It was the boyfriend’s birthday back in March, but we were in Gozo at the time. Had some friends over last night and so used it as a proxy-birthday celebration. Such a thing required a cake, of course, and in the interests of cheesecake fairness, I figured I’d try a baked one. This is basically a Nigella recipe, with a few minor measurement differences. It is pretty good. Her recipes tend to be massive disasters or very delicious indeed, I find.
Anyway. Baked Chocolate Cheesecake. Try it.
3 200g tubs Philly cheese
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 packet of digestives
cocoa, 1 tablespoon and 1 extra teaspoon
sour cream, about half a small tub
1 tablespoon custard powder
200g dark chocolate
double cream (for the topping, along with 100g extra dark chocolate)
150g caster sugar
and, if you like, 1 teaspoon golden syrup, to go with the cream and chocolate for the topping. Made no discernable difference as far as I could tell.
Having blitzed your digestive biscuits, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa and the melted butter and mix well. Press into a 23cm springform tin and throw the beast into the freezer whilst you sort out the fililng. I used a whole packet of digestives (Nigella recommends half a packet, the fool, nothing’s better than a nice thick biscuity base) but that was too much. I am also a fool. See above for base and leftover base.
Here is my Nigella impression. I’m fairly sure she’s mostly famous for sticking large bits of fat-based stuff in her face, no?
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 and make sure your kettle is on to boil.
In a bowl beat the cream cheese till it’s soft and smooth, add the caster sugar and custard powder and beat well. Then add the whole eggs, mixing, and then the egg yolks, mixing again. It looked like the above at this stage. Get your spatula scraping those edge bits, they must not escape the beatings.
Nigella then says to add 1 teaspoon of cocoa, dissolved in hot water. God knows why. It only changes the mix to the above rather pastel-like shade and makes no difference to the flavour. I shall controversially say, here, that you probably don’t need that 1 teaspoon of cocoa. Make it a tablespoon and maybe we could chat.
Then add 200g of melted chocolate – I melt mine slowly in the microwave, but you could do it in a glass or metal bowl over a saucepan if you wanted to. Anyway it looks like the above, once added. Nice texture, delicious flavour. Try hard not to eat it all at this point.
Remember that you’ve forgotten to put the sour cream in. It should’ve gone in at the same time as the eggs and stuff. Anyway chuck in about 1/2 tub and mix through.
K. Bit tech now. Cover the bottom of your tin with a good layer of clingfilm and then again with foil. I used two lots of foil, and quite high over the sides in an effort to protect this poor defenceless cake from Shit Oven©. Put the whole thing in a roasting tin and place on your oven shelf, then fill to about halfway up the cake tin with the boiling water from your kettle. Stick it in the oven and let it cook for about 45-60 mins. I think I left this one in for about 55 mins. I spent a LOT of time peering in, anxiously, wondering at the damage Shit Oven© would cause.
It should be clearly set on top but have, at the same time, a good wobble underneath. Take it out of the oven, and out of the water bath, and place it on a cake rack. Take off the plastic and foil and let it cool. Stick it in the fridge overnight, or for a good few hours at least.
Shit Oven© managed only a slight darkening of the cake’s surface this time around. I WIN Shit Oven© I WIN HA!
Release the springform tin and place your cake on a serving plate. You can serve it like this if you want, it’s very good with ice cream and/or fruit. HOWEVER this was boyfriend’s birthday cake, remember, and so I had to take it a step further. Nigella recommends what she calls a glaze, and what I and everyone else would call a ganache. So I ganached.
Melt 125ml double cream in a bowl with 100g chocolate, dark. This is where you can add the golden syrup if you want to. I did, but really not sure why. Just before it’s all melted together take it off the heat and whisk till it’s smooth. Then pour it over the cake, either being messy or neat, depending on what you feel like.
Here tis, floating in space. Not bad, eh?
And here is the final product. 38. OLD.
(ps: it was awesomely delicious, we ate it with good quality vanilla ice cream and raspberries. There is a bit left. We shall be eating it for supper).