Monday, April 2, 2012

London Cheesecake

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
London cheesecake is not what you think it means and is a bit of a misnomer. Nigella Lawson came up with this monicker as her answer to the famous New York cheesecake. However, it turned out that this innocent nod to a classic dessert would ruffle a few people's feathers. The reason being is that  a dessert also named London Cheesecake already exists. The ironic thing is that this dessert is neither made with cheese nor is it a cake. In fact, it is made with puff pastry flavored with jam and fangipane

Looking for a recipe of this elusive dessert, I came upon this post which explains the difference between Nigella's cheesecake and the real London cheesecake. However, I am making the jammed up version which uses frangipane, a common filling used in baked pastry, and apricot jam. A simple recipe of frangipane is composed of equal amounts of ground almonds, butter, sugar and eggs. However, I'm going no-egg on this version so I'm nixing the egg. 

The puff pastry I'm using is the commercial frozen ones sold in stores. It is made with vegetable oils and is 100% cholesterol free. It beats making it from scratch with real butter. The topping is a bit unusual and for an English dessert, it makes you think how they came up with grated or strings of coconut. Still, I'm very excited and I'm hoping it will not disappoint. 

London Cheesecake - Adapted*

1 package puff pastry, thawed as per packet instructions
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup unsalted butter or vegan buttery sticks
1 young coconut meat, grated

Sugar Glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
3 tbsp white rum + 2 tbsp water (or 5 tbsp milk)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In your mixer bowl, combine the butter, ground 
    almonds and sugar. Beat using a paddle attachment at medium speed 
    until it all come together. Divide into 9 equal portions.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
2. Lay the pastry sheets 
    flat on a floured 
    surface. Prick with the 
    tines of a fok and divide
    into nine squares. 
    Spread half the pastry 
    squares with one 
    portion of the almond 
    mixture and top with a 
    teaspoon of the apricot 

3. Top with the other half 
    and seal the edges. 
    Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool on a wire 

4. When the cheesecakes are cooled, combine the confectioner's sugar with 
    the rum and water in a small bowl until the sugar melts into a pourable 
    frosting. Drizzle over the cakes and top with string of young coconut 

5. Serve at room temperature or chilled. 

* London cheesecake recipe.

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