whipped yogurt cheesecake with roasted rhubarb

sometimes in the spring i forget that i'm in practically canada because right now it's mid-70s and sunny and there are outdoor vintage tractor auctions about town, but then the sun sticks around shining bright like a diamond until quarter to ten and i'm reminded how essentially arctic we are. pros: i can photograph with natural light literally until 8:30pm, so i feel like i can get so much done. cons: i can photograph in natural light literally until 8:30pm, so i just procrastinate the day away. 


luckily my non-urgency to get home and photograph this weekend led to a lovely bit of time spent in fargo! we had pizza night at rhombus and then crashed at eggsister's spankin new apartment, which is so exquisitely decorated with vintage furniture and homemade blankets. i forgot what life pre-ikea looked like, but life in fargo is still exactly that, and it has so much personality. in the morning we ate bagels at the new great bagel place, visited our favorite coffee spot, and then bopped into unglued and zandbroz and fowler's before going back to the bagel place for some brisket for the road home. it was like we were regular city folk!

now i'm just noodling around, doing some laundry, and trying to get my ducks in a row re: book stuff! did you see the cover?? i'm so excited about it. now we're determining what the spine and back cover will look like.

anywho, shavuot is coming right up this weekend and on shavuot it's customary to eat dairy. cheesecakes and blintzes are traditional, but this year i took a route that requires a little less maintenance and went for a no-bake cheesecake parfait jar thing and topped it with an easy peasy roasted rhubarb that's inspired by claire. the thing is practically idiot proof and it can be made a day in advance. i used a biscoff cookie crust, but feel free to use a graham cracker crust, an oreo crust, a pretzel crust, or, i don't care, a gummy bear crust (?). (with more gumption i would have used the tahini oreos that have been in my fridge for months and that should have spoiled by now and they seemed ok but i was still chicken.) the filling here is just a basic fluffy cream cheese/whipped cream delight that's got some added tang by way of yogurt. it comes together in minutes and it's not too sweet. the rhubarb is though! because rhubarb is so sour, it needs an ass ton of sugar. oh and if you need some rhubarb, come over, my patch is bursting with glee. that's it. happy shavuot!

whipped yogurt cheesecake with roasted rhubarb

serves 6-8



24 biscoff cookies or similar
3 tb coconut oil


1/2 c cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 tsp rosewater, optional
1/2 c plain full fat greek yogurt or labneh
1/2 c heavy cream

roasted rhubarb:

1 lb rhubarb, chopped into 1” pieces
1/2 c sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tb vanilla bean paste or extract
1/8 tsp salt


To make the crust:

Blend the cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Add the coconut oil (it doesn’t need to be melted) and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Distribute the mixture between serving glasses and then use a muddler or the back of a spoon to pack it down firmly. Set aside while you make the filling. 

To make the cheesecake:

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar on high until smooth. Beat in the salt, vanilla, and rosewater (if using), and then add the yogurt or labneh. Beat on high for a few seconds until combined and smooth. Add the heavy cream and beat on high for about another minute until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Distribute the mixture between your serving glasses and then chill for an hour or overnight. 

To roast the rhubarb:

Preheat the oven to 325ºf. Spread the rhubarb out on a rimmed baking sheet and top it with the sugar, lemon zest, vanilla bean paste or extract, and salt and cover with foil. Roast for 15 minutes covered, and then roast for another 15 minutes uncovered. Let cool. (Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight if making this the day before.) And then spoon on top of the cheesecake directly before serving. Enjoy!



mini ricotta + parmesan cheesecakes

but molly, don't you hate cheesecake?

hated. i hated cheesecake. i used to love it, and then i overdosed on it by way of those little individually wrapped cheesecake bites that were big in the 90s, and then i didn't eat it again until 2010 when jeff forced a bite of ricotta cheesecake on me. it was fluffy and not at all tangy like the cream cheese cheesecakes of my youth. it blew my mind, ohmygod it was so good.

and then what happened?

i went back to hating it because baking cheesecake at the town bakery was a real bitch. it required a lot of steps, a lot of bowls, a lot of patience that i didn't yet have, and it wasn't as fun to decorate as the other cakes. (no offense to the cheesecake at the town bakery, people go gaga over it.)

but this cheesecake requires some patience, no?

it does, kind of. but i understand it now. i understand that in order to avoid cracks in a cheesecake, you need to cool it down gradually. you can't just take it out of the oven and wham-bam flip it onto a cooling rack. you have to caress it out of the oven, gently do this, gently do that, sing it a song, and then let it chill. but (!!) because these cheesecakes are miniature, all of that cooling down business is sped up, and if you want to eat one before the whole process has completed, you can and no one will notice because it's not like you have to take a slice out of one big cake. also (!!!!!!!) only one bowl is required. one!

why now? 

shavuot is coming! and on shavuot, we eat dairy.

why is this cheesecake different from all the other cheesecakes?

i follow this stranger on social media who recently made a mention of a *parmesan* cheesecake that he had in barcelona and it was so umami-y and good. that inspired me to add parmesan to my long-time-coming foray into ricotta cheesecake. i don't remember the stranger's name or his handle. (if you're reading this, barcelona cheesecake man, thank you!!) additionally, correct me if i'm wrong, but i don't think that authentic italian ricotta cheesecakes normally have a crust. but crust! it's my favorite part. so i added one, and it takes up almost a third of the entire cake, a ratio that i am ok with. 

describe this cheesecake in 19 words.

fluffy, creamy, light, slightly sweet, cute, a good beginner's cheesecake, lemony, polite, and with a subtle aftertaste of parmesan. 

thank you.

thank you!

mini ricotta + parmesan cheesecakes

makes 22 cheesecakes



18 large rectangles (that is, 36 squares, or 2 full  pouches, or just under 10 oz) of graham crackers

a good pinch of kosher salt

10 tb unsalted butter, melted


1/4 c flour

1 c sugar

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c shredded parmesan

30 oz whole milk ricotta

zest of one lemon

juice of 1/2 lemon (or of a whole lemon, if you like it extra lemony)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

4 large eggs


1 c jam



preheat oven to 375 f. line 22 cupcake tins with paper liners, grease them, and set them aside.


in a food processor, process the living daylights out of your graham crackers. add the salt and process a little more. we want a nice fine crumb. with the processor running, drizzle in the melted butter and process for a few seconds until the mixture clumps together. spoon the mixture into your cupcake tins (roughly two tablespoons of the mixture per tin) and then use a glass or spoon to press it down firmly and evenly. if the mixture is sticking to your glass or spoon, spray it with a little cooking spray. 

set the cupcake tins in the fridge while you make the filling.


to make the filling, you're gonna use your food processor again. don't worry about cleaning it out, it just has butter and graham cracker residue in it and that is ok.

add the flour, sugar, salt, and parmesan, and pulse it a few times to combine everything and break up the parmesan. add the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, and extracts, and process it until smooth. two minutes-ish.

with the processor running, add the eggs one at a time, processing a bit after each one.

spoon the mixture into your cupcake tins. it can come up pretty high, up to about 1/4-inch from the top of the tin. bake for 20 minutes, until the outer edges are set but the centers are still a little jiggly. turn the oven off, open it about halfway, and let them be for about 45 minutes. remove them from the oven and let them cool completely at room temperature. chill them for an hour or two, or overnight. 

spoon on your jam.


these will keep in the fridge for up to a week.