Nothing cheesy about these cakes

Nothing cheesy about these cakes
Jenny Morris

Fooding Around with Jenny Morris

I don’t know what your preference is, but I am a baked cheese cake groupie. There is nothing better for me than a cheese cake dense with cream cheese. I love it smooth and dense. It is just so sensual to eat, and it is the perfect vehicle to top with almost everything and anything.

I love to make a thick dark creamy chocolate Ganache and spread that all over the top of a plain baked cheese cake then top it with fresh raspberries. Cheese cake is so easy to make and almost flop-proof if you follow a few easy guidelines.

I often hear from friends that they have baked a cheese cake and have ended up with one that has a cracked top. You can prevent this from happening by leaving it in the oven, with the door ajar, for at least one hour to cool before removing it from the baking pan. Sudden changes in temperature can cause it to crack, so be patient and let it cool slowly.

Make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin mixing it, otherwise you could end up with lumps in your cheesecake. Also make sure your eggs are at room temperature. Check that they are fresh before you start to bake. Place them into a bowl of cold water and if they don’t sink to the bottom, they are not fresh.

A big mistake most of us make is to over-bake our cheesecake. They might look underdone when the time is up for baking and the centre might seem a little wobbly, but there is enough residual heat to finish cooking it to perfection.
And now…

Let’s cook!

Cheesecake Gamini
This is a Cheese Cake with a difference. Wash this delicious cake down with a large glass of Callie’s Ginger Cordial.
Makes 2 cakes, each serving 12

Method:
The crust:

  • 100g butter, melted
  • 2 cups (150g) chocolate biscuit crumbs

For the cheese cakes:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar (250g)
  • 4 x 230 tubs cream cheese
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup (250g) vanilla ice cream or frozen yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence

For the Syrup:

  • ½ cup sugar (100g)
  • ½ cup (125ml) water
  • 1 cup (200g) seedless raisins
  • A shot of rum (optional)

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 150 deg C. Grease two 23cm spring form cake pans. Wrap the outside of the pans with foil to prevent seepage. Stir the butter and biscuit crumbs together. Divide the mixture in two, then press firmly onto the base of the pans. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scrapping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla ice-cream and essence and beat through. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans.
Place a wire rack in a bain-marie (water bath) and place the cheesecakes on top of this, not touching the water. Bake for 40 minutes, or until firm.
Allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the pans. Refrigerate until required. Serve with fresh berries or raisin syrup.
© Make Give Sell  By Callie Maritz & Mari-Louis Guy

Raisin Syrup:
Combine the sugar, water and raisins in a saucepan set over moderated heat and simmer until thick and syrupy. Stir in the rum, if using.
© Make Give Sell  By Callie Maritz & Mari-Louis Guy

Jamaican Ginger Cordial
Makes 1-2 Litres

Ingredients:

  • 1 large knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated (10cm)
  • 1 packet 10g instant yeast
  • 4 cups (1 litre) lukewarm water
  • 4 cups (800g)sugar
  • ½ cup (50 g) seedless raisins

In a large container, stir together the ginger, yeast, water, sugar and raisins. Leave in a warm place for a day. Bottle and refrigerate.
Dilute one part cordial with two parts water or soda water.
© Make Give Sell By Callie Maritz & Mari-Louis Guy