Thursday, March 8, 2012
Sour Cherry Cheesecake
Mum's Birthday Cake.
My mother celebrated a special birthday yesterday on the 7th March. It was a lovely day, filled with babies, laughter, tea and cheesecake. As a family we received some horrid news, that I may or may not go into another time. So the day felt a little dampened not only by the crappy wet weather Sydney has been having over summer, now Autumn, but by this horrendous news. I'm sure things will be better soon.
I usually make a sponge cake, or something similar for someones birthday, but this time i wanted to make something a little different.
I know my mum loves cheesecake, baked cheesecake to be precise. I'm sorry but the cheesecake that you chill just doesn't cut the mustard. It HAS to be bakes or don't bother, otherwise it just tastes like sweet cheese in the form of a cake. When a cheesecake is baked, it has a light fluffiness too it, that i find hard to resist.
This cake is not overly sweet, some would say not that sweet at all. That's just the way my family and i like it. It has a sourness from the cherries, if you prefer things sweeter, add 1/4 cup more sugar to the cheesecake, and more sugar to taste, omitting the lemon completely, to the cherry topping.
My inspiration to make this came from one of Steph's, from Raspberri Cupcakes, recipe link here. If only I could make my cakes look as wonderful as she does, how amazing is this lady??!! :) Which in turn was based on one of Nigella's.
1 packet of Grantia biscuits
80 grams melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2x 250grams block of Philly cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4-1/2 cup caster sugar, I used 1/4 cup
1/2 vanilla bean
2 tins cherries
4 tablespoons flour
120 grams dark chocolate, best quality you can afford, with a high cocoa %.
1 tin cherries
1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 lemon squeezed
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Pulverise the biscuits with the butter and cinnamon in a blender, until it starts to come together. Add the almond meal and pulse until mixed through. Sometimes I add a splash of water to help it come together, I know you should add more butter, but I don't like to use too much.
Press into a foil and then baking paper lined tin, about 20cm. Chill in the fridge til the filling is ready.
Blend the cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar, 1/2 vanilla bean pod and all, 1 tin of cherries until smooth. Add the flour and dark choc and pulse until they are choc bits.
Pour onto the biscuit base. Add a tin of cherries to the cheesecake filling, pressing them into the cake.
bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I used an oven without a fan force, so it generally takes longer to bake. Turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven with the door ajar.
Once chilled make the sour cherry topping. Pour a tin of cherries into a small saucepan, adding the vanilla beans and the lemon and sugar to taste. Boil this for about 20 minutes on medium heat. Pour over cooled cheesecake. Place into the fridge to chill and set the topping into a jam.
I like to serve cheesecake at room temperature, not chilled.
This was definitely a favourite with mum and I yesterday. The smooth creamy filling, with the bitter dark chocolate bits and whole cherries, was amazing. And the sour but sweet cherry topping was perfect with the cheesecake.
I am so happy that I listen to Steph about the chocolate ganache, I think it would of been far too rich.