Monday, 21 November 2011

Austrian Curd Cheesecake

Recipe Number One Hundred & Twenty One:  Page 381.

I couldn't help but be intrigued by the title of this recipe as I'd never heard of it before. I wasn't overly happy by the revelation that this particular cheesecake is without a biscuity base; that is my favourite part! A picture does accompany the recipe and it did look very tasty so I was hopeful it would still be just as enjoyable minus the buttery biscuit base.

It had just passed midday when I started to pull the ingredients from the shelves and the bowls and spoons from the drawers. Cheesecakes do take a little while to cook and then to cool down but I thought it should be ready for an afternoon cup of tea. I like to have something sweet on hand for the afternoon slump! My first failing was my usual one, forgetting to leave the butter out of the fridge. As I haven't learnt by now I doubt I ever will. But, hey ho, that is what the microwave is for!

I took the soft butter from the microwave and softened it even more in a bowl with a spoon. I was definitely going to be receiving a sugary fix in the afternoon judging by the amount of sugar I weighed into the bowl. Suffice to say I rechecked the recipe at least twice to be sure! I could either use curd cheese or ricotta. Well it had to be the second choice as curd cheese was nowhere to be seen during a search at the supermarket. All of this butter, sugar and ricotta had to be mixed together; I used my balloon whisk as I misguidedly thought it wouldn't require much beating as everything was so soft. Alas, this was not the case and I ended up asking Neil for assistance. In the end we decided a few little lumps wouldn't hurt! After shaking out my aching wrist I moved on to separating the eggs. This did not go well. Each of the four egg yolks broke and a tiny amount ended up in the bowl of egg whites. After chasing the tiny dribble of yolk around the bowl for some time with a spoon, I came up with another approach. I dipped a piece of kitchen towel into the bowl and it absorbed the yolk, huzzah!! Glowing from my victory, I beat each of the egg yolks into the bowl of sugary cheesiness and then stirred in some ground almonds and a little semolina. Now I had to add the sultanas. I found an old packet and pondered if they'd still be edible, then thought ’Oh what the heck!’ and chucked them in regardless. I do like to live on the edge! Next, to add in some more flavour, I grated the zest from two lemons and I also used the juice. Once I'd stirred everything together I had to leave it to thicken for ten minutes. I think the lemon juice helps to firm things up, or so I believe. While I waited for the magic to happen, I went back to the bowl of egg whites and whisked them until stiff. This time I used my electric whisk! When the time was up, I carefully folded the whites into the thickened mixture and poured it into the lined cake tin. It was obvious this was going to be a very deep cheesecake as it was almost to the top of the tin. I left it to cook in the oven for an hour, placing foil over the top half way through the cooking time.

I was very excited when the hour was up to check on my cheesecake. It had the perfect wobble in the middle; I know this is meant to be good. I forced Neil to come and witness the wobble and kept shaking the poor cheesecake!!! I turned off the oven but left it to cool down inside with the door shut. We decided we would go to an indoor play centre and let Isaac burn off some his excess energy. I checked on my cheesecake before we left and found that it had a crack to compete with the Grand Canyon, I don't think I should have wobbled it quite so enthusiastically; it certainly can't have helped!

We arrived home feeling a little glum as the play centre had been packed and we couldn't get in! I went to find comfort in the cheesecake, retrieved it from the oven and turned it out of the tin to cool completely. I was tempted to try a slice whilst it was still warm, but we thought we should head to the park before it was too dark. This time we returned home with happier hearts as all of us had a go on the swings and laughter had rung out across the park!! With chilly hands and red noses it was time for a cup of tea and a slice of cheesecake. Neil really enjoyed his large slice and commented on how lemony and light it was. I could definitely taste the lemon and almonds. I didn't miss the base; I really don't think it needed it. Isaac whipped several pieces off my plate, so I think he also enjoyed it!
The light was terrible so not a good picture!
A lovely slice of yummy cheesecake! :-)

4 comments:

  1. mmmmmmm I love cheesecake, it seems Isaac agrees with me xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Me too Jo, can't resist it. Oh yes, Isaac couldn't get enough - greedy like his mummy! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is it powdered semolina or like canned if that makes sense x

    ReplyDelete
  4. So sorry for the delay Amybeth. Just found your comment! It is powdered Semolina :-) xx

    ReplyDelete