Saturday, October 6, 2007

Cherry cheesecake

On Friday, we lost the lovely Kasey from our ranks at work. Kasey is funny and patient and kind, and we will all miss her heaps.

For Kasey's send-off, I made cherry cheesecake. It is a refrigerator cheesecake, set with gelatine. This is very sweet, so it's a once-in-a-while treat, but I love the cherry top, because it looks impressive yet is relatively simple to do once you know how. For the first time, I made this cheesecake using a chocolate biscuit base. I found this to be a little overwhelming, as it made the cheesecake even richer than usual, but this is a matter of personal preference.

The recipe for this cheesecake is as follows:

250g cream cheese
1 x 400g tin condensed milk
250g plain chocolate biscuits, finely crushed (I used Arnotts brand chocolate ripple biscuits)
a generous dessert spoonful of margarine, melted
1 x 400g tin black cherries in syrup, drained, stoned and halved (reserve syrup)
1 tablespoon cornflour mixed into a thick, smooth paste with cold water
3 teaspoons gelatine dissolved in 1/3 cup lemon juice

Combine the crushed biscuits with the melted margarine, and press into a greased 20cm springform pan lined with aluminium foil. Chill until firm.

Cube cream cheese, and beat together with the condensed milk until smooth. Add the gelatine/lemon mixture and beat until smooth. Pour onto the chilled biscuit base, and chill until firm.

Arrange the halved cherries over the top of the chilled cheesecake. Combine the reserved cherry syrup in a saucepan with the cornflour paste, and stir over medium heat until the syrup thickens and boils. Simmer for approximately 1 minute, then pour over the top of the cheesecake to cover the top completely. Chill until set.

In addition to the cherry cheesecake, I made the
chocolate date cake again at the request of Kasey's boss. Below is a photo of that cake without the date icing.

The consensus of opinion seemed to be that the cheesecake was delicious, although rich. It also did not firm up as much as I would have liked. (I wonder if the fact that I used light cream cheese and light condensed milk influenced this.) Unfortunately, Kasey did not get to try it because of the excitement of the moment, and leaving presentations seem to be held very late in the day. Oh well!

Good luck to Kase!

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