Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bailey’s Cheesecake

11g pack powdered gelatin, plus 1 tsp
175g shortcake biscuits , crushed to crumbs
85g butter, melted
250g tub Quark
250g tub Mascarpone
150ml Baileys cream liquor
142ml double cream, lightly whipped
2 eggs
140g caster sugar

For the coffee jelly
1 heaped tsp powdered gelatin
150ml strong black coffee, sweetened with 2 tbsp caster sugar

Measure 5tbsp cold water in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the gelatin and leave to soak or 5 min until spongy. Now stand the bowl of gelatin in a pan of gently simmering water and leave until it turns clear.
Meanwhile mix the biscuit crumbs and butter really well, then press on the base of a loose bottom 20cm cake tin. Chill.
Beat the quark, mascarpone, and baileys together, then stir in the gelatin and fold in the cream.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until thick, pale and foamy, then fold into the cheesecake mixture and pour onto the biscuit base. Chill for 3-4 hours or until set.
For the jelly, sprinkle the gelatin over the coffee, then put the bowl in a pan of gently simmering water until dissolved. Cool the mixture. When cold, carefully spoon the coffee mixture on top of the cheesecake to make a thin layer - don’t pour it on or you will disturb the creamy layer. Chill until set.
To serve, wrap a hot tea towel round the outside of the tin, then gently ease out the cake. Serve in slices.

This was from Good Food Magazine.

Normally I don’t go in for fancy cheesecakes (I’m a cheesecake traditionalist), but I decided to give this one a try. It’s a non-bake cheesecake, so that’s new for me, and it uses gelatin, which I am still fairly new to, so it seemed like it would be a fun adventure.

It was.

I think I’ve finally got my head around using gelatin. There was a tip in the magazine about how you should always add powdered gelatin to cold liquid, and let it go spongy before heating it up. That way it won’t go lumpy. I guess it worked, because I had no problem with it. It was also my first time using Quark. I always wondered what it was. It said on the package that it is a very basic kind of soft cheese. I don’t think you’d want to eat it on it’s own, I’m pretty sure it’s just for use in cooking. It had a nice consistency though, and it worked well.

The gelatin coffee topping was a fun touch too. I always loved the way that looked on fancy cakes, and I had no idea it was so easy to do. It says in the recipe to spoon it onto the top so you don’t disturb the cake, but if you want a slightly quicker method, you can pour it very slowly and carefully over the back of a spoon onto the cake (the spoon should be held as close to the cake as possible). This method spreads out the impact of the liquid. I did it that way, and it was fine. Before pouring it on, I didn’t think it was going to be enough, I looked like such a small amount of liquid, but it was perfect.

One really important thing that the recipe doesn’t mention, is that as with any cheesecake, you really need to make it the day before. Cheesecakes are ok on the day you make them, but they don’t really reach the right consistency till they’ve been in the fridge overnight.

All in all, this wasn’t quick, or especially simple, but it wasn’t tricky either. There’s nothing here that should trip you up, it’s just a lot to do. I would recommend it, because on the day after it was made, it was really delicious.

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