Saturday, 10 March 2012

Baked Vanilla Cheesecake with Stem Ginger and Fresh Passionfruit

Vanilla and stem ginger cheesecake with fresh passionfruit
I don't know why but I'd been hankering for a cheesecake. I wanted to make one to see how hard it was, and I wanted to eat one to enjoy that rich, sweet, satisfying taste that is baked cheesecake. It's a simple recipe. The quantities given make a cheesecake that will feed 8-10 people. Use a 24cm/9in cake tin. You could use 50g less biscuits for a thinner base if you want.

For the base
150g melted butter
250g (1 pack) of digestives, thoroughly crushed

Heat your oven to 180c/350f, grease the bottom and sides of a springform or loose bottom cake tin. Add the melted butter to the crushed biscuits and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

For the cheesecake
115g caster sugar
3 tablespoons cornflour (yes, tablespoons)
900g full-fat cream cheese at room temp
2 large eggs
115ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthways and seeds removed (use a pod, I used essence and it just didn't have enough vanilla taste)
zest of 1 lemon and zest of 1 orange (I don't know if this is strictly necessary)

Heat your oven to 200c/400f. Then you basically mix everything together in a big bowl. Start with the sugar and cornflour, then add the cream cheese. You'll save yourself an aching arm if you do this with an electric whisk. When that's all mixed add the eggs and beat well. Gradually add the cream, and then add the vanilla, and zest if using. I also added a whole heap of chopped stem ginger and its syrup. Turn your oven up to 200c/400f. Pour the cheese mixture over the cooled biscuit base, smooth it a bit then stick it in the oven for 40-45 minutes.

When you take it out stand it somewhere cool for 2-3 hours to give it time to set. It gets firmer the colder it is so stick in the fridge for another hour after its cooled to room temperature if you want to.

I served my cheesecake with some fresh passionfruit. I thought ginger and passionfruit would work nicely together. Which they did, but the stem ginger had lost some flavour during the cooking. Next time I think I'll use ginger nuts for the base to get the ginger taste in there. Still, it was very, very nice.

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