It was the London Marathon last Sunday and as my brother was running it I thought it was a perfect excuse to do some baking as a ‘Well Done’ gift for crossing the finish line. I was looking forward to cooking dinner on Saturday but my brother informed me that he was making lasagna, a HUGE one, and that there was no need for me to cook anything. Although I do enjoy a good lasagna I was actually quite looking forward to planning a recipe and trying out something new. It’s difficult in my house to ever be the one to cook, some people may love that, but I’ve always believed that if you never get the chance to do it for yourself, how are you going to learn? I don’t complain so much on a work night but on a weekend it would be nice to have the chance to cook more. Therefore, I decided to help with the lasagna by chopping the mushrooms and repeatedly exclaiming to Ed, “Three packets of mince!!” Despite all my moaning and best efforts to say, “not another jar of sauce” or “lay off the cheese just a tad”, the lasagna was actually one of the best I’ve had in a long time. It definitely beat my cheesy mess of a veggie lasagna I tried to make some months back which looked more like slush than a tasty pasta dish.
Staying on the topic of cheese, the cake which I decided to bake for Ed’s, ‘Well Done’ treat was a strawberry baked cheesecake. I made this cheesecake a few years back and not only was it simple to make but it went down an absolute treat. I almost didn’t make it as I had also seen an incredible recipe for an amazing double chocolate cheesecake however due to the fact that since Easter I haven’t had a night free of chocolate I decided to go for more fruity option. The original recipe is actually for a raspberry cheesecake but has anyone else noticed how pricey raspberries are at the moment: £3.69 for 200g (shocking!) and unfortunately I wasn’t near any fruit markets so I settled for the 400g of strawberries for £2. It works just as well I think with strawberries but I think If I were to make it again I would give raspberries ago.
Here is the recipe:
- 8 digestive biscuits
- 50g butter , melted
- 600g cream cheese
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 175g caster sugar
- vanilla extract
- 2 eggs , plus 1 yolk
- 142ml pot soured cream
- 300g raspberries pr strawberries
- icing sugar
1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Crush 8 digestive biscuits in a food processor (or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with 50g melted butter. Press into a 20cm springform tin and bake for 5 minutes, then cool
This is where I must have gone wrong as rather than the texture being light and fluffy it went super liquidy! Having made cakes a lot in the past I should have known to add more flour or something to make it thicker but my head must not have been thinking straight and I went ahead with putting it in the tin.
Next time I would most definitely suggest beating it with a fork rather than using an electric mixer.
3. Stir in 150g raspberries and pour into the tin. Bake for 40 minutes and then check, it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Leave in the tin to cool.
Look at this mess! I thought since I made it I might as well just put it in the oven and see what happens and hey presto!Not great but not terrible either, ok slightly terrible but funnily it was edible.
The next part of the recipe which I left out this time due bad baking is:
4. Using the remaining 150g raspberries, keep a few for the top and put the rest in a pan with 1 tbsp icing sugar. Heat until juicy and then squash with a fork. Push through a sieve. Serve the cheesecake with the raspberry sauce and raspberries.
Cheesecakes are a dessert I never liked when I was small however after having probably the best cheesecake, possibly one of the best desserts in my life, that being the devil’s food cheesecake in Juniors off Times Square in New York, I vowed I would definitely eat more cheesecake. I still have fond memories of sitting in Juniors with two of my best friends after we’d been travelling together for months and feasting on different humungous slices of cheesecake. My friend Marie bought the strawberry shortcake cheesecake, Emily bought the chocolate moose and I bought the devil’s food. We each tried the others and thought they were all delicious but were all super satisfied with our own choices. The slice was so big we actually had to get take away boxes. The next day Emily and I were due to fly back home to England however our flight was delayed due to the ash cloud in Iceland. Fortunately we were put up in a hotel, not just any hotel, but the Marriott for the next three nights. On our last night we ended up getting talked in to going to a comedy night which was terrible! Halfway through Emily turned to me and asked, “Shall we go to Juniors and get a cheesecake?” Instantly the night got better as we left, bought a slice of cheesecake, I bought the exact same one because it was just too good, and headed back to our hotel, where we stuffed our faces. Yet again we couldn’t finish the slice so both ended up having cheesecake for breakfast. God, I need to go back to New York!
When made correctly this cheesecake is delicious. Despite the liquid mixture the taste of the cheesecake wasn’t terrible however the texture was wrong. As the mixture had been too wet the sponge biscuit base went too soggy and therefore didn’t create the right consistency. Thankfully for me my brother was more in the mood for a couple of drinks rather than some cake so wasn’t too fazed by not having a slice of soggy cheesecake. I will definitely be trying it again although I have recently found a juniors cheesecake recipe book online so may just have to give one of those recipes a go first instead!
This failed. But here’s my favourite ever cheesecake.