Mmmmmmm cheesecake. For some reason I always forget about cheesecake. I just forget that it exists. But it has to be one of my favourite cakes, so it makes absolutely no sense. The only thing I can conclude is that I subconsciously block it out because I never just have 750g of cream cheese laying around in the fridge, ready to make into a cheesecake, and you might know by now how much I hate leaving the house to buy ingredients for baking.
Whatever the reason, I rarely make it. But I recently did make it! Of course, this involved going to the shops – but be reassured, this shopping trip was already planned, so it put my neurotic, control-freak, efficiency-obsessed mind at ease. And that was a good decision! (The baking of said cheesecake, not the shopping and planning, though I do generally think shopping and planning are good things. Especially when used in tandem). I think I’ll now try to bake cheesecakes more often (assuming of course that I’ve planned to buy cream cheese ahead of time).
Now, there are a few different types of cheesecake out there. I think it’s safe to say that the most common cheesecake in Australia is the unbaked type. But there are also baked cheesecakes…to be honest, I’m not too familiar with them. But they exist – Wiki assures me of that. And they exist in many-a culture too! (If you really want to know the history and diversity of the cheesecake, Wiki has a fairly extensive article about it).
Anyway, this particular recipe is certainly a cheesecake, but it’s untraditional in the sense that it isn’t dense and creamy like your average cheesecake. It is in fact baked, but it’s so light and fluffy that it seems quite unlike a cheesecake at all! That’s because instead of relying on masses of cream cheese for body, this cake relies on beaten egg whites. Clever thinking, Brits (the recipe is from the Great British Bake Off, surprise, surprise).
But fear not, I will also post a relatively standard cheesecake recipe soon! But in the mean time, why not experiment with something a bit different?
A Light and Fluffy Baked Cheesecake
Adapted from here.
175g plain sweet biscuits, such as Marie or Arrowroot biscuits
80g unsalted butter
250g cream cheese
65g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
3 large eggs, separated
150ml sour cream
1 cup fresh or frozen berries of your choosing (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced. Line the bottom of a 20-22cm spring-form cake tin.
To make the biscuit base, blitz the biscuits in a food processor and then place in a bowl, mix in the melted butter and press into the bottom of the prepared cake tin. Place in the fridge while you make the cheesecake mixture.
Beat the cream cheese with the caster sugar and the lemon zest for a few minutes until combined. Then add the sour cream and egg yolks and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks then fold into the cheese mixture. If you’re using any berries, add them now. Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the biscuit base.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160C, and keep baking for 30-35 minutes or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch, but still a bit wobbly.
Let the cheesecake cool then remove it from the tin.