“Because you don’t live near a bakery doesn’t mean you have to go without cheesecake.” Hedy Lamarr
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Okay, back to therapeutic cooking!
I am going to be honest here and say it: I am not a fan of cheesecake. I don’t know why, but I just never swayed toward it. There was something about cream cheese and cake that just didn’t appeal to me. Even my (many) meals at The Cheesecake Factory ended sans a cheesecake!
So why this post, you ask? Well, I chanced upon a brick of the yummiest Philadelphia Cream Cheese and I had to make something out of it… and there is only so much cream cheese with toast my love handles can afford… not that the cheesecake would have been any better… I used some for the stuffed lychees, but there was still a lot left over.
This cheesecake does not require any oven baking, has a few simple steps and you can customize the flavours. As you probably can tell by now I have a slight obsession with orange zest – this cheesecake is overloaded with it! The filling is extremely light and fluffy and has a creamy consistency. The orange and lime zest plays beautifully against the heat of the crystallised ginger and the light cream filling. The crust is also spiked with the ginger and citrus zest.
Since I still don’t exactly LOVE cheesecake, I make a thinner layer of cream filling than normally acceptable; but for real cheesecake lovers, I recommend doubling the filling amount.
Since I lean more on the fruity-tarts side, I top the cheesecake with some grilled oranges in butter, sugar and vanilla and grated crystallised ginger. You can also sprinkle some toasted coconut for a real tropical feel.
Serves Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 5 hours
- 120 g digestive biscuits
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 crystallised ginger pieces, finely chopped
- 150 g cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- 100 g cream
- 4 tbsp orange zest
- 5 orange slices
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 crystallised ginger, finely chopped
- Grease and line a 9” by 9” tin. Let the sides of the liner hang over the edge for easy pulling out.
- Crumble the biscuits into a fine texture.
- Add the orange and lemon zest and the chopped up crystallised ginger.
- Rub the butter into the crumb mixture. Add more butter if the mixture feels too dry.
- Press the biscuit mixture tightly into the tin to create the crust.
- Place the tin in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Beat the cream cheese with the sugar well.
- Then add the cream and orange zest and whisk to create a smooth texture.
- Pour the cream mixture into the tin over the crust.
- Place the tin in the refrigerator for about four hours, or overnight. (Cover the tin with a cling film.)
- You can remove the cheesecake from its tin by pulling the liner up and place on a serving dish, cutting off the excess paper.
- Sprinkle some of the sugar on the orange slices and grill in a small hot pan on both sides.
- Combine the butter, vanilla and ginger together and pour into the pan and let the orange slices caramelize for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Then place the orange slices with the liquid on top of the cheesecake before serving.
- NOTES: If you want a thicker layer of the cheese filling, double up the measurements of the filling. You can also sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on top.