Recipe One Hundred & Forty Nine: Page 382.
I think this should be renamed as ‘Cheat’s Buttermilk and Honey Cheesecake’! Mary says to use a ready-made sponge flan case for the base. I was shocked! I had hoped to make this cheesecake well over a month ago. We had purchased a large flan case only to find that it was too big for the recommended 8 inch tin. I thought that the edges of the flan were necessary, so I stored the case away and kept my eyes peeled for a slightly smaller size. If I had taken the time to read through the recipe, I would have seen that Mary says you can cut it to size! I frequently have moments when I feel somewhat thick and this certainly was one of them! Now that I was aware of this important nugget of information I could finally make the cheesecake – hooray!
Even though using a ready-made sponge flan case made life easier for me, I couldn't help but wish I'd made my own. As I unwrapped the flan from its packaging, I could immediately see and feel how dry it was. At least it was easy for me to cut it to the size of my tin. There must be something wrong with me, as I ended up picking at the trimmings whilst telling Neil how horrible it was!! I emptied almost a whole tub of soft cheese into a bowl and gave it a good beating. When it was lovely and soft I could beat in some egg yolks. I placed the whites into a separate bowl; they would be put to use later on. To the cream cheese and yolks I measured in a little sugar and a few tablespoons of honey. I LOVE honey – I could eat it all day every day. I've always thought it would be great to have a bee hive in the garden so that we could collect our own honey. However, my fear of bees might be an issue! Another great love of mine is almonds, so imagine my delight when I tipped a good quantity of ground almonds into the bowl. This cheesecake was sounding more and more promising.
I was surprised to find that I needed a little plain flour as I've never used it in a cheesecake before. I started to wonder what the texture would be like. Now it was time to add in the important buttermilk. I rarely use buttermilk, so I felt quite excited to add in a whole container! As I beat everything together I was amazed by how many ingredients were in this cheesecake, and I hadn't finished yet! The egg whites were still waiting to be used. I whisked them until nice and stiff and then whisked in some sugar which turned the whites all glossy; it looked just like a meringue. Very carefully I folded the sweet and fluffy egg whites into the cheese mixture. Now all that was left to do was to pour the filling on top of the flan case and sprinkle with flaked almonds. I don't think I have ever made such a large cheesecake before. It was MASSIVE! It would take a while to cook in the oven, so I got on with making our dinner. There is no rest for the wicked!
We had eaten and digested our dinner by the time the cheesecake was cooked. I took it out of the oven to admire its sheer size. I had to slap myself on the wrist as, in my excitement, I had forgotten that cheesecakes should be left in the oven to cool! I quickly 'threw' it back into the warmth of the oven and left the door ajar. Some hours later my cheesecake was cold but had also lost some of its height. However, rest assured - it was still of gigantic proportions! As I knew it was full of a lot of my most favourite things, I was champing at the bit to cut a large slice. First of all, though, I had to heat up a small amount of honey and brush it over the top; this gave a lovely shiny glaze.
One of the bonuses of using a sponge base is that I found it very easy to transfer from the tin onto a serving plate. It was also easy to cut. The texture of this cheesecake was very smooth and mousse like. The base wasn't as dry as I might have feared, but I do prefer a biscuit base. The taste was out of this world, so delicious. I could clearly taste each flavour. None outshone the other. It was very different to what I'm used to making, but simple to do. It made a nice change from perhaps the more standard lemon or vanilla cheesecake!
|Love this cheesecake!|