Baked Cheesecake with Raisins
This recipe is inspired by a recipe for Traditional Baked Polish Cheesecake (Sernik).
When I say it’s inspired I mean it’s pretty much the same recipe except I used gluten-free flour for the base. And I added some ginger and cinnamon to the base. Because I just love adding some gentle spice to my chocolate.
I also added some lemon juice and zest.
And … I used ricotta cheese rather than Polish ‘twarog’ cheese. I’m sure I could have found some ‘twarog’ in a Polski Schlep. But the truth is I decided I wanted to make something to post on twimii and I had all the makings of this except for the right type of cheese.
Also I didn’t have ground almonds, only whole, so instead I ground some almonds in the food processor.
So why a Baked Cheesecake with Raisins?
I kept changing my mind about what Polish dish to choose. There were some obvious choices like Polish Hunter’s Stew – Bigos or gluten-free pierogi or these yummy looking potato pancakes. I also was very tempted by this recipe for Chicken Soup which sounds very restorative and healthy. But I’d want to make sure and get an organic chicken as well as an organic beef bone if I was going to make it.
I did decide to make this cheesecake sometime ago. I just never got around to getting the twarog. Twarog is also known as farmer’s cheese and you can make it yourself.
But why a baked cheesecake with raisins?
OK calm down. I know some people can get offended by the mere presence of raisins in a dish. But … well, this EU recipe post thing hasn’t gone very well. And honestly I think some people may be offended by these recipes somehow. So I may as well include raisins. Because I like them. I can’t understand why anyone would be bothered about them – or a recipe they didn’t like.
The original recipe says you can leave them out. In fact I highly recommend looking at the recipe for Sernik because it offers really good advice on substitutions and the instructions are really clear.
Is it at least a good cheesecake?
It’s lovely. I thought it would taste like those fruit shortcake biscuits. But actually, for me, it tastes more like fruitcake.
I think twarog cheese is much tangier than ricotta cheese. I did add some lemon juice but only a little and I think it needed more. Ricotta is very mild and creamy, and probably needs more sharpness added.
So in the recipe below I’m going to say to add the juice of half a lemon – but taste and add more if you think it’s not sharp enough. It may need the juice of one whole lemon.
Oh, one interesting I learned making this cheesecake…
You don’t need to add a base to a baked cheesecake.
I know. It’s amazing.
You can just grease the baking tin well and then dust it with ground almond. Let it cool completely after baking. Then you use a knife or spatula to gently make sure the sides aren’t sticking and … it works. I’m amazed.
And if I make another baked cheesecake this is what I’m going to do.
Don’t get me wrong. The base on this is good. But I’d rather use it to make cookies. Just add in some chocolate chips and maybe some marshmallow bits and it would be gorgeous.
Things to See & Do in Poland
I’ve not been to Poland yet. Really would like to go. Let’s get some ideas for what to see and do there.
- 12 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Poland
- A film lover’s guide to Łódź – and a list of film festivals there. There’s a few Polish films I really like so I imagine it’s a good place to go for cinema.
- A music lover’s guide to Poland
- Just want to walk through some place that’s beautiful? Here’s a list of 15 of the most beautiful places in Poland.
And for foodies?
Well, Lonely Planet says it should be your next foodie destination. And this is a travel blogger’s foodie guide to Poland.
It all looks very good. But I’m almost afraid to search for the next bit…
What is Poland like for coeliacs and the gluten-intolerant?
OK it looks like you do need to be careful and specify what you can and can’t eat. But there are definitely quite a few options in the big cities. Here’s the gluten-free guide to Poland.
- some ground almonds
- 130g gluten-free plain flour mix - I used Dove's Farm
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 90g salted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 egg yolks
- 500g ricotta
- 100g unsalted butter softened
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 70 ml double cream
- 60 g raisins
- zest of 1 orange
- zest of 1 lemon, juice of half of lemon you may want to add the juice of whole lemon - taste and see
- 1 tbsp almond flour and a little butter for greasing the pan
- Heat the oven to 200 C.
- Grease a suitably sized baking tin with butter and scatter some ground almonds on the base.
- Add the gluten free flour, cocoa, spices and baking powder to food mixer and mix so they are nicely blended.
- Next add in the butter and pulse until it has a crumby texture.
- Add in the egg yolks and mix until well mixed and a dough ball has formed.
- This dough is very pliable. So on the off-chance that you just can't find your rolling pin you can simply mould the dough into the tin with your finger. Probably best off using a rolling pin though.
- When you have added the dough to the base of the tin bake it for 10 - 15 minutes at 200 C. Then take out and allow it to cool completely.
- When the pie base and tin is completely cool grease the sides with a little butter and dust with some ground almonds. Turn the oven on to 170 C
- Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until they have formed soft peaks and leave aside to add in later.
- In another deep bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale.
- Add in the ricotta, egg yolks lemon juice, cornflour, lemon zest and orange zest. Gently beat until everything is well combined. Taste and see if it's tangy enough. You might want to add in more lemon juice.
- Next gently beat in the vanilla extract and double cream.
- Fold in the egg whites. And when all the egg white has been nicely folded in, scatter the raisins into the mix.
- To assemble the cheesecake pour the filling into the baking tin over the chocolate base. When you have scraped all the filling from the bowl into the baking tin, gently push down any ground almond on the sides of the baking tin so they are on the cheesecake and not on the tin - they could burn if they are just on the tin
- Bake the cheesecake in the middle of the oven for an hour. Then turn off the oven and leave the cake to continue baking in the cooling oven. After an hour take the cheesecake out and let it cool completely.
- Serve with some boozy or fruity cream - and a good cup of tea. Enjoy!
- Pour the cheesecake filling mixture over the crust and smooth out the top.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes. Switch the oven off, but DO NOT remove the cheesecake (or open the oven door) for one hour. After an hour leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door open for an additional 15 minutes.
- Once completely cooled use a thin spatula or knife to loosen the cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan then remove the rim. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve.
- For best results use a sharp knife to cut the cheesecake, wiping it clean and dipping in warm water between slices.