. ½ C 125 ml
Boiling Water ½ C 125 ml
Gelatin 1 t 5 ml

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and set the rack in the centre.  Brush the sides of a 9” springform pan with melted butter.

Combine the ladyfingers, sugar and melted butter in a bowl and stir well.  Press the crumbs firmly into a 9” springform pan, covering the bottom and halfway up the sides.  Bake 5-7 min.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Reduce the oven temp to 200° F.  Leave the oven door open for a few moments to dissipate the heat.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the mascarpone, cream cheese and sugar on low speed until well mixed.  Add the rum, cornstarch and salt and beat on low speed to combine.  Switch to the whisk attachment.  With the motor on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to whisk until smooth and creamy.

Pour the batter into the pan, burst any surface bubbles with a toothpick, and bake in the oven for 3 to 4 hours, until set in the centre.  Cool on a rack.  When completely cool, place the cake on a large plate, cover and refrigerate overnight.

To make the glaze, dissolve the gelatine in the boiling water and stir well to dissolve completely.  Stir in the coffee extract or espresso.  Set aside for 10 minutes.

With the cake on a level surface, gently pour the glaze onto the centre of the cake, stopping before the glaze spills over the edges.  Refrigerate until set.

To serve, release the side spring and slice.  Serve with rum crème anglaise.


  • The filling can also be assembled using a wooden spoon and some muscle.  Ensure the cheeses are at room temperature to make the job easier.  It also helps to stand on a stool while mixing – the extra height gives you a bit of leverage.
  • My cake took 3½ hours to cook.


  1. I would take this home in a heart-beat. This is beautiful and so lovely…I love the pictures.

  2. Silly silly people not showing up for this divine looking cheesecake and only needing to tell you that you rock. Tsk tsk! If I were closer I would have definitely said so! I’m sure that Roger was thrilled and totally deserved it anyways 😀

  3. Wow what a great cheesecake, and what a wonderful Recipe..I do have to try this!!

  4. What a beautiful cake – a great combination both tiramisu and a cheesecake! It’s the first time I hear about baking a cheesecake for 3-4 hours at 200F, but if the cake will look like yours, it’s certainly worth a try! Thanks for the recipe and the tip!

  5. I am an ultimate lover of cheesecake. That looks very beautiful. Keep up the great work with your blog and thanks for the recipe.

  6. Holy cow that looks amazing! I am salivating just thinking about the deliciousness of that cheesecake. If you have any extra cheesecakes that you need to get rid of you can alway mail it to Bulgaria… I’m just saying!

  7. Island Vittles Rocks!!!! Oh….too late. Damn. I would’ve hollered it till the cows came home. That cheesecake is beautiful, perfect in fact. And espresso on top?! You’re really pushing all the right buttons!

    • Thanks to everyone for your comments! I`m pretty sure my next giveaway will have at least a couple of Penderites trying for the win!

  8. Your tiramisu cheesecakes is probably the most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever seen! Just gorgeous. I’ve saved this to my recipe file because I must give it a try! =)

  9. This cheesecake looks so creamy and delicious…and I really like the ladyfingers crust.

  10. Hey Theresa! I thought I was too late cause i read the post the day after when the Market was closed – was totally on my way to tell you Island Vittles Rocks !!! Now Laughing because apparently I wasn’t too late 🙂

    • Sue, maybe next time…can’t keep making all this food and eating it all ourselves…I’m sure another “giveaway” is coming around the bend anytime…especially when I get home and practice all this pastry stuff I’m learning this week!

  11. Wish I was at that giveaway! Because that cheesecake looks really delicious!

  12. I’m always looking for the next sweetest taste of sin and I think that I have just found another one here!:)

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