But for the husband’s birthday this year, his first one after we tied the knot, I wanted to make something special. Moussaka? Prawn curry? Lamb Burgers? Tiramisu? The mind boggled. So I did the next best thing, I asked him and all he said was, “Reno, can you make a baked cheesecake please?” Now when a guy who isn’t fussy about food and also eats all the vegetables asks you for something like this, it is hard to refuse. So off I went, buying all the ingredients, looking for the perfect, no-fail recipe as I knew I couldn’t fail on this one. Just couldn’t.
Most of the recipes that I looked at online seemed very time consuming or they called for a lot of cheese and I mean, A LOT! So I got this one from Slow roasted Italian and it seemed really simple, but I’m me so I’d to add my touch to it, which I did with the addition of orange zest in the cheesecake. For the topping, I’ve added a smattering of Balsamic to bring out the flavours of the strawberry. This is a really easy recipe for cheesecake and is a great one if you’re a first-timer, I’m not intimidated by baked cheesecakes any more and that’s proof enough!
For the base:
1 packet of Britannia Oat-Almond biscuits
2 tbsp of quick-cooking oats, lightly roasted
1 tsp of melted butter
Blitz the biscuits to form a coarse powder. Mix it with the oats in the baking dish that you plan to use. Add the butter to this and mix well until it begins resembling the texture of coarse sand. Press it down against the surface of the dish and distribute it evenly across to form the base layer. Place the dish in the fridge to allow this layer to set.
For the cheesecake:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) o Philly cream cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp of fresh curds
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 tsp of vanilla essence
1 tsp of fresh orange zest
1/4 cup of milk
A pinch of salt
Soften the cream cheese and add the sugar and vanilla to this. Beat this mixture until it is fluffy. Now add the curds, lemon juice and salt, continue to beat until it forms a smooth mixture without any lumps. Gradually add the eggs and keep beating, slowly pour in the milk to adjust the consistency of the mixture. It needs to be of a thick but pouring consistency. Finally add the orange zest and give it one final stir.
Pour this mixture into the baking tin and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes, turn down the temperature to 150 degrees Celsius and bake it for 10 more minutes. The cheesecake is done when the sides have slightly separated from the tin and look firm, however the centre will still be a little wobbly.
Allow the cheesecake to cool down to room temperature and then place it in the fridge for about 4-5 hours to let it set.
For the topping:
1 cup of strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp of Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp of honey
Some more strawberries for decoration
Mix the first three ingredients together, use the back of a spoon to lightly mash the strawberries so that they release their juices.
When you cut a slice of the cheesecake, put some of the topping over it, garnish with some more strawberries or even a sprig of mint and serve!
|It just keeps disappearing!|
* For the crust you can also use digestive biscuits but I’ve noticed that almonds and strawberries are a greeat combination, especially in smoothies, so I went with this one.
* Philly cream cheese is what’s used by default in baked cheesecakes but you are free to substitute this with any other brand.
*Seasonal fruits are the best topping for a baked cheesecake, however, you can also use chocolate sauce or a rum sauce to top the cheesecake.
Oh and did the husband like it? Yup. “Divine,” was his only comment and that’s award enough for me!