Hands up - who loves cheesecake? Victoria argues the case for this comforting "sophisticated nursery food" and shares a creamy recipe for a glorious gluten free cinnamon cheesecake.
There’s something so comforting about cheesecake. It’s like sophisticated nursery food - creamy and soft enough not to have to chew and sweet enough to satisfy even the most repressed inner child.
I have been craving cheesecake ever since I saw a BOGOF deal on Philadelphia in my local supermarket last week. But I didn’t just want any old cheesecake. I wanted something warming and aromatic and definitely baked. This cheesecake is gorgeous with ginger, but for today’s mood at least, it had to be cinnamon.
Cheesecakes are much simpler to make than lots of people think. As long as the cream cheese is at room temperature before you whisk it up and you preheat the oven properly, very little can go wrong. The reason this is important is that fridge cold cream cheese can make for a grainy texture. If the top cracks, it’s not the end of the world and you can always make a sour cream topping, like I did here
(just add half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the mix). This requires no water bath or other such faffing and, if you can’t be bothered to make your own biscuit base, just blitz up some shop bought gluten-free biscuits, mix with melted butter and a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and press it into the base and bake for 10 minutes, before carrying on with the recipe instructions below.
Gluten free Cinnamon Cheesecake
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/375°F/Gas Mark 5. You will need an 8-inch springform cake tin. Grease the bottom with butter.
For the cinnamon biscuit base
80g caster sugar
60g unsalted softened butter
1 small egg, beaten
95g rice flour
½ tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. gluten-free baking powder
A pinch of salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tbsp. caster sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Plus melted butter for greasing
For the filling
– make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before you begin.
725g full fat Philadelphia cream cheese
200g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
The scraped out seeds of 2 vanilla pods
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Finely grated zest of half a lemon
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 medium eggs, plus 1 yolk
160ml soured cream
To make the biscuit base, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the egg and sift over the rice flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix all the ingredients together until it starts to form a dough.
Put the dough in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes or until firm.
Roll out the dough into roughly an 8-inch round. Place it on the buttered base of the tin and trim the edges with a knife before sliding the base into the cake tin.
Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon together and liberally coat the top of the biscuit base with it. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, paint the inside of the tart tin liberally with melted butter and place the tin on a baking tray.
Increase the oven temperature to 220°C (200°C fan)/430°F/Gas Mark 9.
Beat the Philadelphia until creamy, before gradually adding the sugar, cornflour and salt. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice, before whisking in the eggs and yolk, one at a time. Whisk in the soured cream and pour the mixture over the biscuit base. Bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 110°C (90°C)/230°F/Gas Mark ¼
Bake for a further 25 minutes. If you gently shake the tin, there should be a slight wobble in the middle. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 2 hours with the oven door slightly ajar.
Cover loosely with foil (without touching the top) and pop it in the fridge to set for 8 hours or overnight.
Gently release the cheesecake from the tin (you may need to run a long sharp knife round the edges first to help), before prising the tin base off the cheesecake with a palette knife, while sliding it onto a serving plate.
Inspired? For more great dessert recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.