Sunday, 10 February 2008

No Place Like London

I may not make cheesecake as often as I used to, but I have a definite weakness for it, and if I can get away with making one I will ^__^. This recipe is one I've had my eye on for aaages, but haven't been able to come up with an excuse to make; if it's someone's birthday, I make cake, if it's a picnic or something, we need cookies or bars, and if I'm just at home there aren't enough people around to eat it.

I find myself inventing occasions just so I can have people round to feed them. Does anyone else do this? Please tell me yes.

I had a big group of friends round on Friday night for a Disney sleepover (we get together and have a marathon of classic Disney films; Friday was our fourth XD) so I finally had a chance to give this a go.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves on this recipe because a) I'm very proud of the pictures, b) Ellie raves about this better than I do and c) I'm extremely tired and lazy and basically can't be arsed.

I'm therefore going to do this the quick way. This description is going to be to a blog post what a haiku is to a love poem.

Please make this cheesecake;
It tastes delicious, hooray
So my friends all say.

Was it just an excuse to make a cheesecake? Yes.

Was that just an excuse to write a haiku? Perhaps.

London Cheesecake
Recipe from Feast by Nigella Lawson
For American measurements, click here.

For the base:

150g digestive biscuits
75g unsalted butter, melted or very soft
600g cream cheese
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 and a half tablespoons vanilla extract
1 and a half tablespoons lemon juice
20 cm Springform tin
extra-strength tin foil

For the topping;

145ml tub sour cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
half teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Process the biscuits until they are like crumbs, then add the butter and pulse again. Line the bottom of the Springform tin, pressing the biscuits in with your hands or the back of a spoon. Put the tin in the fridge to set, and preheat the oven to 180ÂșC/gas mark 4.

2.Beat the cream cheese gently until it's smooth, then add the sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, then finally the vanilla and lemon juice. Put the kettle on. Line the outside of the chilled tin with strong foil so that it covers the bottom and sides in one large piece, and then do the same again and put it into a roasting dish. This will protect the cheesecake from the water as it is cooked in its water bath.

3.Pour the cream-cheese filling into the chilled biscuit base, and then pour hot water from the recently boiled kettle into the roasting tin around the cheesecake. It should come about halfway up; don't overfill as it will be difficult to lift up the tin. Put it into the oven and cook for 50 minutes. It should feel set, but not rigidly so: you just need to feel confident that when you pour the sour cream over, it will sit on the surface and not sink in.

4. Whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla for the topping and pour over the cheesecake. Put it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.Take the roasting tin out of the oven, then gingerly remove the Springform, unwrap it and stand it on a rack to cool.

5. When it's cooled down completely, put it in the fridge, removing it 20 minutes before eating to take the chill off. Unmould and when you cut into it, plunge a knife in hot water first.Serves 8

Rather than the sauce Ellie made for her cheescake I halved a recipe for black cherry sauce from Vegetarian Supercook by Rose Eliot:

500g cherries, pitted (I used frozen ones that didn't need pitting)
75ml water + 1-2 tbsp
1-2 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp caster sugar

1. Put the cherries into a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil. Cover & simmer gently for about 5 minutes or until the cherries are tender.

2. Mix the cornflour with the 1-2 tbsp cold water, then add to the cherries, bring to the boil and stir for a minute or two until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the caster sugar and remove for the heat. Set aside to cool and serve with the cheesecake.

Ellie made this cheesecake with the base coming up the sides and I think I'll do that next time cause otherwise the base is quite thick.

Tastes good though ^__^


Cakespy said...

That crust looks simply amazing--I am always a fan of a higher crust-to cheesecake ratio like this. Nice balance. Wish I could have a piece!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

looks fabulous! and cherry sauce...OMG! yeah, i hold back on baking a lot of things b/c my husband and i can't possibly eat it all. when i really want something though, i'll do a hlf recipe in a small tin.

Anna said...

Cakespy = thanks! Yeah, I like a lot of crust, though I'd probably spread it out up the sides next time I made it ^__^. I recommend it, though!

Steph - I knooow; any excuse to put cherries in something, haha. That's a good idea, actually; usually I freeze a lot of the things I make but sometimes it isn't possible =/. Thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Nice work, hon! Not only are the photos nicely shot but it's well styled and looks perfectly baked too! :) I'm glad you liked the cheesecake!

Oh, and by the way, I totally organize social gatherings at my place so I can feed my friends/get them to be my guinea pigs too ;)

Anna said...

Bzuhasfgkn thankyou Ellie! Considering I more or less aspire to be you, food-photography-wise, that's got me going all keysmash-y (and apparently using lots of made-up words)

Friend manipulation wins ^_^

Pixie said...

You're cheesecake looks fantastic and I'm always creating excuses to bake goodies! And YUM for cherries on top!

BTW, when are you joining the DB??

Anna said...

Thankyoou, Pixie!
I fear you've worn me down - I just sent off my DB application! X__X I'm going to hold you personally responsible for all the terrible terrible consequences from this point on, haha.

Jules said...

Fab blog you have. You can't beat cheesecake, I love it.