Gazta Tarta

Cheesecake

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I DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A SWEET TOOTH SO IT TOOK A FRIEND OF MINE I JUST HAPPENED TO BUMP INTO IN SAN SEBASTIÁN ONE NIGHT TO PUT ME ON TO THE LOCAL CHEESECAKE. IT IS COOKED IN A HOT OVEN, SO THE OUTSIDE HAS A WELL-DEVELOPED CARAMELISED SKIN THAT GOES FROM GOLDEN TO BROWN TO BLACK — DON’T BE ALARMED AS IT’S ALL PART OF THE ACT. IT IS SO LOVELY THAT WHEN I FINISHED TESTING THIS VERSION I ENDED UP EATING NEARLY HALF OF IT. AND YES, SPANISH CHEFS DO USE PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE!

Ingredients

  • butter, for greasing
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, to dust
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) cream
  • 155 g (5½ oz/heaped ⅔ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 300 g (10½ oz/ cups) soft cream cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 180 g (6 oz) goat’s curd
  • 125 g ( oz/½ cup) thick plain yoghurt
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 40 ml ( fl oz) brandy
  • 2 tablespoons icing (confectioners’) sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Lightly grease a 25 cm (10 inch) springform tin with butter, then dust with flour, shaking out the excess.

Place all the ingredients except the icing sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set.

Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven, sprinkle the icing sugar over the top and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and, using a kitchen blowtorch, brown the top until it is very dark. Alternatively, brown the cheesecake under a very hot grill (broiler).

Allow to cool before serving.

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