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My Lemon Cheese Cake ©

December 6, 2012

As Christmas approaches I have been asked for something different to the usual fare, for those who would like a change or for those who have their Birthday coming up and perhaps live in warmer climbs……. I am therefore re-blogging, an all time favorite just for you to keep up your sleeves and all of you who have tried it, will know this is a must try recipe!
This is a truly wonderful recipe, an essential part of of Birthdays in my family and is light, lemony and refreshing. It is not cooked in the oven and what is essential is to get everything laid out before you begin.

“Happy Name Day” To Nick In Madagascar and Henry J. and I. this one is for you !

 

More advanced, but definitely worth a try and once made, it is easy the next time. My children made it for

my Birthday this summer, such a treat  and it was excellent !

 

 

12 Persons

 

 

Ingredients

4 egg yolks

4 egg whites

175 g sugar

8 leaves of gelatin ( 13 g )

2-3 tbs water for softening gelatin

1 large lemon juice and zest

400 g Cream cheese (Philadelphia )

Pinch salt

200 g McVitie’s/Papadopoulos digestive biscuits ( 1/2 pack )

200 g carton of thick Greek yogurt. I use ‘Fage Total.’

50 g melted butter

Fresh fruit and glacé cherries for decoration

 

Special Equipment

1 spring bottom cake tin, diameter  25 cms

 

Method

PREPARATION :

In this recipe, as with every recipe, it is essential to get everything you need out and ready, before you start cooking, it uses several pieces of equipment!

Important! Ideally make the day before, otherwise make in the morning for the evening to give time for the gelatin to fully set.

1. Take your spring bottom cake tin and release the spring so that the bottom comes away. Now turn it over to the smooth side, where there is no lip and close the tin up again. This ensures you being able to slide the cake off the tin base, onto your serving dish once  you have finished.

2.  Place your tin on a sheet of grease-proof paper and draw round with a pencil. Cut out the circle and lay on the inside base of your tin.

3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and in the mean while place the biscuits in the blender and pulse until fully broken up. If you do not have a blender break up the biscuits in a pestle and mortar, or place in a strong plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin or glass bottle.

4. Empty the biscuits into a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix well and place in cake tin. Press down evenly and flatten out with a large spoon.The flatter the better, or the biscuit will look uneven when you cut the cake. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

5. Separate eggs, put whites into a large bowl to allow plenty of space to beat them, put yolks into a smaller bowl along with half the sugar and put the cream cheese into a large enough bowl to hold all the cake mixture, once you are ready to fold it all together. Add to the cream cheese your finely grated lemon zest, grated on finest holes of grater together with the yogurt . Squeeze lemon juice and pass through fine sieve, into a glass.

6. Place 2-3 tbs water into a small saucepan and add gelatin leaves one by one so that the water gets in between the leaves. Leave to soak until soft and wrinkly, about 5 minutes. Turn over gelatin if necessary so that it is all soft. At this point there is no hurry to use the gelatin.

Up until this point, I call the preparation part. From here onwards you start assembling your cheese cake and want to continue until you finish!

ASSEMBLING CHEESE CAKE

8. First, mix together your cream cheese, finely grated lemon zest and yogurt, using a whisk, until it is completely smooth, no little lumps!

7. Second, beat your egg yolks and “half” the sugar with a whisk until they are double the volume and very light in color. (5 mins) This adds air and lightness to your cheese cake and is an important factor.

9. Third, remove the beaters and wash under hot water, together with soap until spotlessly clean. Dry carefully and beat egg whites with a pinch of salt, until stiff peaks. ( This means the egg whites stand up stiffly, when you lift a little egg white with the beater. ) Now add the remaining sugar and beat again until shiny, about three minutes. (See N.B. bottom of recipe.)

10. Fourth, melt the gelatin over a low heat, it should ‘not’ boil, until it is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add your lemon juice. Using a fine sieve pour onto egg yolks and mix together. If it does unfortunately boil, it will not work so well, throw away and start again. The end result of this cheese cake gives no clue that gelatin has been used.

11.Fifth, Add egg yolks to cream cheese, whisk together .

12. Finally, fold in two tablespoons of meringue at first and then the rest in two goes, cutting across your mixture, lifting and turning over, giving your bowl a half turn each time, until the mixture is just amalgamated. If you fold too long you will lose volume and lightness.If you over fold you push out all the air you have beating in.

13. Turn your cheese cake mixture out in one, into your tin and very lightly smooth over the top. Cover with tin foil and place in refrigerator for at least four hours to set.

14. Once the cheese cake is set, remove from refrigerator. Run a knife around inside of tin, right down to the bottom, so that the biscuit does not stick to the sides of the tin.Place tin on work top, release spring surround and hold base on the side of a suitable serving dish at an angle and with the help of a spatula placed ‘under’ grease-proof paper, very gently push the cake so that it slides onto  serving dish, leaving you holding the metal base.

15. Decorate with fresh peaches, added just before serving, so that they do not brown, glacé cherries and edible flowers. ( Brush the peaches with a little lemon juice, before hand to stop them browning.)

N.B. Egg whites require a spotless bowl and no egg yolk accidentally dropped in order to beat up into meringue, any grease on bowl will also not allow this to happen. Should the telephone ring, give them an extra beat again, just before folding in, as they loose their volume easily.

No worries about “Gelatin!” As long as you don’t boil it, you sieve it, so that you don’t come across any lumps while eating and you work continuously with out stopping, once you have added it, all will be well. If you are called away and the gelatin begins to set, no amount of beating will get your mixture smooth. I am mostly making this in a hot kitchen in the summer time, so the gelatin gels slower, but even in winter, it has never set before I have finished.

This is a delectable cake, lemony light and not a hint of gelatin, which is as it should be.

 

Having prepared your tin,( see recipe,) melt your butter in a small saucepan.

 

My Lemon cheese Cake

Break up biscuits in a bowl,  using blender or plastic bag, with the aid of a rolling pin to break up the biscuits.

 

My lemon cheese Cake

Biscuits should look like this once broken up.

 

Place egg whites in spotlessly clean large bowl, big enough to fit double the volume.  Add a pinch of salt,

this helps in your beating. Beat until stiff peaks. When you lift the beaters out of the meringue the peaks

should not flop over. Beat for at least three minutes at high speed.

Place egg yolks in separate bowl.

 

My Lemon Cheese Cake

Add  ’half’ the sugar.

 

Beat egg yolks and sugar until double the volume, fluffy and pale yellow. the paler the color, the more air

that has been incorporated.

Put cream cheese into large bowl, large enough to hold final cheese cake mixture. Add yogurt and finely

grated lemon zest. Mix with a whisk until completely smooth and with out any small lumps.

Add to small sauce pan 2-3 tbs of water. Place gelatin leaves in one by one , so that the water goes in between

the leaves and allow to soak five minutes to soften. When ready to use, melt on low heat until completely

dissolved. Do not allow to boil, or the gelatin will not gel as well.

Add your lemon juice and pour through ‘sieve’ onto beaten egg yolks 9 The sieving is important to omit  any

gelatin lumps.). Mix with a hand whisk and pour over cream cheese. Whisk until thoroughly amalgamated.

Fold in  2 tbs of meringue to cheese mixture and then fold in rest of meringue in two halves.

The folding process is important. Use a large spatula or tablespoon, cut across mixture, turn your spoon

and lift and fold over very lightly with out pressing down. Each time you do this, give the bowl a half turn.

My lemon Cheese Cake

Turn out in one, into cake tin. This is also important, so as not to loose air. Smooth out gently on top and

place in refrigerator for at least four hours covered with tin foil. Here you can see the kind of spatula I use,

which is perfect for the job, as is the spring-sided cake tin.

Smooth out on top. Once set, run sharp knife around inside of tin, right to the bottom, so that the biscuit does

not remain stuck to the tin and undo spring.

The cheese cake will gently drop down. Using a palette knife slide it in between the grease-proof paper and the

bottom of the tin and push gently onto serving plate, together with the grease-proof paper.

Decorate just before serving with sliced peaches, cherries and edible flowers.

Final result…..makes an excellent Birthday Cake!

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