Cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts but I seldom make a cheesecake because I find the amount of cream cheese in those luscious desserts a tad too much! Most of the recipes that I’ve checked out calls for 3 blocks of cream cheese, some even ask for 4! I cannot bring myself to consume so much cream cheese but I would make one for a party because then we can ‘share the fat’, ha ha!
This Mandarin cheesecake is based on Harumi Kurihara’s recipe. It uses only 1 block of cream cheese …. and also a cup of heavy cream. Her recipe produces a creamy and smooth cheesecake. I switched it up by adding canned mandarin slices and also by using digestive biscuits for the base instead of graham cracker crumbs. This is my personal opinion but I think North Americans can take a lesson from the Australians and the Brits and use digestive biscuits because they make a much better crust in terms of taste and texture.
Harumi’s Baked Cheesecake
Adapted from Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking
1 cup (160g) graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup (250g) cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Butter an 8″ springform pan.
2. Put the graham crackers in a plastic bag and roughly crush with a rolling pin.
3. Soften the butter and mix the with graham cracker crumbs.
4. Pour the graham cracker mix into the bottom of the pan and press down lightly to make the base. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F. (Note 1)
5. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until soft, then add the rest of the ingredients, in order, mixing each one thoroughly first before adding the next.
6. Continue until the mixture thickens, then pour into the cake pan, on top of the crust. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
7. Once it has cooled, remove the base from the springform pan and leave the cake on a rack to cool completely.
For the switch-up:
Drain one can of mandarin slices reserving 1 1/2 tablespoons of the syrup. Omit the lemon juice and use the reserved syrup instead. Fold half the mandarin slices into the batter before pouring into the pan. After removing the cake from the oven, lightly press the remaining mandarin slices on the top of the cake in a pattern.
For the crust, I use McVitie’s Digestives biscuits or a combination of Digestives and HobNobs for extra crunch.
Harumi’s recipe doesn’t require you to bake the crust but I bake it anyway for 10 minutes. Leave the base in the freezer while the oven is preheating.