This weekend has definitely been a weekend for a comforting, warming dessert. I tried making this recipe a couple of months ago but failed as I a) didn’t read the recipe carefully enough and didn’t realise just how long it would take and b) didn’t own a suitable dish to make it in. The dish situation was rectified through the Marks and Spencer’s sale where I purchased a shiny new dish with a lid. Be warned – the pudding needs a long time to cook (just under 4 hours) so you will need to plan and prepare ahead! It is easy to prepare and doesn’t require a lot of attention. This is a Jo Wheatley recipe from her ‘Home Baking’ book and serves 6-8. You will need a round glass dish (Pyrex or similar) 18cm wide and 8cm deep with a lid (my dish was a little bigger than this). Continue Reading…
Apologies that it has been a little quiet on the blog – I didn’t realise it was over a month since I had last posted. Our weekends have been hectic due to concerts, babysitting, barbecues and tidying and packing for our forthcoming house move (fingers crossed).
Today is Father’s Day so happy Father’s Day to any dads reading the blog – I hope you are enjoying your day. My Dad is coming to visit so it was desert making time yesterday. My Dad is a big fan of cheesecake so I decided this was the obvious choice. I am big fan of rhubarb (which is currently 69p in Aldi as part of their ‘Super Six’ offer – bargain!) and picked some up during our weekly shop and decided it was time to combine the two. I did consider trifle but I don’t have a trifle bowl. I originally found a Delicious Magazine recipe for a baked rhubarb and orange cheesecake which looked good but served 12-16 and required 900g of cream-cheese which seemed a little extravagant for just three people! I found a recipe on the BBC website for a baked rhubarb and ginger cheesecake that served 8 and seemed a little less extravagant. You can find the recipe here although as you will see I’m not sure this is necessarily a recipe I would recommend!
1.5 kg rhubarb, trimmed 175g caster sugar 300g stem ginger biscuits (I used ordinary ginger biscuits) 115g unsalted butter, melted 450g full-fat cream cheese 2 lemons, zest only 300ml soured cream 6 eggs separated 1 tbsp icing sugar
Method: 1) Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease and line and 25cm/10in loose-bottomed cake tin. 2) Cut two thirds (1kg) of the rhubarb into pieces about 5cm/2in long, place in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with 55g of the caster sugar. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender.
3) Meanwhile, cut the remaining rhubarb into pieces about 7.5cm/3in long, place in another ovenproof dish with a tablespoon of the caster sugar and roast until just tender but still holding their shape. Set aside to decorate the cheesecake.
4) To make the biscuit base, place the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin leaving the mixture quite rough. Place the biscuit crumbs in a bowl, mix in the melted butter and press into the bottom of your prepared cake tin. Place in the fridge while you make the cheesecake mixture (I forgot to do this – oops!)
5) Beat the cream cheese with the remaining 125g caster sugar and the lemon zest, then add the soured cream and egg yolks and beat until smooth.
6) Spread the rhubarb onto the chilled biscuit base (if you’ve remembered to chill it!) Whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks then fold into the cheese mixture and pour on top of the rhubarb. My rhubarb after it baked was quite watery. In hindsight I think I would have benefited from trying to drain some of the liquid away as the base of the cheesecake was very watery and leaked during baking and afterwards. I also didn’t use all the rhubarb as otherwise the tin would have been half full before add the mixture.
7) Bake in the oven for about one hour, reducing the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 once the cheesecake has risen. The top should be firm to the touch but still slightly wobbly. Leave the cheesecake to cool then remove it from the tin. The baking is where it all went wrong. It dramatically rose (it resembled more of a souffle than a cheesecake) and formed a not so nice layer/crust on the top. It did sink as it cooled down but the texture was not nice (Mr Birdie called it a rhubarb omelette rather than a cheesecake!) After it came out of the tin it looked hideous so that’s why there are no photos of the whole thing – it really did look disastrous. I decided to leave it in the fridge overnight to see what state it was in the next day.
8) Arrange the reserved rhubarb on top and dust with the icing sugar.
As you can see it wasn’t too bad in the end – I managed to salvage three slices for lunch today. I think if I try a rhubarb cheesecake again I will investigate one that mixes the fruit with the cheese.