I have become slightly obsessed with cheesecakes recently, both baked and set. I have drafts of posts for baked rhubarb swirl cheesecake (a bit like a rhubarb and custard cheesecake) and a set mango cheesecake, amongst others. Both were delicious but, if you follow this blog, you’ll know that I have been having a crisis of confidence with both my pictures and my words. So neither have made it to an actual post. And although I have been doing a lot of baking recently, both for myself and for other people, somehow the blog has been completely neglected. I needed something to re-inspire me and I found that in a Food Photography course I did the other weekend at the Tante Marie cookery school in Woking. I’ve been practicing on Instagram. And suddenly all the things my brother, who is an excellent photographer, has been trying to tell me about how to use my camera are starting to make sense. Probably because it was explained to me in a classroom environment instead of when I was trying to cook the dinner, by a man who wasn’t my brother.
This recipe is perfect for a party or barbecue – it is best made a day ahead and decorated on the day. And if you do get cracks in the top you can hide them with the fresh fruit, which also helps you feel like you are eating something vaguely healthy. If you don’t have sour cream you can make it with double cream and some lemon juice.
So I will be making the rhubarb swirl cheesecake, and the mango cheesecake again in the hope that I can get some decent photos of them this time and maybe they will make it to a post after all. In the meantime I have plans for a key lime style cheesecake to take to a barbecue next week, and I found a baked carrot and almond cheesecake in Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake that I want to make this week. He says “Try it for afternoon tea on a sunny summer’s day”. It’s a sunny summer’s day today, I don’t think I need much more incentive than that. So watch this cheesecake. I mean space.
150g digestive biscuits
600g full fat cream cheese
250g ricotta cheese
200ml soured cream (or double cream plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
30g plain flour
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to decorate
Set the oven to 160°C. Grease, and line the base of, a 9″ springform cake tin.
Turn the biscuits into crumbs, either by putting them in a large bag and banging them with a rolling pin, or in a food processor. Put them into a large bowl.
Melt the butter and pour over the biscuit crumbs. Mix well and tip into the base of the tin. Press down firmly with the back of a spoon.
Refrigerate while you make the topping.
Mix together the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth.
Add the eggs and mix in.
Mix in the flour.
Pour the mixture over the biscuit base.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the cheesecake is set but still wobbles. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar. Leave in the oven until the oven is cool.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before removing from the tin and decorating.
Decorate with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries just before serving.