Last Saturday it was my husband's birthday, so as per tradition I made him a birthday cake (last year I made this Norwegian Cream Layer Cake). A few weeks ago I started planning the recipe, with one main restriction as it had to be egg less for my in-laws who are strictly vegetarian (they are currently visiting us from Mumbai).
I originally decided to make this Raw Fig Cheesecake by Oh, Ladycakes, but sadly last week I didn't get around to do all the prep and food shopping because of a crazy week of work projects and deadlines. So I ended up making a fairly easy baked Chocolate Cheesecake instead, which I adapted from this blueberry and white chocolate Korasoi recipe.
The result is a rich and dense cake that is best served for a special occasion...after a very light lunch! ;) Jokes aside, even though I cut the sugar down from the original recipe the cake is still very sweet, so if you are not into sweet things try using extra dark bitter chocolate to balance out the cream cheese/ricotta filling.
For the base
- 2 cups (250g) finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs (I used an Indian brand called Parle Hide & Seek)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
- 500g ricotta cheese
- 500g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 cup double cream
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 100g milk chocolate, melted
- 100g dark chocolate, melted
- about 400g fresh strawberries
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Line the outside of a 23-cm (9-inch) springform cake tin with a layer of clingfilm and a layer of strong foil over that. Set aside.
Using your hands or a food processor, break the biscuits into crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl and mix with the melted butter. Fill a cake tin with the crumbly mixture and, using a measuring cup or a spoon, press the mixture over the bottom of the tin.
Bake the crust for about 10 minutes. Let it cool in the tin then cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
In another bowl mix together all of the filling ingredients until the mixture has thickened.
Sit the cake tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling over the crust. Fill the roasting pan with boiling water halfway up the cake tin. Bake for 60-75 minutes until the cake is set, but still slightly wobbly in centre.
Peel away the foil and clingfilm wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool at room temperature. Decorate with strawberries and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Sprinkle icing sugar over the cake before serving.
On the day of Sandy's birthday we celebrated with a picnic in our local park, Clapham Common. My mother-in-law prepared dry potato curry and thepla (a Gujarati flatbread made with whole wheat flour, fenugreek leaves and spices), which we ate with yogurt and chunda (a sweet and sour mango pickle).
We brought the cake to the park, but sadly our attempts to lighten the candles on the cake failed (too windy). See the photo of Sandy blowing out the candles? Well he was just pretending for the camera...ahahah! :P
Thanks British summer! Well, at least it didn't rain and we had a lovely day celebrating Sandy's birthday all together!
PS: it also happens to be my mum's birthday today, she's in Rome and it makes me very sad that I cannot celebrate with her and bake her a cake! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM! xxx