Monday, April 13, 2009

Carrot Cheesecake with Marzipan Carrots

I made this cute dessert to take to Easter dinner this year. It was a fun spin on a cross between a carrot cake and a cheesecake. The inclusion of the carrots in the batter adds a nice texture and color to the cheesecake. The mini marzipan carrots were a lot of fun to make as well. I can see adding these to my regular carrot cake for a little decoration. This was a good classic dessert, doesn't top my favorite cheesecake recipe though. I think if I were to do this one again I would use my cheesecake recipe and add the other ingredients. I think a little more spice and some nuts would also jazz it up a little. Still a simple, classic and tasty dessert.

Carrot Cheesecake with Marzipan Carrots

Serves 8 to 10

  • 2 ounces (1/2 cup) toasted pecans
  • 8 graham crackers, finely ground (1 cup)
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse pecans in a food processor until finely ground. Place in a medium bowl with graham crackers, and stir in butter, sugar, and salt.
  2. Wrap outside and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan in 2 layers of foil. Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of pan. Bake until golden brown around edges and firm, about 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  3. Make the cheesecake: Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add carrots and 1/2 cup sugar, and cook, stirring often, until carrots are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with pan juices to a bowl, and let cool.
  4. Beat cream cheese and remaining cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add carrots and pan juices, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Pour into crust.
  5. Set springform pan in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until set but slightly wobbly in center, 80 to 90 minutes.
  6. Transfer springform pan to a rack, and remove foil. Let cool. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours (or overnight; cheesecake will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days). Run a hot knife around edges of cheesecake to loosen, then remove sides of pan. Decorate with marzipan carrots just before serving.
Petite Marzipan Carrots

Makes 12

  • 1 ounce marzipan
  • Orange and red gel-paste food coloring
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for decorating
  • Small fresh carrot fronds, rinsed and dried well
  1. Tint marzipan with orange and red food coloring, a drop at a time, to reach desired color. Divide into 12 pieces. (Cover with plastic wrap when not using.) Shape each piece into a ball, then roll into logs, tapering 1 end, to resemble carrots (pictured, above).
  2. Dip a paring knife into cocoa powder. Make tiny indentations in each carrot with cocoa-dusted knife to evoke the vegetable's texture. Carrots will keep, covered, for up to 1 week. Push fronds into top of each carrot before serving.


Linds said...

Wow, this looks great and so cute for Easter! I bet this was delicious...the perfect combination of two of my favorite desserts. I'm starring this recipe for sure...although, I don't know if I am talented enough to make the marzipan carrots :)

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Very cute. I love the little carrots.

Anonymous said...


Maryanna said...

Your marzipan carrots are so cute! I love carrot cake!

Kanella said...

Marzipan carrots... very nice. I love carrot cake and may try this for Greek Easter.

Joelen said...

Oh my - how adorable! You did an awesome job on the carrots!!

Jennifer said...

I'm glad it turned out so well! What a nice presentation!

Penny said...

This is an amazing dessert! Way to go. Don't know if I could do what you did. Marzipan? Need to look into that. Maybe a cake decorating course would help.