Four Eggs (Or More) And A Cheesecake

Lemon_Cheesecake
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With today, 30th of July, being National Cheesecake Day in America, let’s take a moment to cut ourselves a slice and honour the attributes of this century’s old culinary feat of mankind.

Simply explained, cheesecake is a sweet, layered dessert consisting of soft cheese, eggs, and sugar, often finished off with a base of crushed biscuits. As legend has it, the first cheesecake was made on the Greek island of Samos. There is also evidence that points to cheesecake being served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C, as they believed it to be a good source of energy.

Although the cheesecake has its origins in ancient Greek and Roman civilisations, it was only in about the 18th century that Europeans removed the yeast from the original recipe and added egg instead.

Much like the cream cheese, the egg also plays an essential role in an ultimately delicious cheesecake. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you didn’t add egg to a cheesecake? Well, it can actually be done but you would be missing out on that creamy, velvety texture that the yolk gives to a cheesecake’s custard – not to mention the delightful, luxurious taste. That’s most probably why most good cheesecakes have eggs in them!

So, whether you choose baked or unbaked, crust or crustless; with a topping or not, just make sure you eat some cheesecake today – and don’t forget to add the eggs!

Light Lemon Cheesecake
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Preparation time:  30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time:  12 hours
  • Total time: 13 hours
Ingredients:

For the sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 100g plain flour
For the filling:
  • 130g butter
  • 166g castor sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 2 lemons – rind finely grated and juice, strained
  • 230g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 400ml cream
Method:

For the sponge:

  1. Start by making the sponge: Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grease and line a 23cm spring form cake tin with greaseproof baking paper.
  2. Whisk the eggs and castor sugar to a ribbon-like consistency. Sift in the flour and fold in very lightly. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Using a sharp bread knife cut the sponge through the middle so that you have two disks of sponge.

For the filling:

  1. Cream the butter and castor sugar together until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon rind, strained lemon juice and cream cheese.
  3. Whip the cream until just holding shape and fold into cheese mixture.
  4. Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into cream cheese mixture.

Assembly:

  1. Wash and line the 23cm spring form tin again with greaseproof baking paper.
  2. Place one half of the sponge in the base of the tin, cut side up.
  3. Fill with cream cheese mixture and place the other sponge on top, cut side down.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.

To serve remove from tin and serve on a cake plate decorated with fresh fruit and dusted with icing sugar.

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