Food, Recipes

Afternoon delight

“Cheesecake should be the most mellow mouthful of creamy sweetness that ever stuck your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Lusciously thick yet feathery light, with a hint of vanilla and a vague rumour of citrus, just enough to set your tastebuds wondering.” Terry Durack.


1 250g tub cream cheese (full fat!)
1 cup double cream
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
juice and zest of 1 lime


First prepare the pan. I use a 7″ springform tin – it’s easier to unmould that way. Butter it thoroughly then wrap foil tightly around the outside of the tin to prevent the batter seeping out on to the bottom of the oven.


I don’t think a crust is necessary. Often, it’s all you end up tasting, rather than allowing your fork to cut swathes through tender, unctuous, creamy cake. If you want to give a bit more definition to the finished cheesecake, add a coating of sponge or biscuit crumbs or very finely chopped nuts to the tin after greasing it. Using half a cup of crumbs, shake them gently, turning the pan to get an even coating.


In an electric mixer or food processor, beat the cream cheese until it is soft and creamy; blend in cream and sour cream; beat in sugar bit by bit; then the eggs, one by one, followed by the lime juice and zest. Finally, scrape the batter into the pan and rotate it in several quarter turns to settle the mixture and release any air bubbles.


Bake in a pre-heated 150C oven for 1 hour or until the cheesecake is just set. Check it by giving the tin a slight shake – the cake should still have a faint quiver in the centre. It will continue to cook after you take it from the oven, so don’t let it over-bake. Cheesecakes bake best at lower temperatures and for longer times, rather than vice versa. If it seems to have risen alarmingly during cooking, don’t worry – it will sink, but should do so uniformly, settling down evenly as it cools.


Remove it to a wire rack and let it rest for an hour before releasing the springform sides (the cake itself will indicate its readiness by starting to pull away). Then put it in the fridge to chill a few more hours before serving.


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