I like baked cheesecake. Most cheesecake these days seems to be the chill-and-set type. It has the same name, but it isn’t the same thing. The chilled type is claggy and sweet, and reminds me of quark, a junket type pudding, clinging to your teeth slightly. A baked cheese cake is more mellow, more interesting and has more texture when you eat it.
I like buying slices of cheesecake from bagel bakeries. Often the cake is so rich that the slice you buy is really too big to eat alone, unless you have a huge appetite. I like to cut it into smaller pieces and share the bounty.
This cheesecake is a light version of the baked original. It’s not a keeper, it’s an eater, and that isn’t usually a problem, as it is delicious and light. The consistency is not the same as a full fat cheesecake, but this one is unlikely to give you a heart attack. Lightly flavoured with lemon zest and vanilla, it goes well with lemon sorbet, vanilla ice cream and/or cream.
You need a high sided tin - the cake will rise quite a lot. If you haven't got one, you can wrap folded greaseproof paper around the tin and tie on with string.
For this recipe you need:
Two large bowls
A 20cm loose based cake tin
I use a hand blender, with a small bowl attachment.
250g digestive biscuits
430g cottage cheese
125g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
Zest of 2 lemons
Set the oven to Gas Mark 3/
Butter the tin, line if you like (I don't bother).
- Melt the butter and mix with the finely crushed digestive biscuits.
- Press biscuit and butter mixture evenly across the bottom of your buttered cake tin
- Blend the cottage cheese until it’s smooth
- Separate the yolks from the eggs (put whites in other bowl) and beat them into the cottage cheese, along with the vanilla essence, lemon zest, sugar and cornflour,, until everything is uniformly combined.
- Beat the egg whites until they make stiff shiny peaks
- Fold the cottage cheese mixture into the egg whites and pour the combined mxture over the biscuit base.
Cook for 1.5h, then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven. Wait until it's cooled completely before removing from the tin.