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cinnamon & honey baked cheesecake

December 11, 2012

 

cinnamon & honey baked cheesecake

Would you believe me if I told you that I refused to eat cheesecake in my childhood years?

Something about the heavy creaminess and rather plain appearance must have dissuaded me from ever giving it a try.

(The Bean – she who loves all things orange vegetable and won’t eat a meal without meat in it – loved it. Of course. She was always eating all of the things I didn’t like, and in double portions too.)

cinnamon & honey baked cheesecake

So I suppose, in light of my fairly recently acquired affection for things earlier spurned, it should come as no surprise at all that I’d never (well, not until this time) thought it necessary, or even enticing, to try bake a cheesecake of my own.

Frozen, layered and chilled cheesecakes had been well and truly conquered though, as had gelatine filled wobbly messes that had dessert goers scraping the bottom of the serving dish.

But to bake one? Oh, it seemed nigh on impossible what with the waterbaths and the jiggly-yet-set-centres and the cracked middles that need to be covered up with layers of frosting.

(And the whole waterbath thing? Yeah, no. Can’t do it. Seems too weird.)

Blergh.

cinnamon & honey baked cheesecake

And then, almost imperceptibly, something changed.

That something being the need to cook a Greek-ish dessert for a Christmas luncheon, and my even greater unwillingness to make galaktoboureko on the morning of what was looking to be a fairly long and hot day.

So I improvised and “galaktoboureko’d” a cheesecake recipe. Sort of. I mixed up the ratios of cream cheese and ricotta, for a smoother, more custardy finish. I added honey and molasses and cinnamon for a warm, spicy flavour.

I planned on topping it with sheets of honey soaked phyllo pastry (to complete the galaktoboureko experience) but ran out of time. And ran into berries instead.

Needless to say, it was a cracking, uncracked (yes!) success – creamy and moreish – and one that I’ll be replicating at Christmas-dinner-the-fourth (being the Christmas dinner that’s actually held on Christmas day).

Though it’s a recipe that wouldn’t be out of place at any gathering, saviour-inspired or non. Especially when it’s as impressive to look at as this.

(Double especially as no water bath, or expensive baking equipment, is needed.)

 

cinnamon & honey baked cheesecake

cinnamon & honey baked cheesecake
 

You will need to start this recipe off the day before you intend to serve it (though it keeps quite well in the freezer, and is almost ice-creamy in its semi-frozen state, should you wish to serve it up that way). Being a cheesecake first-timer, I’ve adapted this recipe from Donna Hay.
Ingredients
for the cheesecake base
  • 250g roasted almond meal
  • 125g butter (melted)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
for the cheesecake filling:
  • 500g cream cheese (softened)
  • 350g ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • rind from one lemon, zested
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • blackberries & honey to top

How to make it
  1. Melt the butter and mix together with the roasted almond meal, brown sugar & cinnamon until it looks like wet sand.
  2. Line the bottom of a 23cm-ish springform tin with baking paper. Grease the paper and the sides well with butter. Press the almond mixture into the base of the tin and up the sides a little bit. Use a glass to smooth out the base.
  3. Place the base in the freezer for about half an hour or so (whilst you make the filling) so that it can set.
  4. Combine the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, molasses, honey, lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla bean paste in a food processor and blitz until it is uniform and creamy.
  5. Combine the cornflour and water to make a smooth paste and stir it into the cream cheese mixture. Give the bowl that the cream cheese mixture is in a few big bangs onto the table top or floor. This will force the air bubbles out and up towards the surface.
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 150C.
  7. When the oven is just about hot enough, take the base out of the freezer and top with the cream cheese mixture. Give it another couple of big bashes to get the air out. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then pop it in the oven.
  8. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the cheesecake wobbles just a little bit in the centre when you tap it, but has a firm looking top.
  9. Remove the tin from the oven and set it on a tray to cool. Run a little knife just around the top edge of the cheesecake so that it doesn’t crack when it contracts. When the cheesecake is at room temperature, pop it into the fridge overnight to set.
  10. Serve with berries on top and a drizzling of honey.


  • #1
    December 11th, 2012

    I used to hate cheesecake too when I was young! (And oh so naive it seems). But now I absolutely adore cheesecake! And seem to have a slight addiction. Genius idea adding in molasses, cinnamon and honey to amp up the Christmas spirit! :D

  • #2
    December 11th, 2012

    Water bath cheesecake? Ugh, forget that. This cake you made is the cheesy variety I love tucking into. Honey and molasses. Yeah baby.

  • #3
    December 11th, 2012

    Ive always loved cheesecake , even my mothers which was out of a packet….I know. Still, cheesecake is a magical dessert that can be made ahead and is almost universally loved

  • #4
    December 11th, 2012

    What a lovely ‘cheesy’ cheesecake. I have always enjoyed a European style cheesecake which has ricotta in it, delish Shez!

  • #5
    December 12th, 2012

    Shez you are a star! I was the same when I was a kid – you couldn’t pay me to touch it, but the older I get the more I appreciate it and creamier things. The cake looks lovely and your photos are amazing!

  • #6
    December 12th, 2012

    I’ve only become a fan of cheesecakes as I got older. I couldn’t and just didn’t appreciate the cheesey texture. I do love the sound of this flavour combination.

  • #7
    December 12th, 2012

    This looks fantastic! I love cheesecake, I’ve never been the biggest fan of baked cheesecake but this looks delicious!

  • #8
    December 13th, 2012

    The fact that this has molasses in it makes me want it even more. I eat molasses everyday, usually stirred through plain yoghurt. This cheesecake looks beautiful and I bet it tastes amazing too.

  • #9
    December 14th, 2012

    Your way with flavour is nothing short of a Christmas miracle! Shez, would you like to come to Christmas at my families house? If you could bring this cake, well, that would be great! :D

  • #10
    December 16th, 2012

    I wasn’t a lover of cheesecake either until recently. This version looks and sounds spectacular!

  • #11
    December 19th, 2012

    Looks and sounds just perfect! My mom never used a water bath so I had no idea until a few years ago that people even went through all that mess! Like the knife around the edge trick, haven’t heard of it before!

  • #12
    Esther
    December 25th, 2012

    I never bake a cheesecake before. This is so easy to made. It.is delicious. Yummy !!!! I took a small frozen one out when my friend drop in. I microwaved it briefly and leave it out for an hour. Is still as yummy. She loves it

  • #13
    September 25th, 2013

    I used to hate cheesecake too! This looks AMAZING and I need to make an uncracked cheesecake someday. Pinning to make soon. Now excuse me while I explore all 94857938745 other recipes on your site…so many beautiful photos, so little time!

Shez