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AUSTRIAN CHEESECAKE

The recipe for this cheesecake came from my dad, whose Viennese heritage and love of cooking helped to shape my culinary path through life. It is very light and soft, and would make a lovely summer dessert as well as an afternoon treat at any time of the year. Curd cheese is not so easy to find in the shop, but the own-label soft cream cheese sold in many supermarkets works very well.

You could add a handful of sultanas if you like, or use vanilla instead of lemon to favour the cake - although I love the citrus tang.

The cake sometimes develops cracks as it cools down. Don’t worry if this happens - these can easily be disguised by covering the surface with fresh berries or even canned berry/cherry pie filling. To make it extra delicious, I recommend finishing the cake with the creamy topping suggested below, (which will also cover any cracks!). Serve chilled as this makes it easier to slice.

Ingredients

  • 150g digestive biscuits
  • (or gingernuts if you prefer)
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 50g demerara sugar (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 450g curd cheese, or full or low-fat soft cheese
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150 ml Greek yogurt, or soured cream
  • 1 large unwaxed lemon, zest finely grated, and juiced
  • Pinch of salt
  • 50g caster sugar
  • For a creamy topping:
  • 300ml soured cream
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Half a large lemon, juiced
  • Fresh berries to decorate (optional)

Method

Generously butter the sides and base of a 20cm springform tin.

Preheat the oven to Gas 5, 170°C

Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin.

Sprinkle a handful around the buttery sides of the the tin to coat them.

Mix the rest of the crumbs with the melted butter and sugar (if using).

Tip the crumbs into the cake tin and spread evenly over the base and into the corners, pressing with a metal spoon to make a firm even layer.

Put it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Separate the eggs, putting the yolks in one large bowl and the whites into another. Set the whites aside.

Add the cheese and sugar to the yolks, along with the yoghurt or soured cream, and the zest and juice of the lemon.

Combine all these ingredients thoroughly until no lumps remain.

Whisk the egg whites with the salt to stiff peaks.

Tip in half the sugar, and continue whisking, adding the rest bit by bit.

Stir a quarter of the whites into the cheese mixture, and combine – this will lighten the mixture.

Then, using a large metal spoon, gently fold in another quarter, taking care to preserve the mousse-like consistency of the mixture.

Repeat until all the whites are incorporated.

Scrape the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes.

Check after 20 minutes - if it starts to turn brown, lower the heat slightly.

Posted in Erika’s Kitchen on Jun 01, 2022