Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baked vanilla cheesecake with poached guavas

Photography by Gunther Schubert of Vorsprung Studio

I love how Mother Nature seems to give us exactly what we need when we need it, and I'm not talking about the cheesecake here (heaven help our waistlines if cheesecake started growing on trees! A girl can dream though...) 

We're right in the middle of guava season here in South Africa and they're at their plumpest, pinkest and most fragrant but also packed with vitamin C - perfect for fighting off nasty bugs. A quick google search tells you that the fruit actually has five times the vitamin C content of the good ol' orange. So yes, feel free to take that as an excuse to make the cheesecake - to go along with the guavas, of course!

Whipping up my favourite cheesecake on Expresso Morning Show on SABC3
Photography by Gunther Schubert of Vorsprung Studio

Baked vanilla cheesecake with poached guavas
Serves 10-12

400g digestive biscuits
100g butter, melted
800g cream cheese, room temperature
300g crème fraîche, room temperature
180g castor sugar
40g cake flour
4 eggs
200g white chocolate, melted
1 vanilla pod, scraped (keep the pod for the syrup) or vanilla extract
zest of 2 lemons

Poached guavas
2 cups water
150g castor sugar
4-6 guavas, peeled and halved

Preheat the oven to 100°C .
Line the bottom of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper then grease the sides. Wrap the outside of the tin in foil to make it waterproof.
Combine the biscuits and butter in a food processor and process until fine crumbs then press into the bottom of the lined tin.
Mix the rest of the ingredients together until smooth then pour over the crust in your cake tin.
Place the cake tin on a folded tea towel (to stop it slipping) in a large roasting dish and fill with enough hot water until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the cake tin.
Bake for about 1 hour 20 minutes or until the cheesecake is just set with a slight wobble in the middle.
Allow to cool at room temperature then refrigerate until set.
For the guavas, bring the water and sugar to the boil with the vanilla pod in a saucepan.
Add the fruit and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the poached fruit and reduce the syrup further to allow it to thicken.
Serve the cheesecake, sliced, with the poached guavas on the side.

Photography by Gunther Schubert of Vorsprung Studio
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Here's the video if you want to see how to make the recipe step-by-step:

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