The ganache, for serving, is optional, but highly recommended. If you don't like almonds, try toasted and chopped hazelnuts instead. While the cake can be made up to one day ahead, it's best the day it’s made. —Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
1 hour 50 minutes
For the ricotta cheesecake pie:
(about 3 1/2 onces) graham crackers
light brown sugar
unsalted butter, melted
fresh ricotta, drained well
mini semisweet chocolate chips, tossed with 1 teaspoon flour, plus 1/4 cup, for topping
sliced almonds, plus 2 tablespoons, for topping
Preheat oven to 350° F. Wrap foil around the outsides of a 8-inch springform pan. Combine graham crackers, amaretti cookies, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and stir in the butter. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and press the crumbs in an even layer onto the bottom and 3/4 way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely while making the filling.
Lower oven to 325° F. Whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice until smooth. Add 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips and 2/3 cup of the almonds. Pour into the cooled, prepared crust. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips and almonds.
Bake until the filling is puffed and golden, but the center is still slightly wobbly, about 1 1/2 hours.
Cool in pan on a rack on the countertop—don’t worry if it sinks a little (because it most likely will). Alternatively, let the cake come to room temperature, then cool it completely in the refrigerator, tented with plastic wrap. Serve at room temperature, with chocolate-coffee ganache.
For the chocolate-coffee ganache:
In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips, heavy cream, and instant coffee, stirring occasionally, until smooth and warm.