Momo's Cheesecake

It was maybe 1AM when I finally put my head on my pillow ready to turn in for the night but my mind was racing. In that period between sleep and consciousness my mind always seems to go through a shut-down ritual of analysing events that had occurred that very day. Maybe it's a way for salient themes and events to be transferred into my long-term memory. This twilight period also produces an opportunity for me tease out creative ideas and hypotheses. What if I hadn't had that last piece of piece of pizza? What if I read more instead of wasting my time watching Micky Blue Eyes (for the third time)? Why can't I get to sleep? Why are there no desserts with cucumber as a starring ingredient?

In all fairness it wasn't the first time I'd thought of using cucumbers in a sweet dish. The thought had crossed my mind a few months back whilst preparing a simple salad. Surely there was room for a crossover with a vegetable that didn't really have a distinct flavour that only pertained to savoury foods. And then it clicked...Candied cucumber cheesecake!

...Or so I thought. Several hours spent in the kitchen trying to produce a candied cucumber amounted to nothing (nothing particularly tasty). In fact I lost track of the candied cucumber experiment and moved on to make cucumber jelly, cucumber jam and a flavoured cucumber juice. The taste of all three had promise but didn't match the creamy cheesecake I wanted to pair it with. The subtle cucumber taste was lost in a sea of cream cheese which rendered it as useful as adding a flavourless jelly to the mix.

Either way that meant that the cheesecake I was making had to rise to the occasion and well this recipe never disappoints me. This is in fact my very own creation that is based on a few of my favourite cheesecake recipes. I'm a big fan of moist just-set cheesecake and this recipe is perfect for that. Even without the crazy cucumber idea!

2 x 300 gram packs of cream cheese
300 ml double cream
3 x tablespoons of cornflour
1 x large egg
half cup of sugar
2 x teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 cup crushed digestive biscuits
half cup melted butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup of sugar

Add the ingredients for the base in a bowl and mix together until starting to bind. Transfer to a buttered baking tin and press gently to give an even base. Put the tin in the freezer for five minutes whilst you're making the filling. Before commencing with the filling you should turn on the oven to gas mark 4 and make sure your oven shelf is in the centre of the oven. Put the sugar and cornflour in a bowl and add the two packets of cream cheese. Work with a metal spoon to a softer consistency, making sure to incorporate the dry ingredients in fully. Crack the egg and beat it in. Switch the metal spoon for a whisk. Slowly pour the double cream in whilst whisking the mixture. Make sure not to beat the mixture too much - it should be dense but also quite light on the wrist; you just want to get some air in the filling. Pour two teaspoons of vanilla extract into the mixture and slowly work it in making sure not to cut the air out.

Take the baking tin out of the freezer and gently pour the filling on top. Try and make the top as even as possible. Put the tin in the preheated oven for 30 minutes (it should be getting a brown ring at this point). Now you have two choices - dry cheesecake fans need keep the cheesecake in for up to 10 minutes (the cheesecake should have a slight wobble in the centre) whilst those who prefer a more moist centre (like me!) should turn the oven down to a lower temperature and keep the oven door ajar. Once the cooking time is up, transfer the tin to a wire rack and let cool for 3 hours. After the 3 hours are up put the tin in the fridge overnight (you could eat it then, but I think letting it refrigerate adds more to the consistency) and voila! A slog, but a damn good cheesecake!


10 August 2009 at 16:34 Phoo-D said...

I'm typically not a big fan of cheesecake but I've never tried one with the consistency shown in your photos, and I think I would like it that way! Beautiful job.
(P.S. The fortune cookie scene in Mickey Blue Eyes makes me laugh just thinking about it!)

10 August 2009 at 21:56 M. A. Salha said...

Thanks. This is really addictive stuff and the best thing about it is that it gets better as it ages in the fridge. I think it's at its best 3 days after baking.

Haha, Micky Blue Eyes is one of those films that is so bad yet so watchable that you take it to heart. I also love that scene.

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