A favourite in our house is the humble cheesecake, quick and easy to make, and keeps well in the fridge for sweet-tooth moments or dessert during the week.
I vary it by adding all different kinds of flavourings – depending on ideas I’ve seen around, ingredients in the cupboard, or just a craving for a bit of something!
This weeks I wanted to go for raspberry, having looked at the price of fresh ones in the supermarket (so winter’s not a time for fresh produce… who knew!) – I had the choice of tinned or frozen. Frozen seemed a bit more effort in terms of defrosting, and I wasn’t sure what they’d do to the texture either, so, with 2 cans of raspberries in my basket, I was all set.
I will post my proper cheesecake recipe at another point, but as this stage it was just the basic setup of low fat biscuit base, low fat cream cheese/quark, natural yoghurt and sweetener, with eggs mixed in just before baking.
The tins were about half juice and half fruit, so I drained most of this away as I didn’t want to make the mixture too runny, and encounter the dreaded dilemma of a cheesecake that doesn’t set.
The first can went straight into the bowl and was well mixed in. On reflection I might keep all the fruit as a topping next time and go for white chocolate in the base. Next time…
Then the pièce de résistance – the swirl topping. I put the second tin of drained raspberries into a mug and used a spoon to mush them up into a paste. I also added a spoonful of raspberry jam to enhance the berry flavours and add some sheen to the topping.
With the rest of the cheesecake assembled, I carefully spooned the raspberry topping into a swirl on the top. Starting at the middle, I put a small amount on the spoon each time and placed it carefully on the top.
Everything in place, I put the tine VERY carefully in to the pre-heated oven, set the timer and crossed my fingers. One of my main worries was that the topping would just run across the surface and my pain-staking swirl-making would be ruined, but, 40 minutes later (a little longer than usual baking thanks to the extra moisture from the raspberries), and, tada!
Something else to work on for the future – making my biscuit base more robust! Although the majority of it stayed put, in my haste to experiment with the raspberries I probably skimped on the biscuit compacting step. Oops.