Is it “cheesecake” or “cheese cake”? The former looks like it has an “e” too many, and the latter looks as bizarre as “salad pudding”. But you know what I mean.
I made this.. uhh.. cake for the first time on the weekend, from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics Book 2. Again, this book has come through for me, and I’ve rewarded it by almost completely plagiarising the recipe below (although she calls it the “classic baked cheesecake”). It was much simpler than other recipes I’ve made before that used a water bath, and at least as tasty.
125g Arnotts Nice (or equivalent) biscuits, i.e. half a 250g pack (for base)
2/3 cup almond meal (for base)
60g butter (for base)
1.5 tablespoons cornflour
1.5 tablespoons water
330g softened cream cheese (do not buy Philadelphia spread – buy the stuff in a rectangular box!)
360g fresh ricotta cheese
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 medium lemon (or specifically, the juice and finely grated rind from one)
If you haven’t yet, get the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it soften.
Crush the biscuits in a food processor (or like me, grind up in a mixing bowl mortar-and-pestle style using the end of a rolling pin). Melt the butter, then add in the almond meal and melted butter, processing (or stirring) until nicely combined.
Grease a 22cm springform tin, line the base with greaseproof paper, and press the biscuit mix into the bottom to form the base. Put it in the fridge while we make the filling. You can probably get the oven going at 150 degrees celcius, too.
If you haven’t yet, grate the lemon to produce about a tablespoon of rind, then juice it to produce about 60 ml of juice.
Mix the cornflour with the water in a medium-large mixing bowl, until blended. Ensure your cream cheese is softened, cut it up into small pieces and drop into mixing bowl. Stir together until it forgets its original shape.
Add in the ricotta cheese (and stir), the eggs (and stir), the sugar (and stir), the lemon rind (and stir), the lemon juice (and stir). Stir until smooth. Or forget all this stirring and just put it in your food processor.
It’s okay to have some small cream cheese “lumps” in the mixture, but squash any large lumps.
Get the base out of the fridge, and pour the filling in. Then put into the oven for at least 70 minutes (according to Donna).
Maybe our oven is stuffed, but after an hour we raised the temperature to 160 degrees, and kept cooking for another hour again. You can tell when it’s cooked because it will be browned a couple of inches from all the edges, and if you poke a skewer into the middle it will leave a hole when it’s removed.
Let the cake cool a little, and then put into the fridge until it is time to serve. Serve with thick cream.