The last of the cheesecakes, yet another section of the book finished!
Reading through the recipe a few days ago, I found this required a bought sponge flan case. I must admit I was very surprised to see this in Mary’s book, I thought she would have made the sponge base herself. But I did as I was told and went out and bought a sponge flan case – thankfully none of my friends saw me, otherwise I think I’d have a lot of explaining to do!
The oven was put on to preheat at Fan 140°C and a 20cm (8″) loose bottomed deep cake tin was lightly greased. Please note if you make this recipe that you do indeed need a deep cake tin. The flan case I had purchased was slightly too big, so using the bottom of the tin as a template I cut around this to make it the right size. Once this had been done, it was popped into the base of the tin.
Into a large bowl went 225g full fat soft cheese which was beaten with a wooden spoon until it was soft. I then added 3 large egg yolks (putting the whites to one side) and mixed these in to the cheese, together with 25g caster sugar. I also added 2 rounded tblsp clear honey, 50g ground almonds, 40g plain flour and 300ml buttermilk. These were beaten into the cheese mixture.
In a separate bowl the 3 egg whites were whisked (using my electric hand whisk I hasten to add) until they were stiff and to this I added 50g caster sugar and whisked this in to the stiff egg whites.. The egg whites were added to the cheese mixture and lightly folded in. There seemed an awful lot of mixture, I was glad that I made this in my largest bowl! The mixture was spooned into the tin (it came over 3/4 way up the tin) and a handful of flaked almonds were sprinkled over the surface.
Mary says to bake it in the preheated oven for approximately 1 1/4 hours. I set my timer for an hour and felt after this time it needed about another 10 minutes. The cheesecake was huge it had well and truly risen above the rim of the tin. After 10 minutes the top of the cheesecake was firm but still spongy to the touch, if that makes sense. The oven was turned off and the cheesecake was left in the oven (leaving the door open) until it had cooled.
Once it had cooled I ran a palette knife around the side of the tin and was pleased to see it came easily out of the tin. The finishing touch was to brush the top of the cheesecake with 1 tbsp warm honey.
The cheesecake looked huge, it didn’t actually sink that much when it was cooling. As Mary says this is a lovely subtly flavoured cheesecake and I must admit I think I’ve been converted and I do now enjoy baked cheesecakes. Before I started on this challenge they never appealed to me and I d always made chilled cheesecakes, but now, I have no fear…