I never liked the cheese cakes that I have bought in cafés – the baked variety. They are just too dry compared to the unbaked variety which still remains a home cooked option. I have no idea why the unbaked one is not available in cafes, maybe because it would be hard to transport from the source to the shop, assuming that they are not made on site. This all changed when I made my own, home-made, baked cheese cake. It was not hard and dry and it was made in a pressure cooker so it didn’t involve hours in the oven and it was steamed. No need for a dish of water in the bottom on the oven. This is my third time at making this in the pressure cooker so I have some points to note:
- do not beat the cream cheese – mix it well but do not incorporate air into the mix or it will sink in the middle as it cooks
- do not let it cool quickly – it will crack – allow the pressure cooker to de-pressurise naturally, remove the cake to the bench to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge to complete the setting. If you want a really creamy, runny temperature eat before it has cooled to fridge temperature
- allow plenty of time – cook it the day before it is needed
- prepare the pan and do the crumb mix before anything else so it has time to cool in the freezer. You want the crumb to be fairly hard so bits don’t float around in the mixture
BAKED LEMON CHEESE CAKE
- 1 pack gingernut biscuits
- 50 g butter
- 1 cup ricotta (the bit healthy option) or a second pack of cream cheese
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbs vanilla extract
- 250 g pack of cream cheese
- 3 eggs (I used 1 goose egg)
- 1/4 cup limoncello
- blueberry mix
- white chocolate – ice magic
Bring all ingredients to room temperature – at least an hour before using.
Make a handle – Cut a piece of foil about 80 cm long and fold lengthways into four. This will go under the pan act as a handle to get the cake in and out of the pan.
Prepare the pan – use a round spring form pan, cut a piece each of foil and baking paper. Make the foil long enough to reach up to the top of the pan – you may need two pieces crossed over.
Place the foil then the baking paper centred on the base of the ring pan, then clip the top on to the base.
Butter the base and the sides well then put the paper and foil up the outside, reaching to the top and scrunch it in place to help form a water proof base on the pan. Don’t make the foil too short – it just catches the water and it runs down the sides of the pan and into the base. Better to leave out the foil altogether than end up with a soggy biscuit base.
Prepare the pressure cooker – Put a few cups of water in the pressure cooker so it comes up to just below the trivet or steamer basket. A trivet or steamer basket is essential to raise the pan above the water level.
Make the biscuit base – Crush the biscuits in the food processor then add the butter cut roughly in to cubes and process until all mixed. Press the crumb mix into the base of the pan, pushing it down well with the base of a glass. Place in the freezer to set.
The cheese cake mix – Into the mixer place the ricotta, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the room temperature, chopped cream cheese and continue mixing on low speed until lumps are gone. Add the eggs and limoncello – taste for tartness/flavour and add more zest or lemon juice if required.
Spread the mix over the cooled biscuit base, make a foil cover that goes over the base foil that has been pulled up. Place the foil handle strip under the pan. Gently lower the cake onto the trivet using the foil strip.
Cook – Bring to pressure and cook for 25 minutes.
Allow it to de-pressurise naturally, remove from the pan using the foil handles and place on the bench and allow to cool to room temperature.
When cooled place in the fridge until needed.
When ready to serve decorate with blueberry mix and drizzle with white chocolate.