Baked lemon cheesecake


This sure calls for a celebration. 10,000 hits so far. The baby steps I've taken in my blogging journey have been full of glitches and ditches. I'm still not sure how the blogging works, but if there's one thing I've learnt, it's that I do like to write.

So to celebrate, here's a recipe with an ingredient that fortunately, is available throughout the year.

We don't get lemons in Chennai. Well, maybe tiny ones. And  only sometimes. Honestly, I prefer the taste of limes, love their face puckering sourness and their fresh clean scent. A bit of lime rind and juice mixed through the batter of a plain butter cake gives it just that little bit of an oomph factor.

But when lemons make an appearance, this delectably tangy cheesecake is what I love to make. The recipe is from an old magazine and every time I want to make it, I find I don't have enough cream cheese. Anyway, I bumble along with substitutions and tweaks and it has never failed me.

Today, too, I did not have enough cream cheese so I made up the shortfall with hung curd - the homemade version of cream cheese.

And sour cream? Where in Chennai does one find this secret ingredient? Most of us just mix a little lime juice into cream and voilĂ  - sour cream!

And it does work!

However, I skipped the sour cream today because my home made cream cheese was quite sour and didn't need any more acidity. And instead of sour cream, I used Amul cream. Also, I find that the addition of a little hung curd makes the cheesecake a little lighter in texture and not as dense as an all cream cheese mixture would have.

I also add some sultanas into the cheesecake. When you bite into these  plump, golden beauties, their sweetness and juiciness are a welcome contrast to the tangy smoothness of the cheesecake.

So here is my version of the baked lemon cheesecake:

Baked lemon cheesecake

Ingredients for the base
170 gm Marie biscuits
90 gm butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

Blitz the biscuits in a food processor, add the butter, blitz again, mix through the sugar and half blitz it.
Spoon the mix into the base of an 8" loose bottom pan, pat the crumbs to form a firm base.
Chill in the freezer for about an hour.
(If you don't want the sides of the cheesecake to be dark, line the inside of the tin with strips of parchment paper or foil.)

Ingredients for filling
2 small lemons (or limes. Or 1 large lemon.)
500 gm cream cheese ( I used 300 gm cream cheese and 200 gm hung curd)
150 gm sour cream ( I used Amul cream)
180 gm sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla essence
40 gm sultanas

Grate rind of lemons and extract juice.
Place rind and juice into a mixing bowl, add in cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs, cornflour, essence and blend well. (I used a wire whisk.)
Stir through the sultanas and pour into the prepared tin.
Place the cheesecake into a pre heated 180°C oven.
Bake for about 50 minutes till just set.
Switch off the oven, keep the oven door ajar and leave the cheesecake in it till it comes to room temperature.
Put it into the fridge to chill overnight.
For the decor on top, use a zester to take off strips of  lemon rind. Slice the lemon thin- you probably need only the middle of the lemon. Arrange the slices in a pattern on top of the cheesecake halfway through baking.

You need to eat a slice of this. Real soon.

Readying for Christmas


A little over a month to Christmas.

The biggest job this month was to prepare the fruits that go into the Christmas cake. I buy vine fruits- currants, raisins and sultanas throughout the year, wash and dry them and by early November, the remaining fruits are bought, cleaned, chopped and then readied to be mixed with spices and all the other ingredients that put the spirit of Christmas into fruit cakes!

Are more people born in the last 4 months of the year?
I would think so, at least in my family. A look at my family's website shows most birthdays are in the months of October and November.

I have 2 representatives of this trend at home- the son and the husband. In the midst of fruit cake preparation, I managed to bake a Kahlua mocha mousse cake.

A chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with coffee mousse and almond nibs. A coat of chocolate ganache to encase the whole.

 Yum yum!!

Cook Italian Part 2


The second part of "Cook Italian" was held last week. The power cut played spoilsport again. In spite of this glitch, we managed to finish the class on time.

Gnocchi with lots of Gorgonzola sauce

Spinach canelloni

Mushroom and two cheese calzone

Apple butterscotch pie

Buon appetito!!


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