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Tag: cheesecake

Cheesecake

Look, I baked you a cake. Nice of me isn’t it? That’s because I love you. And because I just can’t eat a whole cheesecake by myself, I need help in sharing the calories. That’s what true friends are for.

Cheesecake was a coming of age thing for me. Like wine or maybe even blue cheese for some, it took me a good long time to get used to. Maybe because what I grew up with in Europe was nowhere near as good as what I’m getting my teeth into now. Mind, it has to be worth it. If I’m going to eat a piece of cream cheese as big as a brick I want to taste the calories please. I want to taste every gram of guilty pleasure. I want it to be creamy, silky and smooth, with a deliciously buttery base. Because life’s too short.

 Cheesecake of Cheesecakes

2 Tbsp caster sugar

150g frozen raspberries

500g granita biscuits, roughly crushed

200g salted butter, melted

750g cream cheese, softened

250g sour cream

330g caster sugar

1 lemon, juice

finely grated rind of half an orange

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

½ vanilla bean, seeds (if you can afford it – I just think the little black dots elevate it from great to sexy)

4 eggs

combine the sugar and the raspberries in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and raspberries are soft. Remove and pass through a sieve. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grind the biscuits to a fine powder and combine with the melted butter. Line the base of a 24cm tin and add crumb mixture, patting it firmly into the base and up the sides. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and reduce heat to 150°C.

Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add the sour cream, the sugar, the juice, rind and vanilla and keep on beating until the sugar is dissolved. Add the eggs, one at a time, until you’ve got a volumtiously creamy cheesecake filling in front of you. Resist the urge to eat it all and spoon into the cooled baking tin. Draw a few swirls with the raspberry sauce on top of the cheesecake filling and make it look fancy by pulling the back of a spoon through it. Or just leave it. But I like fancy.

Place into the oven. Place a baking tray beneath it, and fill it about halfway with some water. This is the secret to the cheesecake’s dreamy texture, promise. Make sure you top it up if it runs low during the baking process.

So now, bake this little gem for 1½ hours. Then take out of the oven, cool, and keep in the fridge for a few hours or over night.

Serve it cut into thin slices with a few dabs of the remaining raspberry sauce and a scattering of raspberries. And if you still feel guilty (you sinful person you) then run around your house five times. Done. Time for another slice.

Chocolatiness

I like brownies. I like them a lot. So do you. Especially with walnuts and big chunks of dark chocolate. Or blonde with toasted macadamia nuts and raspberries. Yum right? I like them dense and chewy, especially out of the freezer. Sounds weird? Have you ever had a frozen mars bar? I needn’t say more. The thing with these brownies here is that they’re a winner in the fancy dress department. All dark and mysterious with a lacy ribbon of creamy white goodness, flirtaciously inviting you to take a naughty bite.

Cheesecake Brownies

200g unsalted butter, diced
100g good quality 70% dark chocolate, chopped
200g dark chocolate melts, chopped, half set aside
3 eggs
250g caster sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
115g plain flour

250g cream cheese, softened
80g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 24 x 24cm tin with baking parchment.

Melt the butter and the two types of chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and the vanilla and beat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a jug, whisk the eggs, the sugar and the salt until the mixture lightens to a creamy custard colour. Pour into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Add the flour, then the chocolate. Once it looks all delicious and glossy, pour half into the prepared tin. Make sure you scoop out some of the chocolate bits from the pan, as they tend to sink to the bottom. Now dollop the cheesecake mixture over the top, as regularly or irregularly as you like. Cover with the rest of the brownie batter. Send the tin off to oven land for about 40-55 minutes, checking after 30 mins to see where the giant brownie is up to. A skewer inserted should not come out clean, rather stickily covered in crumbs. Then, remove from the oven and cool. It will continue to bake once out of the oven, so don’t be afraid of taking it out too early.

Don’t eat this still warm. It’s best cold, or frozen. With a cup of tea. Or ice cream. Or for breakfast. Or instead of dinner.

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