I repaired to a local noshery on Saturday, bleary and sleep deprived from supervising a tween-grrl sleepover, and then tidying up after said event. Luckily Mme Q was there (along with Lord Bob, Morgana and some architect). I soothed my frayed nerves with a few glasses of pedestrian rosé, a kilo of Lamb Iskander and two slices of Mme Q's cheesecake.
I am a fan of cheesecake, and especially the variety baked in New York or the New York style (as Murph will attest). This was a fine example, with rum-soaked raisins and a crumbly dark biscuit base, about which there was, I believe, some controversy.
It seemed the very exemplar of a cheesecake base to me and I am nothing if not a professional in these matters.
I believe I may have had two slices, and no dinner that night.
Mme Q has kindly graced us with her recipe.
Rum & Raisin Cheesecake
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Total cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Serves 10 – 12
400 gm biscuits (1 ½ packs of butternut snaps or gingernuts)
60g chopped butter, melted
750gm light/low fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup castor sugar
3 tablespoons dark rum (may need extra)
¾ cup raisins
3 eggs, separated
300 gm sour cream (light/low fat)
1 tablespoon plain flour
1-2 days before baking, soak the raisins in rum. Seal bowl in cling wrap. Splash a bit more rum in each day till raisins have reached optimum saturation.
• Grease a 23cm round springform tin with melted butter.
• Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
• Crush the biscuits, mix in melted butter.
• Press biscuit mix into base of tin and refrigerate till firm. (tip, use disposable gloves or a layer of plastic wrap to press it down and push the mix 3cm or so up the sides to create a pie shell)
• Preheat the oven to 160C.
• Beat the cream cheese till soft.
• Gradually beat in the sugar and 2 oz rum. (unless there is still this much swimming around in the raisin bowl)
• Separate the eggs. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
• Beat in the sour cream and the flour. Mix should be the consistency of thick cream & be lump-free.
• Fold in the raisins.
• In a clean, dry bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. (Do this last as once beaten they break down quickly)
• Whisk the egg whites lightly into the cream cheese mix.
• Pour the filling over the prepared crust.
• Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.
• Bake in a 160C oven for around 1 hour 10 minutes or until firm to the touch.
• Allow cheesecake to cool in the oven then refrigerate.
• I cook this on fan-bake, in the centre of the oven. It will crack but it will also rise and be very light. Cook on Classic Bake for a denser non-cracked cake.