The following recipe is from Nigella Lawson's book entitled, "How to be a Domestic Goddess". It's a delicious cheesecake, I've made it so many times and it always comes out so well although sometimes the cheesecake cracks in the middle but now I don't even mind that because it doesn't look manufactured and visually perfect, it looks wholesome and home-made and the seismic crack in the cake does not make any difference to the taste. This was the cake which enabled me to win first prize at a cake competition earlier in the year. See previous blog post dated 16 June entitled, cake competition for the background on this story.
For the base:
250g digestive biscuits crushed to fine crumbs
150g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
24cm springform tin
For the topping:
2 tablespoons cornflour
750g cream cheese
6 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150ml double cream
150ml sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
icing sugar for dusting
raspberries or blackberries to serve
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
Figure 1: Crush the biscuits.
Figure 2: Mix together the crushed biscuits, melted butter and 3 tablespoons of sugar, and press into the base of the Springform tin. Put into the fridge for about half an hour to set.
Figure 3: In a large bowl, mix together the remaining sugar and the cornflour. Beat in the cream cheese, egg yolks, and vanilla, either by hand or using an electric beater.
Figure 4: Slowly pour in both creams, beating constantly. Add the salt and lemon zest.
Figure 5: Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold into the cheese mixture. Scoop onto the chilled base. Bake for 1 to 1½ hours without opening the oven door, until the cheesecake is golden-brown on top. Turn off the heat and let the cake stand in the oven for 2 more hours. Then open the oven door and let it stand for a further hour.
Figure 6: Serve chilled, dusted with icing sugar. Serves 12-14.
I tend to halve the ingredients in this recipe when I make it and also because soft fruits are not readily available in Tunis, I sometimes warm up some apricot or cherry jam in a saucepan and strain the jam through a sieve and put a layer of jam in the middle of the cake to add some colour.
Figure 7: Here is the finished cheesecake with apricot jam on top.