For the last two weeks I have had the pleasure of having a houseguest: the lovely Annelise came over – all the way from New Zealand!
We’ve known each other for over 10 years, when we met as she and her husband lived in the Big Smoke at the time. A lot has changed since then and we had fun delving into old memories. One of the things Analies mentioned was that she still remembers a German cheesecake I made all these years ago, she remembered it was baked (as German cheese cake generally is) and not too sweet (another typical German cake fact).
In honour of this memory I had to make us another German cheesecake – this time with the not so German addition of passion fruits, which gives the cake an exotic flavour.
Cheesecake is always rather rich and I tried to make this cake with Stevia instead of icing sugar but would not recommend this substitution. You can however use a half fat cream cheese to get the calories down a little.
A word of warning, as the cake has to cool down after baking and then set in the fridge overnight you will have to plan in some extra time for the making of it but it will be ready in the morning - just on time for breakfast!
For a round cake of 20 cm in diameter, you’ll need:
- A 20 cm diameter spring form, lined with baking paper
For the base:
- 110g Tennis biscuits, which are South African coconut biscuits, or any other (preferably coconut flavoured) biscuits
- 50 g skinned almonds
- 50g unsalted butter
For the cheese cake topping:
- 1 heaped tsp corn flour
- 300g cream cheese
- 500g ricotta
- 4 eggs
- 150g icing sugar
- 1 lemon
For the glaze:
- 5 passion fruits
- 100ml passion fruit juice
- 2 leaves gelatine
Turn the biscuits in to fine crumbs, for example by putting them all in a food bag and bashing them to pieces with a rolling pin. Chop the almonds into rough pieces. Melt the butter in the microwave (this only takes seconds, so make sure you check every 3secs), let it cool slightly then mix with the biscuit crumbs and almonds and press the mix in the paper lined cake tin. Leave to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
Mix the corn flour with 2 tablespoons of water and mix to a smooth paste. Mix the rest of the ingredients for the topping with an electric whisk, then mix the corn flour paste under it. Pour the mix on to the biscuit base and bake in the oven, on the lowest shelf, for 75- 90 minutes. Let the cake cool down in the tin – first outside for about an hour, then overnight, in the fridge.
The next morning, scrape the flesh of the passion fruits out (you need about 100g) in to a pot, add the juice and heat but don’t let it boil. In the meantime soak the gelatine as per packet instructions, then squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine and dissolve the leaves – one after the other – in the passion fruit juice. Spread on the cake and leave to set in the fridge for 60 minutes.
Or you could make little Mini Cheesecakes in Muffin forms – just cut down the baking time accordingly!