Recipe 181 – Angel Sponge Cheesecake

Another lovely warm sunny day, so after flicking through the remaining recipes I have left to bake a summery pudding looked like a good idea.  With only a few cheesecakes left to make, this one ticked all the boxes and I had all the ingredients!

The recipe takes up two pages in the book, which means it will probably take quite a while to bake.  One disappointment was the fact there wasn’t a photo, so I wasn’t too sure how this was going to look at the end.  Hopefully I made it correctly!

Instead of the usual biscuit base associated with a cheesecake, I was surprised to see that this one had a sponge base.  So first of all it was on with the oven to preheat at Fan 160°C.  My large 23cm (9″) deep loose bottomed cake tin was lightly greased and the bottom lined with baking parchment.

Looking at the recipe for the sponge it was in fact a ‘swiss roll’ recipe with just the three ingredients.  Into a large mixing bowl went 2 large eggs together with 75g caster sugar.  The mixture was whisked until it was thick and turned pale in colour.  The whisk should leave a trial on the top of the mixture when lifted out.  50g self-raising flour was then sieved on the top of the beaten mixture and gently folded in using a large metal spoon.  It is always at this point I think I’ve combined all the flour, only to find a little ‘bubble’ lurking in the bottom.  So another gentle fold of the mixture was required before I turned it into the tin.  There didn’t seem to be very much mixture (it was in fact half the recipe required for a swiss roll).  The tin was tipped from side to side in order to allow the mixture to spread out evenly.  Hopefully the cake would rise considerably, as it looked lost in the big tin!

Into the oven the cake went for 25 minutes.  After this time it had started to shrink away from the sides and was springy to the touch when lightly pressed in the middle.  After leaving it to cool in the tin for a few minutes the cake was turned out and the parchment peeled off.  It was allowed to cool completely on a wire rack.

In the meantime the cake tin was washed and dried and the base and sides were lined with baking parchment.   I’ve never done this half way through a recipe before, I was intrigued as to what came next.  Once the cake was completely cool (which wasn’t very long as it wasn’t that deep) it was cut very carefully in half horizontally.  Once layer was placed into the cake tin, cut side up.

It was then time to make the cheesecake filling.  Into a large bowl went 100g softened unsalted butter.  This was beaten well until it was lovely and soft.  150g caster sugar was added and beaten in until light and fluffy.  This was quite difficult as there seemed to be a lot of sugar for the butter, but eventually I got the consistency required.  Three large eggs were then separated with the whites put to one side.  The egg yolks were added to the mixture together with the grated rind and juice from two oranges and 200g low (or medium) fat soft cheese.  I actually added full fat as I had bought the wrong one!!  I hoped this wouldn’t make too much of a difference, if anything it would be creamier and more fattening!!  This was beaten together until it was smooth and well mixed.  The next ingredient to go in was 300ml double cream which had been whipped until it held its shape.  My opinion that cheesecakes were a healthy pudding were slowly being pushed from my mind, there was no way this was going to be healthy!  The cream was folded into the cheese mixture.  One more ingredient to go!  The egg whites were whisked together until they were stiff but not dry and then folded into the mixture.

The mixture was spooned into the tin on top of the sponge and the surface levelled.  Gently the other half of the sponge was placed on top of this mixture (cut side down).  The tin was covered with clingfilm and the cheesecake was put into the fridge to set.  Mary suggests leaving it for 4 hours in order for it to set, I actually left mine for 24 hours as it wasn’t needed until the next day.

I was quite nervous about turning the cheesecake out, but very carefully I removed the cheesecake from the tin and peeled away the parchment.  To finish off the top was sprinkled with icing sugar and the top decorated with orange segments.  Mary does say once iced to mark the top into sections with the back of a knife but I didn’t do this as I knew the icing sugar would dissolve very quickly.

It was then time to cut the cheesecake!  Taste wise it was fantastic, a light orange flavour and very refreshing.  Key Lime Pie was my favourite so far from this section of the book, but I think this has now taken its place.  It not only tasted good, I thought it looked quite stunning too,  One word of caution though if you are making and eating this on a hot day, make sure you put it back in the fridge soon after cutting it as it does begin to ‘sag’ a bit!

Angel Sponge Cheesecake

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