This ricotta-based cheesecake is perfect with any kind of ripe berry, lightly drizzled with agave syrup. Scatter a few lavender blossoms or other edible flower petals over the cheesecake to add a beautiful, sweet floral touch.
3 cups corn or wheat flake cereal
1 cup agave or maple syrup
3 egg whites
2 whole eggs
2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
8 ounces cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups ripe seasonal berries (such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries)
Lavender blossoms, rose petals, or other edible flowers (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
In the bowl of food processor, combine the cereal and ¼ cup of the syrup, pulsing until coarsely ground. Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of an oiled 9-inch springform pan or a cake pan with a removable bottom.
Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the sides of the pan, fit the paper snugly around the inside edge, and brush the paper lightly with oil. (This will make it easier to release the cheesecake from the pan.)
In a clean bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the egg whites, whole eggs, ricotta or cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, orange zest, and ½ cup of the syrup. Process until completely smooth, then pour the cheese mixture over the crust.
Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes, then release the cheesecake and remove the paper. Chill, uncovered for several hours, until completely firm.
To serve, set the cake on a serving plate and top with the berries. Drizzle the remaining ¼ cup syrup over the fruit and decorate with lavender blossoms, rose petals, or other edible flowers, if desired.