So, I have a few shocking admissions to make in this blog post…
- I have never made a baked cheesecake (with the exception of my family favourite…Sernik na kruchym spodzie)
- Not all of my cakes turn out well and I have a couple of ‘failed’ ones stashed in my freezer
- I have a sister who doesn’t like cake! (I know, I know, how is that possible!)
All of the above are very relevant to the recipe that I am about to share with you. It’s one that was shared with me by my friend Adam and is one of his family favourites. I took a photo of the recipe about 2 years ago and it has been sitting on my computer just waiting to be given a whirl. My big sister just happened to have a birthday coming up, which gave me the perfect opportunity, because although she’s not a cake fan, she loves a good cheesecake!
So, here it is, a very rich, chocolate, lemon and ginger cheesecake…
I think the reason that I took so long to try it was that I’d got it into my head that it was a bit high maintenance as it needed baking in a bain marie and leaving in the fridge overnight. I was, however mistaken, and with the exception of having to be organised enough to make it the day before you need it, it was pretty darn simple!
To make chocolate, lemon & ginger cheesecake you will need…
For the base…
250g chocolate cake (my friend uses shop bought chocolate muffins)
100g unsalted butter, softened
For the cheesecake…
50g unsalted butter, softened
400g dark chocolate (I used 70%)
600g full fat cream cheese
160g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar (if you have it, if not add a splash of vanilla extract and add an extra tbsp of normal sugar)
1 x 2/3cm piece of stem ginger, peeled and chopped finely
Zest of 1 lemon
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and grease and line the bottom of a 20cm cake tin (a springform tin would be best but any tin with a removable base will do).
This is where I can elaborate more on point 2 above :). I recently set about making a red velvet cake and not having been able to find concentrated food colouring had opted for a supermarket own brand red food colouring (I don’t recommend this!). I ended up with a great tasting, but very brown, red velvet cake :(. I hate throwing perfectly good food away so I popped it in the freezer, hoping to re-use it in some way and this was my perfect opportunity.
To make the base, crumble the chocolate sponge into a large bowl. Mix the butter into the cake crumbs until it forms a paste. Then push it into the bottom of your prepared cake tin and level it out…
At this point you need to waterproof your tin as you will be cooking it in a tray of water. Simply wrap a single piece of foil (with no holes in 😉 around the base of your tin. It doesn’t need to come all the way up the sides just an inch or so.
Now for the filling. Break the chocolate into a glass bowl along with the butter and place over a saucepan of simmering water to melt.
Put the cream cheese, sugar(s) and eggs into a large bowl and beat until light and aerated. I used an electric hand mixer but a whisk and some good old elbow grease would work just as well.
Stir in the melted chocolate mixture, the chopped ginger and the lemon zest and stir until thoroughly incorporated…
Pour into the tin on top of your cake base and place on a baking tray. Pour some water into the baking tray making sure that the level of water doesn’t go above your foil waterproofing (1/2 cm is plenty) and carry to the oven very carefully, trying not to cause a tidal wave…if you’re more sensible than me, you should probably place the tin in the oven first and pour some water from your kettle into the tray 🙂
Bake for 1 hour. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look totally set, it’s meant to still be a bit wobbly in the centre.
Put it straight in the fridge (this stops the top cracking) and leave it there overnight. When you’re ready to serve, carefully remove it from the tin. I found that running a pallette knife lightly around the outside worked a treat.
And there you have it, chocolate, lemon and ginger baked cheesecake…
It was delicious and went down very well with my family and the birthday girl but everyone agreed that it was exceptionally rich and a small slice was definitely enough!
No birthday cake would be complete without a candle and I thought this one was particularly suitable…