I’ve never been a big fan of cheesecake. I don’t know whether it’s too many student dinner parties where we played at adults, imitating pub meals, and finishing it off with Philadelphia mixed with sugar, over some crumbled digestives, or that I just like my sweet stuff tangy or sweet – not a weird combination of the two. If it’s the only option, or someone lovingly makes one I’ll have some, but I would never choose it over another dessert. Actually, maybe apple pie.
Well, today, my cheesecake ambivalence was put to the test.
Making cheesecake is part of my Puff the Bakery pastry course, with this weeks class also including panna cotta (something I’ve already done), and a basque cheesecake. The basque cheesecake was humungous, with almost 1kg of cream cheese in it, so I thought I’d be best giving that a swerve, so I decided to make the lovely looking set cheesecake.
The winner of this recipe for me was the Graham cracker biscuit base. Slightly spiced, and brought together with deliciously sweet Golden Syrup, I couldn’t stop nibbling it. I will absolutely be making proper biscuits from this recipe in the future.
The cheese part of the cake was a little more difficult than making a biscuit crumble: I first had to make a pate a bomb – a reverse meringue. This meant whisking egg yolks whilst pouring a ridiculously hot (121C) sugar syrup into the same bowl. It was something I wasn’t looking forward to, imagining cooked egg flying everywhere, but it actually went really smoothly. After that, I just had to add the cream cheese, gelatin, and some double cream, and it couldn’t have been easier.
I added some roasted peaches on top and space them out with a few raspberries, and it just looked so good. The proof was in the pudding (cheesecake) though, and after one small slice I realised I’d got a hit on my hands – it was so tasty! Honestly, I’m still not sold completely on the whole cheesecake thing, but I’d be much more willing to try one if they all tasted like this.
I can see me making cheesecake in the future for someone’s birthday or a get-together. It’s relatively easy to make and is usually a crowd-pleaser, and now I know that even if the crowd is filled with people like me, it will still go down a treat.