I love cheese. I love cake.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, I also love cheesecake. So it came as quite a surprise to realise the other day that since I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, in July 2007, I hadn’t even tried making a gluten-free one *hangs head in shame*
It was my boss’s birthday on Sunday and although he always says he doesn’t like his birthdays and hardly mentions them, I thought it wasn’t fair that everyone else gets a cake, presents etc. I emailed his wife about what wine he likes and she said Rioja so I bought a bottle of that and took in a card and some of my mum’s home made sloe gin (amazing!)
As far as cakes go, he’s also annoying in that he hasn’t got any sort of sweet tooth. Or so he says; I have definitely noticed him attacking an Asda strawberry cheesecake or two – most days!
I used to love Nigella Lawson’s London cheesecake. I think plain is the way to go, that too many add-ins almost spoil a good one and that the sour cream/lemon juice topping is perfect. But as my boss seems to prefer strawberry and as I lacked the self-control to make a traditional cheesecake I wouldn’t be able to eat, modifications were necessary.
I finally settled on a combination of Nigella’s recipe (baking in the water bath gives a brilliant texture) and several GF ones:
Preheat oven to 180C and line a springform tin
50g dark chocolate, chopped
50g butter (I used Flora Light)
135g dessicated coconut
1tbsp caster sugar
400g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia Light)
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1tbsp lemon juice
250g strawberries, quartered
1tbsp brown sugar
1tsp balsamic vinegar
Heat a small pan of water to the boil then reduce heat till it’s only just simmering. In a bowl on top, melt together the chocolate, margarine/butter and the 1tbsp sugar, stirring all the time.
Remove from heat and stir in coconut till well mixed. Put in the fridge to set.
Mix cream cheese till smooth, then add sugar and mix, then eggs and yolks and mix again. Finally, add the vanilla and lemon and mix again. Put the kettle on.
Pour filling on to crust then wrap the tin in strong foil so the base is covered and the foil comes well up the sides. Do this again with a second layer of foil and put the tin into a roasting pan (I discovered my big pan has mysteriously vanished! So I used a large frying pan instead – not perfect but it did work)
Pour water from the boiled kettle into the pan, about half-way up the sides of the tin (but don’t overfill or it’ll be a nightmare getting it to the oven!)
Bake about 30-35 minutes or until set.
While it’s cooking, make the sauce:
In a frying pan over a low heat, stir the strawberries, vinegar and sugar together until the fruit starts to soften and release its juice. Allow to simmer gently till the sauce has thickened, then pour strawberries into a colander. Press on them to release more juice then leave to drain.
When ready to serve, arrange the strawberries on top and pour the sauce over
(I didn’t do that bit till I got to work – and forgot to take pictures till half had gone!)
This isn’t your “conventional” cheesecake because of the crust. But everyone said how much they liked it – because it was different. And there wasn’t a lot left, which is always a good sign
Monday Tuesday! Was anyone else back at work today?