Deconstructed Mexican Ricotta Cheese Cake

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Chef Richard Sandoval


Ingredients for the Almond Chocolate Cookie Crumbs:

1 lb. unsalted butter, cut into squares

1 lb. brown sugar

13 ounces all-purpose flour

3 ounces cocoa powder

1 cup almond flour

1 cup walnuts, chopped



1.    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2.    Mix the butter and brown sugar until it is nice and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes on medium-high speed).

3.    Add the dry ingredients and beat for an additional minute until cookie batter is fully incorporated.

4.    Cut into the dough with knife or fork until mixture forms lumps.

5.    Sprinkle mixture over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6.    Bake for 14-16 minutes until the edges are nice and crunchy.

7.    Remove from heat and allow the crumbs to stay on the sheet for an additional 15 minutes.


Ingredients for the Blueberry-blackberry compote:

2 cups blackberries

2 cups blueberries

1 cup sugar

½ cup corn syrup

Juice of 1 lemon

1 pint fresh strawberries, cut lengthwise into four pieces



1.    Place all ingredients, except the strawberries, into a medium saucepan and cook over low-medium heat until a jam-like consistency is achieved.

2.    Pour into a glass container and store in the refrigerator to chill.

3.    Add the strawberries into the blueberry-blackberry compote before serving.


Ingredients for the Mexican Ricotta (Requeson) Cheese Mousse:

1 Tblsp. powdered gelatin

1 ½ ounces Grand Marnier         

1 ½ ounces water

1 lb. requeson (can be substituted for ricotta cheese)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

8 ounces unsalted butter, softened                                

10 whole eggs (whites and yolks separated)

Juice from 2 lemons

12 ounces sugar       

2 cups heavy cream      

Edible flowers, for garnish during plating  



1.    In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the Grand Marnier add water and let stand for 5 minutes.  Mixture will become very firm and no longer a liquid.

2.    In a food processor, blend the cream cheese, butter, egg yolks and lemon juice until smooth.  Transfer to a medium bowl.

3.    In a double boiler set over gently simmering water, melt the gelatin mixture, then whisk it into the cheese mixture.

4.    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they just start to form very soft peaks, then add the sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.  Fold into the cheese mixture. 

5.    Clean the electric mixer well and using the whisk attachment again, beat the heavy cream to soft peaks.

6.    Fold into the cheese mixture, being careful not to over-mix or the mousse will deflate. 

7.    Transfer to a plastic container, cover, and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.  Do not freeze. 

8.    Mousse will keep in the refrigerator for three days.


Ingredients for the Banana Cream:

3 medium fresh bananas ripe

¾ cup Sugar

1 tablespoon Agar Agar

1 cup half & half

1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract



1.    Bring half and half vanilla extract and sugar to a boil to dissolve agar.

2.    Boil for 3 minutes and remove from the stove.

3.    Allow to set in the cooler until set.

4.    Process in a blender with the fresh bananas until creamy, reserve in the cooler until ready to use.


Ingredients for garnish:

1/2 dehydrated tropical fruit (store-bought)

1/2 edible flowers (store-bought)


To Plate:

In plate of your choice, place two full tablespoons of the banana cream, top the cream with one cup of the cookie crumbs followed by 3 tablespoons of the berry preserve. Sprinkle with edible flowers and finish the dish with a couple spoons of the requeson mousse.