Sunday, 13 May 2007

Vanilla Cheesecake

I am partial to a light and tangy chilled lemon cheesecake which when made right is just like eating a lush lemon mousse that has a little more substance and body and in my opinion, is just the perfect way to end any meal. My mum on the other hand, loves baked cheesecake so I decided to make her a good one for this Mother's Day. Of course this doesn't mean I am an authority in baked cheesecakes, in fact, quite the contrary, as I have only ever made one successfully under close supervision of someone who knew what he was doing and even so, the results didn't really blow me away. So needless to say, I was a little nervous with how Mum's cake would turn out.

I set to work on this cake rather late last night when I thought mum would be too sleepy to wander into the kitchen with her usual persistent questions which would ruin my surprise for her. I followed the method described by sooishi with a few departures from the recipe stated. Instead of shortbread for the base, I used spicy speculaas and an additional 30g toasted flaked almonds, and I replaced creme fraiche with the same quantity of thickened cream (40% fat). The result was to put plainly - perfect! The top was flawlessly smooth and a rich golden tan which I glazed with strained strawberry jam to achieve a more glassy finish and the interior, a smooth, delicately creamy texture speckled with vanilla seeds. I completed the cake by tossing a few sliced strawberries on its top et voila! Sublime.

(Note: Mum being a traditionalist prefers the taste of digestive biscuits to speculaas but otherwise, she thought I did a great job! Thanks Mum and Happy Mother's Day! xoxo)

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