Cheeseburger Gothic

Madame Quokka's cheesecake (UPDATED with recipe.)

Posted June 16, 2013 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

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.

Apologies for the poor focus. I was distracted by the prospect of eating the subject.

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

BISCUIT BASE:
400 gm biscuits (1 ½ packs of butternut snaps or gingernuts)
60g chopped butter, melted

FILLING:
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
Ground nutmeg

METHOD
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.

BISCUIT BASE
• 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.

FILLING
• 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.

BAKING
• 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.

NOTES:
• 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.

70 Responses to ‘Madame Quokka's cheesecake (UPDATED with recipe.)’

Spanner is gonna tell you...

Posted June 16, 2013

Where is Spanner's cheesecake?

Yes where. Is. Spanner's. Cheese. Cake?

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 16, 2013

I ate it.

Spanner puts forth...

Posted June 16, 2013

Touché JB. Touché.

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tqft reckons...

Posted June 16, 2013

Unacceptable. No samples for the masses.

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted June 16, 2013

And one for the Missus?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted June 16, 2013

Gone.

Quokka puts forth...

Posted June 16, 2013

Khan Greybeard just ate the last of it. With clotted cream and fresh raspberries.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 16, 2013

It is occasionally difficult to express oneself fully in text. So in order to properly express my appreciation you'll have to imagine me with my shirt pulled up over my face an running around with my arms outstretched.

I wish I could do my famous "I got cheesecake & You didn't" dance for Khan Greybeard's benefit, but it would seem Aunty Q is a sucker for decrepitude.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 16, 2013

I ate it for breakfast. And still feel sick.

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BigWillieStyle swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 16, 2013

Bloke I work with bakes cakes as a bit of a hobby. Per my request, he made a chocolate cheesecake on my birthday last year, and I kindly consented to letting the rest of the staff have a glimpse before repairing to my office and eating it. I was still having sugar-induced hallucinations a week later.

I like cheesecake.

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beeso swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 16, 2013

I find baked cheesecake like Star Trek, boring and unsatisfying.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted June 16, 2013

Ah, you speak of that which you do not know. Is this normal for the internet?

beeso swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 16, 2013

Have you tried the other kind?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted June 16, 2013

I am friend to all the cheesecakes.

Timmo asserts...

Posted June 16, 2013

I'm with ya Beeso - I much prefer the rich stickiness of the unbaked kind than the baked ones.

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BigWillieStyle is gonna tell you...

Posted June 16, 2013

Hang on. She took her own cheesecake to an eatery? How did that go down with the owner?

Quokka reckons...

Posted June 18, 2013

It was smuggled in as Birthday Cake. They were really very obliging, especially given the mess we left behind us. It's a very messy cake.

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NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 16, 2013

Crazy Turk owner was past out on home brew Arak so didn't care. Waitress was so slow she may not have noticed.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted June 16, 2013

I bribed them. With cheesecake.

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Darth Greybeard asserts...

Posted June 16, 2013

It was a very good cheesecake. Right down to the last (the very last) crumbs. But I must respond to Aunty Q with my signature dish, the salted caramel brownies. Prepare yourself Q!

Quokka puts forth...

Posted June 17, 2013

I get the bad feeling that preparation involves 3 weeks on the treadmill and 100 situps a day.

Coriolisdave mutters...

Posted June 17, 2013

This thread is useless without recipes.

USELESS.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted June 17, 2013

And now you have a recipe

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted June 17, 2013

I see we are now out of the closet about it rather than drenching it with blueberry sauce and calling it a serving of fruit.

My own digestive problems make cheesecake consumption problematic but just before our lunch with Birmingham back in 2009, Cindy and I shared a bit of cheesecake in Central Park, right by the memorial to the USS Maine. Not only was it the best cheesecake I'd ever had, it didn't tear up my stomach either.

Birmingham, having missed out, got his at Carnegie Deli after a mountainous pastrami on rye.

The texture on the above subject is different from what I am used to. I wonder why that is? I'm used to seeing something more solid, creamy whereas the above looks more cake like in texture.

This is not meant as a criticism (I'm half a planet away so it is not like I can sample it) but an honest question.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Quokka mumbles...

Posted June 17, 2013

Murph - this is probably because I share Beeso's opinions of baked cheesecake, and this one seems to be lighter and has more flavour than the traditional NYC. I like eating it hot out of the oven when it is still light and fluffy and the rum is still steaming out of the raisin's engorged bellies.

I used Arnott's Butternut Snap biscuits for the base (with some grumbling from The Bloke that I did not use gingernuts, his personal fave) and I think the texture arises from separating the eggs. You whisk the eggwhites until stiff peaks form (meringue consistency) and swirl that through the philly cheese, sour cream, sugar, egg yolk & raisin mix at the very last. Not that I passed high school chemistry, but I think that helps to aerate the mix so it comes out very moist and light and fluffy.

I usually start soaking the raisins in rum 2-3 days prior to cooking. Recipe calls for 3 oz rum but I just keep topping it up each day until the raisins have reached their capacity with sucking it all in.

My only sorrow is that I'm reduced to using Bundy Rum. We had a friend who lived in Fiji who used to visit sporadically, bearing gifts of Bounty Overproof 60% alcohol dark rum. You could probably run a lawn mower on it but wow, it made the best R&R brownies and cheesecakes that I've ever done. I miss that stuff.

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted June 17, 2013

Wow, thanks for the response, Quokka.

I'm so used to eating cheesecake chilled.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Quokka would have you know...

Posted June 17, 2013

No worries, Murph.

I compared notes with my NYC recipe (which may not be what you guys are used to but seems similar to what I've eaten in cafes here) and my recipe uses half the quantity of sugar, 3 eggs instead of 4 and twice as much sour cream. NYC uses normal cream, I think.

Also only 1 oz of flour, so it gets more of the texture of a light quiche or a custardy thing when it's hot. It's definitely not as solid as a NYC when it's chilled and while it's still good, its an entirely different beast. It's not as sweet, you can taste the rum & the sour cream. Normally I'd use Light (low fat) cream cheese but unfortunately for all our waist lines, the store was out when I did my pantry stocking.

I don't think I could make it, much less eat it, in one of our tropical summers.

If anyone wants the recipe I will charge Khan Greybeard with the task of posting it. You've all heard the tales of my Tech Destroying Force Field. No need to explain my relationship with the scanner, surely?

UntamedSnark is gonna tell you...

Posted June 17, 2013

Yes please to the recipe!

I am always looking for a good baked cheesecake recipe, my grandfather (Hungarian) used to make a wonderful one with a the boozy rasins and a shortcrust latice over the top, sadly I don't have his recipe and the ones I have made up or found just don't compare.

The one in the picture looks texturally the same as his

Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted June 17, 2013

Aunty have you tried CSR Inner Circle rum OP much nicer than Bundy. Thanks for the recipe.

Madam Morgana mumbles...

Posted June 18, 2013

This was an outstanding cheesecake. I wish I could eat it again. Oh, and thanks everyone for a delightful lunch.

Disclaimer: that attending architect was not the shaven-legged arrow wielding scourge of the bikeways. It was some other dude.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted June 17, 2013

The baked New York style cheesecake is uniquely American and worthy of jingoistic pride. Bravo, Q.

I know what I want when I return your way. I'll trade you a neck tie I borrowed from some punter.

The classic crust is a combination of butter and what we call Graham Crackers. I'n not sure what a dark biscuit is but it sounds like the title of a really awful science fiction space horror movie ("In space no one can hear you ask for a glass of milk").

"I ate it for breakfast. And still feel sick."

That is because you ate too much (understandable) and probably didn't include strong black coffee.

Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted June 17, 2013

PNB I only ever make this in winter as the temps allow for weeks of loose clothing to disguise the inflation of the inner tubing that goes hand in hand with baked cheesecake.

In summer I make a cheesecake slice which has three layers - a shortbread-like pastry, cheesecake filling and a passionfruit jelly on top. Which means you can delude yourself you've consumed a light dessert of tropical fruit.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted June 17, 2013

Unacceptable. I want what those pictures show.

The raisins are optional.

Lulu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 17, 2013

Uniquely American, you say? Yet somehow that picture up there looks a lot like the cheesecakes my (late) German grandmother used to make. I think NYC must have a large population of Central European grandmothers who brought their recipes with them.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted June 17, 2013

Okay, perhaps I exaggerated. But only a bit. New York style cheese cake riffs off of German Käsekuchen just as American fruit pies descend from strudel. The result is reminicent of the European original but very American in the final analysis.

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 17, 2013

So sorry we weren't able to make it, sounds a pleasant day. I feel another expeditionary incursion to Redcliffistan is in order; perhaps a handful of weekends from now.

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted June 17, 2013

Ah well, sick elderly relatives trumps cocktails and cheesecake. You were very good to go visit the old timer. And think of the suffering you've been spared on the treadmill, burning it all off.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted June 17, 2013

I am just about to hit that treadmill.

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Quokka asserts...

Posted June 17, 2013

Give it a sucker punch from me.

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Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted June 17, 2013

It looks divine. Baked cheesecake has to be the winner. Does it work well with Ginger Nut biscuit base? And boozed up raisins!!

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted June 17, 2013

It would work great with a ginger nut buscuit base.

Quokka asserts...

Posted June 17, 2013

Definitely. It's just that I vaguely recall a conversation at Blunty where someone was dissing gingernuts and for the life of me I cannot remember who. So I deemed it safer to use the butternuts.

These are close in flavour to what we here in Oz call an Anzac Biscuit. The gingernuts are much sweeter and they pack a punch but they're a lovely contrast with the sourness/rumminess of the filling. Hence my spouse's whining. If his body floats in on the tide, he had it coming.

Brother PorkChop reckons...

Posted June 17, 2013

Done. I was going to do steamed golden syrup pudding this weekend but it is now going to be an attempt on the Mme Quokka cheesecake deluxe with boozy fruit and gingernut biscuit base.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted June 17, 2013

Make sure you let us know how it turns out.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted June 17, 2013

drool. I love cheesecake as well. I interviewed my now mother-in-law to make sure she was able to pass the cheesecake test (you can't be too careful). I also bake a controversial cheesecake - the chocolate biscuit base has a liberal mixture of a cocoa/chilli mix.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 17, 2013

What the...!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted June 17, 2013

What an interesting concept. Chocolate and chilli is a great combination. It just has to go well with the creamy goodness of cheese cake.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted June 17, 2013

The trick is to not overdo the chilli (powder).

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 17, 2013

Chocolate + Chilli + Cherry + Cheesecake/Cupcake = C4

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted June 17, 2013

Right. I just sent JB the file with the cheesecake recipe, dumbed down (or made clearer) from the original Family Circle recipe that I modified - becoz the one in their book didn't FKN work.

Hopefully there's no typos. If so I blame sugar burnout.

Being as school holidays are upon us I've adapted it to make it easier for junior master-chef practice. And for those of you who are likely to absorb more rum than the raisins do, and who are as such at risk of becoming mildly addled.

damian mutters...

Posted June 17, 2013

I have my mum's handwritten notes somwhere for a polenta fruit cake that I think would appeal to cheesecake fans. This thought is based mostly around texture and a sort of sensibility around flavor. As I recall (it's a few years since either of us made one), it's deceptively healthy.

Will dig out one day, the old Robert Carrier book it's stuck in is on one of the shelves down in the hold.

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Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted June 17, 2013

Thanks Muchly,

I have made 1 cheesecake in my life so far.

Gonna have a go at dis one!

It looks beautiful.

Thank You

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AuntyLou mumbles...

Posted June 17, 2013

Wow! Madame Quokka is most generous! Not sure that I would do the same...assuming that I ever made anything that was worthy of the expressions of delight that this cheesecake has elicited. Thank you so much. I have always been a bit scared of having a bash at baked cheesecakes...but I think the said dumbing down may be sufficient to tempt!

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted June 18, 2013

I am a great believer that if you can read, you can cook. My mother died when I was 6 and Dad's repertoire extended to fry ups for breakfast, ham sandwiches with a thick layer of tomato sauce for lunch, and chops for dinner. Unsurprisingly I became a vegetarian at 15.

I am a self-taught cook, with some gracious input from my grandmother, who came from a family of bakers and whose cakes and biscuits were legendary, and some hippy house-mates who passed on the art of making lentils edible.

So as much as I would have loved to grow up under the guidance of 3 generations of CWA grand poobahs, truly, I'm evidence that it's a skill you can learn from reading, practice, and having no irate mother to scream at you when you fuck up and burn holes in the kitchen lino. All things considered, Dad took that rather well.

Brother PorkChop ducks in to say...

Posted June 18, 2013

This weekend's mission is to try the new recipe. Much appreciated!!

Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted June 18, 2013

Bon Appetit, Brother Porkchop.

It was interesting to hear those of you with German/Eastern European heritage saying that the recipe looked familiar. Ages ago, before West End became yuppified, there was an annual multi-cultural festival in Musgrave Park. I remember spending an inordinate amount of time at the Russian Cake Stall where they had the most fabulous array of exotic and unfamiliar baked goods. I ate my way through many samples and what I couldn't eat I took home. I think that might have been what drew me to this cheesecake recipe, I thought I'd seen something similar before.

AuntyLou mutters...

Posted June 19, 2013

Sorry Quokka...I penned a long and erudite missive of solidarity re the untutored cook...& the interwebz ate it! Suffice to say, despite my advancing years, I am totally invested in the advancement of experimental cooking - & I now have a hubby who is happy to dispose of the most astray of the results. Hence your lovely recipe will probably get a guernsey in the near future. Wish me luck :)

Quokka mumbles...

Posted June 20, 2013

Good luck!

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted June 18, 2013
WAIT A MOMENT.

Security. SECURITY.
Someone let a leaf & twig muncher in here. After all her talking up of salty porcine goodness she accidently outs herself @ 50+ comments as, as a, I barely have the courage to whisper it; a vego.

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Quokka asserts...

Posted June 18, 2013
Relax Nblob, it didn't stick beyond the 7 year itch point. At which point I got glandular fever, became very thin & anaemic & had to be re-issued with my Carnivore Badge. Still not a big fan of meat but will put it in my body 3-4 x pw, just enough to keep my iron count. Bacon is the only animal product I would genuinely miss if I were to go all tofu & betel leaf again. Oh wait, they're still some of my favourite things.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted June 18, 2013
Whew. You had a fella worried. I had wondered how you keep your girlish trim figure in the face of bakery noms. When you said the V word, it all fell into place. V's beong all undernourished & such. Now the Most Likely Hypothesis is something the Coven cooked up; Eye of Newt type business.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted June 18, 2013

As if I'd let one a them in here.

Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted June 19, 2013

Ah, Nblob, I would cite decades of consistency with clean living and regular exercise but none would believe me. So yes, its the Dark Arts and a diet of small unruly and unmissed children.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted June 19, 2013

I am a baco-vegan (a vegan who eats bacon). Is my status here in jeopardy?

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted June 20, 2013

"flexitarians have the best of both worlds – vegetables all week, then a bacon sarnie at the weekend. What’s not to like? "

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Quokka asserts...

Posted June 18, 2013

Oh yes. The same high level security system that took nearly a year before you lot figured out I was a GRRRRRL.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted June 18, 2013
After the "unfortunate sequence of assumptions" with (surprisingly) Brother Enjoy Medway " gender asignations were verboten.

damian puts forth...

Posted June 18, 2013

On the internet, no-one knows that you're a dog.

Bangar would have you know...

Posted June 18, 2013

Until the web cam comes on ;)

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