Monday, December 20, 2010

Moroccan Christmas Feast 2: Dessert

So given that Moroccan food isn't entirely traditional for Christmas I figured that cheesecake would be perfect for dessert. Logical, no?

Plus, one of my best friends absolutely loves cheesecake, and well, I absolutely love him, so there you go!

This is the best cheesecake I've ever tasted. It's adapted from a recipe from Good Taste Magazine.

What you need:

1 x 250g packet of sweet biscuits (I used Arnott's Nice biscuits but I think gingernuts would be divine too)
125g unsalted butter, melted
750g cream cheese at room temperature (3 blocks! Ok go for a run around the block then resume reading)
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Finely grated lemon, orange or lime rind (I used a microplane)
2 tablespoons of plain flour (if you forget to add this, your cheesecake will still be delicious, I promise)
4 eggs
300ml of sour cream
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, or strawberries, or bluebies... mangoes... peach slices

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 160°C.
Line the base of a 23cm springform pan with non-stick baking paper.

Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and mix.

Transfer to the lined pan. Use a straight-sided glass to spread and press the biscuit mixture firmly over the base and up the sides of pan, leaving 1cm bare at the top of the pan. Cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Meanwhile, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and citrus rind in a large bowl until just combined. Beat in the flour. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition until combined. Stir in the sour cream until just combined.

Pour the cream cheese mixture into the base. Place the pan on a baking tray and bake for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours or so. Don't worry if it's still looking a bit shaky in the middle when you turn the oven off - a moist cheesecake is much better than a dry one! Turn oven off. Leave the cheesecake in oven, with the door ajar, for 2 hours or until cooled completely (this is supposed to prevent your cheesecake from cracking; in my experience, it will crack if it wants to crack. So don't worry!) Place in the fridge for 4 hours to chill.

Top the cheesecake with the raspberries, or you could use blueberries, strawberries, mixed berries... you get the idea. Most delicious!

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