Tag Archives: lemons

Mmmmmmm, cheesecake!

23 Oct

There are cakes and then there’s cheesecake. It is the prince, no the king of all cakedom. Or perhaps, given it’s voluptuousness, its silkiness, its gorgeous creaminess, I should call it the queen of all cakedom.

You may gather from this that I am rather partial to a bit of cheesecake – and you’d be right. But only one sort. A proper baked cheesecake! Nothing else will do and please, please, please spare me from the sickly, over-sweetened gelatinous gloop which passes itself off as cheesecake in many a fifth rate emporium.

I’ve been working hard for some years now at perfecting my baked cheesecake and I do believe I’ve finally done it. My cheesecake is a fusion of several recipes and can be enjoyed in a  low fat format, as a gluten-free cake, or as a cake suitable for diabetics. I’ll give the recipe here for the full-fat, gluttonous version, with the alternatives to follow.

INGREDIENTS

250g plain digestive biscuits
100g butter, melted
7 50g soft cheese OR 500g soft cheese and 250g mascarpone
3 large eggs
zest and juice of one large or two small lemons
180g caster sugar
4 heaped tablespoons plain flour

METHOD

1. Heat the oven to 180 C and line the base of a 23cm springform tin.
2. Whizz the biscuits in a blender until completely crummified, then tip in the melted butter and press into the base of the tin. Pop the tin in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
3. Put all the other ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together until smooth and beautifully combined. Pour into tin and then bake for a bout 40 minutes until set and not too wobbly.
4. When baked, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there to cool. It will probably crack, but that’s ok, they usually do!
5. Once it’s cool you can decorate the cake with one of the following…
a) Passion fruit pulp (my favourite)
b) Soured cream and lemon curd (my other favourite)
c) Raspberries or any other berry fruits you fancy (summer favourite)

Now then, what about the healthy options and the special dietary requirements? Easy peasy.

To make a lower-fat cheesecake use low-fat cream cheese. It’s still cake, it’s still gorgeous, but you’ll feel smug.

To make a gluten-free version, simply use ‘freefrom’ biscuits for the base and replace the flour with rice flour or corn starch.

The diabetic version is made in a pyrex pie dish rather than a springform tin, and the base is omitted completely. Leave out the sugar or replace it with a sugar substitute if you really want to. I used to make it without the sugar or the biscuit base for my mum and never had any complaints.

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