I’m not one to hold on to so-called ‘secret’ recipes but this one, I keep close. In fact I’ve been prolonging the day I’d share this recipe with anyone because it is just that good. How good? Well, good enough to help in winning over a boyfriend or two. After all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and anyone who contests that, hasn’t tasted my cheesecake. But speaking of ‘secret’ recipes, I’m reminded of a story my grandmother used to tell of a dear old friend of hers who was known for her outstanding bakes at the church bazaar. To everyone’s amazement, she would willingly hand out her ‘secret’ recipes with a smile to any avid baker who asked for them. However, her ‘secret’ recipes never seemed to emerge from other’s oven’s quite as perfectly as it did from hers. You can only imagine the scandal and sordidness of it all when it was discovered that she would leave out an ingredient or two when passing on the recipe. With that in mind though, rest assured that my precious, velvety, rich white chocolate and cardamom-laced cheesecake recipe below, features in all it’s original glory. No recipes were harmed in the posting of this blog. Enjoy!
Cardamom and white chocolate cheesecake
400g coconut biscuits
100g butter or margarine, melted
800g cream cheese, room temperature
300g crème fraîche, room temperature
180g castor sugar
40g cake flour
200g white chocolate, melted
1/4t ground cardamom (optional)
zest of 2 lemons
Combine the biscuits and butter in a food processor and press into a 20cm lined cake tin.
TIP: If using a springform tin, cover the outside of the tin in one large sheet of foil to prevent the water from the bain marie entering the cake tin.
Mix the cheese, crème fraîche, sugar, flour, eggs, white chocolate, cardamom and zest together until smooth and pour into the crust.
TIP: Don’t beat or whip the mixture – filling should be creamy and smooth not aerated.
Bake in a bain-marie at 100°C until just set with a slight wobble in the middle.
TIP: Don’t over bake the cheesecake or it will become crumbly instead of smooth and velvety.
Allow to cool at room temperature then refrigerate until set.
SAFFRON NEW YORK CHEESECAKE:
Mix 120ml sour cream and 2T castor sugar with a pinch of saffron that has been steeped in 1t hot water for 10 minutes. Just before the cheesecake is ready, remove from the oven and carefully spread the saffron mixture over the cheesecake and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients except the white chocolate and divide into two. Add 100g white chocolate to the one batch and 100g dark chocolate to the remaining batch. Pour the white chocolate mix into the crust and drizzle with the dark chocolate mix. Swirl with a skewer to create a marble effect before baking.
Add a handful of raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries or any other fruit into the cheesecake mix once it has been poured into the base, before baking.