Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Frozen lemon curd cake

If you love the creaminess of traditional cheesecake and the sharp sweet tang of lemon curd, you will really go for this rich frozen dessert.

* Serves 8

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 to 4 tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 cups good-quality lemon curd

For the filling
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1 (1/4-oz.) envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups cream cheese
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 large egg whites
For the topping

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, adding a little milk if the mixture is not a soft, dropping consistency. When well blended, spoon into a nonstick 8-inch-square, loose-bottomed cake pan. Smooth the top and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until evenly risen and just firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan.

Meanwhile, remove some large fine shreds of lemon zest for decoration, and keep covered. Grate the rest of the zest into a mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice into a measuring cup, and add water to make 3/4 cup liquid. Heat this liquid, then sprinkle with the gelatin, and stir until dissolved. Let cool. Put the cottage cheese into the bowl with the lemon zest, add half the sugar, and beat until creamy smooth. Then blend in the cooled gelatin and the yogurt.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until stiff, then fold in the sugar. Fold this mixture into the cottage cheese mixture until smooth. Spread a thick layer of lemon curd over the cake in the pan and then spoon on the cottage cheese mixture. Smooth the top and place in the freezer for 2 hours or until ready to serve.

To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan and transfer to a serving plate. Cover the top with broken pieces of caramel and the reserved shreds of lemon zest. Serve while still partly frozen. Slice into 12 squares and serve immediately.

Variations:

  • Frozen strawberry lemon cake
Prepare the basic recipe, using strawberry jelly instead of lemon curd and strawberry yogurt instead of plain yogurt. Top with sliced strawberries and whipped cream instead of caramel pieces.

  • Frozen tangerine marmalade cake
When preparing the basic recipe, use marmalade instead of lemon curd and 3 or 4 tangerines instead of the 2 lemons.

  • Frozen plum ginger cake
Prepare the basic recipe, using plum jelly instead of lemon curd and adding 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized or candied ginger to the filling. Top with sliced plums and more candied ginger instead of caramel pieces.

  • Frozen chocolate chestnut cake
Prepare the basic recipe, replacing 1 tablespoon flour in the cake with 1 tablespoon unsweetened powdered cocoa. When making the filling, omit the lemon rind and the yogurt and blend in 1 cup well-creamed, canned chestnut purée. Instead of the lemon curd, spread the cake with a chocolate spread. Top with grated chocolate and whipped cream instead of caramel pieces.