How was your bonfire night? The best night of your life? No? Then please accept my sincerest apologies. I was going to do a fun bonfirey, toffee appley, let’s whip out the sparklers and blow your taste buds off kinda post. It would have transformed your Tuesday.
Then I went to New York.
Before I knew it Tuesday was upon me and Mr Fawkes was giving me that ‘I’m disappointed in you’ look – you know, the one your mum gives you when she comes in to find you watching Made in Chelsea instead of unloading the dishwasher as you’d promised.
Please don’t subject me to that look too. I’m sorry it’s been at least 3 weeks, and that you didn’t experience the bonfire magic you could’ve done and that that’s my fault. Please say you’ll forgive me? What if I bribe you with cheesecake?
New York = cheesecake, right? Whilst in the Big Apple we indulged in the biggest piece I’ve think ever seen. Think cartoon cheese wedge proportions. It could’ve easily fed a family of 5. It fed a family of 3. I wish I had photographic evidence to show you.
Now there’s one thing I want you take away from this post if nothing else. Even if you hate cheesecake, never read another post, and pretend we were never friends, note this: Frozen cherries are incredible. Why? Let me spell it out:
– They’re pitted so you’ll never have to navigate your way around those awkward stone-spitting shenanigans again. It’s over.
– Pop them in the microwave for a minute and Bingo! You have fresh berries in the middle of winter, that haven’t travelled all the way from Africa. Food miles and all that.
-They’re super tasty with yogurt and granola or just eaten frozen out the bag. And they dye your lips red. What’s not to love?
Oh, and they’re amazing in cheesecake.
Baked cherry and amaretti cheesecake
100g digestive biscuits
100g amaretti biscuits
½ tsp. almond extract
½ tsp. salt
80g unsalted butter, melted
750g cream cheese
170g caster sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
300ml sour cream
2 tbsp. plain flour
300g frozen cherries – I use Sainsbury’s Dark Sweet ones
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/160°C. Grease and line a 22cm spring form cake tin with baking paper.
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they’re a chunky dust. Add the melted butter and almond extract and blitz again until mixed through. Press the buttery crumbs into the base of your tin and refrigerate.
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer until combined. One at a time, beat in the eggs, followed by the lemon zest, juice and sour cream. Sieve in the flour and mix until smooth. Avoid over-mixing it otherwise it’s likely to rise and crack. Add the frozen cherries and pour the mix over the set biscuit base. Bake for 70-80 minutes – until firm but the centre trembles slightly when tapped.
Turn the oven off but leave the tin inside with the door slightly open until the cheesecake is completely cool. Take out of the oven, remove from the tin and top with additional defrosted cherries and crushed amaretti biscuits. It’s best eaten the same day although will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.