Happy Birthday Cheesecake

Happy birthday to you…

photo 4Today our lovely friends from home arrived and yesterday was Kayleigh’s birthday. Perfect timing to make my favourite cake in the world. I got the recipe from my German aunt and although it didn’t go perfectly, it tasted amazing.

You will need:

The base:
150g biscuits
60g butter
1 egg white
The cheese mixture:
8 gelatin leaves
1 lemon (juice)
2 packets vanilla sugar
½l Dickmilch/ Buttermilk (or 3 pots yoghurt)
150g sugar
½l double cream (whipped)
1 can peaches (optional)
The Topping:
¼l fruit juice
6 gelatin leaves
26cms cake form

Start by melting the butter in a sauce pan over a very low heat. While you are waiting, nibble some biscuits. I mean, crush some biscuits. Ahem. It’s really not important which biscuits you use, digestives are the easiest to crumble and ginger nuts taste delicious and a mixture works too.

photo 1Today, we had some hobnobs left over so after nibbling a few during the preparation process, we smashed them up into small crumbs (some people use a freezer bag and a rolling pin, but we just used a thick glass bowl with a wooden spoon). Add these to the melted butter in the sauce pan. Once it is all mixed in, put it all into the cake form. I find it best to push down the mixture with the bottom of a glass with a little pressure as this will make it flatter. Then into the oven it goes, 150 degrees for 20 minutes.

Take it out and let it cool. We brushed an egg white over the top to keep it from getting too moist. The bottom layer is my favourite part so we actually left it over night in the fridge to harden properly. The longer the better, however an hour or two is plenty if you are in a rush.

photo 2Now to the cheese!! This is the first time I had ever seen, let alone used (!) gelatin leaves. It is best to read the instructions, as winging it did not work for me and the first attempt is in the bin. Anyhoo… What you have to do is place the leaves into cold water, one after the other. Wait five minutes and the texture changes completely. Tap them dry with kitchen towel and stick them in a frying pan for a couple of minutes on very low heat. When they become see-through put in the lemon juice, vanilla sugar, your chosen milk and sugar and take off the heat. Then add the whipped cream into the mixture slowly and carefully, to keep it fluffy and put the mixture over the base. Drop the peaches in randomly, they will fall to the bottom and set there.

photo 3Put this in the fridge to cool and set for as long as you can. Then the last layer, soak the gelatin in cold water again for 5 minutes, then heat it in the saucepan and add the juice – we used orange juice – mixing the whole time. Then (my aunt taught me this trick) run the liquid over a spoon onto the cake so you don’t get holes on the surface. Keep it in the fridge for at least a few hours to let it set and then enjoy!!

*Disclaimer: we didn’t let the cheese part set before we poured on the juice topping, as you can see it must have drained down the sides and made a layer above the base. Odd, but delicious…*

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