The simple premise of cheesecake—a creamy cake made with soft cheese and baked in a pastry or pressed-crumb shell—begs for variations, though some of them, like toppings made from cherry pie filling, I could do without. Good cheesecake doesn't need topping any more than a good steak needs Gorgonzola butter, as pastry chef Emily Luchetti demonstrates with this Ginger Mascarpone Cheesecake With a Chocolate Crust, from her book Classic Stars Desserts (Chronicle). Wine Spectator's Sam Gugino explains.
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