Sunday, 30 December 2012

Cherry and Almond White Chocolate Cheesecake

Oh, my gosh! Was that Christmas?
We celebrate Christmas Eve with my family, and Christmas Day with my husband's; but even a two day affair vanished in a flash of red, white an glitzy green as Santa's supersonic jet disappeared into the distance for another year.

I've already packed everything away; boxed the ornaments, swept up the scattered shreds of tinsel and tree leaves. And dumped the left-over leftovers into the bin. Now it's time to really unpack my presents: take them out of their boxes, plug them in and get mixing!  That might give you a hint about what I got this year, but I'll share more in my next post ; ) 

One final red-and-white share, though, before I get stuck into some New Year's baking.
I still had some glace' cherries left over after all the Christmas cakes were done, so I decided to use them up in a cheesecake: a baked cherry and almond, white chocolate cheesecake. 

Baked cheesecakes are so simple to make. And I love the fact that you can put one in the oven, leave the timer on, and clean the house/ play with the children / go out shopping for a couple of hours while it's baking and then cooling in the oven. 
For that to work, of course, you need an oven dedicated to the task (don't do this on the same day that you're supposed to be roasting a turkey!) and an oven timer.  And know how to work it... New Year's resolution, if you don't already know - figure out your oven timer! 

Cherry and Almond White Chocolate Cheesecake
recipe by Tea, Cake and Create

Crust/ Base:

225g flour
1 tbs corn flour
125g butter
30g caster sugar
1 tbs milk
100g glace' cherries, roughly chopped (plus extra if you want to use them as a topping) 
50g slivered almonds


300g white chocolate, melted and cooled
2x 250g tubs cream cheese 
1 cup buttermilk 
3 eggs
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract (I use Vanilla Girl vanilla extract, so just a few drops) 

Pre-heat the oven to 150'C
Grease a 20cm round springform tin. 

For the crust, cream together the butter and caster sugar. Sift in the flour and corn flour, and mix slowly. Add the milk; then the cherries and almonds and combine gently.

Roll out the dough onto parchment or a silicone mat, and cut to size using the base of the tin as a guide. 

(You'll see that I'm using my tin base upside down - this trick helps with removing the cake from this base once it is baked.) 

Flip over using the mat or parchment, and fit the base into the tin. Prick the surface with a fork. 

Bake at 150'C for 20 minutes. Cool, then refrigerate. 

For the filling, on medium speed, beat together the sugar and cream cheese in the bowl of a standing mixer. 
Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Mix well. 
Then add the eggs, one at a time - scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions. 
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the melted white chocolate into the mix. 
Beat until incorporated. 
Pour onto the base.
Bake at 150'C for 50 minutes. Leave cheesecake in oven to cool completely.

Refrigerate in the springform tin for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight before serving. 

Top with more chopped cherries, if desired; or just serve as is. 

Have a super - but safe - New Year's celebration!


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