Dairy, Spring Recipes
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Basic Cheese Cake

Cheese cake can be eaten either raw or baked. Although different they are equally delicious. The one difference between the two is that raw cheesecake is brimming with beneficial LABs from your home-made cream cheese whilst the heat from baking kills off the micro-organisms present in the cream cheese should you decide to bake the cake. I prefer to work with yoghurt for my cheese cake since it is the most tangy of all the cultured milk products and works beautifully when off set by some fresh fruit and the added sweetness of  sugar or honey. This recipe is good for a 26 cm tin. Try and use a springform tin since it makes it easer to release the cake when ready.

Ingredients

For the base

250 gr of dry biscuit[1] (digestive, shortbread, speculaas)

80 gr. of butter – or a good pat of butter.

For the cake

1 lt. or 1 pt. of home-made yoghurt cream cheese

250 ml of fresh cream

150 gr of sugar

6 eggs (the yoke separated from the whites)

1 tsp. of vanilla essence

2 packets of powdered gelatine (omit if you are baking).

Directions

Day 1

Begin by preparing your home-made cream cheese following instructions set out here. The drier the better.

Day 2

Reduce the biscuits to crumbs either by pulsing in the food processer or by putting them in a plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. Melt a good pat of butter in a pan. Mix the butter with the crushed biscuits. Grease the tin and sprinkle the biscuit on the base of the tin. With the back of wide spoon flatten the biscuits. Leave it to rest in the fridge while you prepare the cake filling

Mix the cream cheese, fresh cream, sugar and vanila essence in a baking bowl and beat until smooth. Separate the egg yokes from the egg whites and beat the egg whites, with a pinch of salt, until they are stiff. Place the egg yokes in a pan together with the powdered gelatine and whisk together on a low heat – make sure not to overheat the egg yokes or they will scramble. If you are baking the cheese cake omit the gelatine and just use the yokes.  When all the gelatine has melted ( this should go quite quickly) pour the mixture into the bowl with cream cheese and stir. Finally fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture.

If you want to eat raw pour the cake filling over the top of the biscuits. Place in the fridge overnight or until the cake has set.

If you are baking cover the tin with silver foil and put in the oven on a low heat (140 degrees centigrade) and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Take it out of the oven and leave to rest for a further hour to allow the cake to settle and cool. If eaten too soon the cake will still be too runny and will not cut easily.

When it has set/cooled decorate with some fresh fruit and enjoy!

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[1] If you don’t have time to make your own biscuits you can use commercial biscuits but bear in mind that most commercial, branded biscuits contain hydrogenated rapeseed oil and isoglucose – including those labelled organic or which market themselves as “whole spelt” or “all natural”. Try and see if you can find an all butter biscuit which has no vegetable oils or sugar “syrups” listed on their ingredients.

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