Baked Cheesecake – Day 3 NaBloPoMo 2015

Henrietta, Queen of the Chicken Coop

Henrietta, Queen of the Chicken Coop

My six gorgeous girls are working overtime at the moment and I’ve got a glut of eggs. I give them away to family but even so, they keep on laying. It probably has something to do with all the weeds I’ve been pulling out of the garden these past few weeks, which are full of delicious insects and worms!

So, even though I should be studying, with so many eggs on hand I thought I’d make a cheesecake with a twist.

Cardamon seeds, ready to grind - and six of the best from my chickens

Cardamon seeds, ready to grind – and six of the best from my chickens

I love the aroma and taste of cardamon in both savoury and sweet dishes, and it works superbly with citrus. Not having any oranges in the house, I got creative and put four tablespoons of lemon juice and about a quarter of a teaspoon of Orange Blossom Water, a delicious by product of orange oil distillation. It’s a powerful aroma and a common ingredient in desserts from North Africa and the Middle East to Malta, France and Spain. Like Rose Water, use it sparingly!

Cheesecake ready for baking

Cheesecake ready for baking

Orange Blossom & Cardamon Cheesecake (8-10 generous serves)

Ingredients:

1 prepared biscuit base (for a 28-30cm spring form pan)

6 large eggs                       3/4 cup of sugar                        500g cream cheese (at room temperature)

1 tab crushed cardamon seeds     1/4 teaspoon Orange Blossom Water (or more to taste)      4 tabs lemon juice

Method:

Break the 6 eggs carefully into a blender jar, add the sugar and cover. Pulse until the eggs are frothy and the sugar is combined. Spoon the softened cream cheese in, cover and blend until smooth. Add the crushed cardamon seeds (I do mine by hand, shelling seed from whole pods and grinding in a mortar and pestle – the flavour is much better!), the Orange Blossom Water and lemon juice. Blend this on a low setting until combined.

Pour this luscious mix into the base and bake at 150 C for approximately 45 minutes. I usually leave my cheesecakes to cool in the oven before refrigerating them. You could put sliced fresh strawberries or apricot on top – they go very well with Orange Blossom Water – or leave it perfectly plain. Either way, this is a delicious twist on an old favourite and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did 🙂

The finished cheesecake, with tiny flecks of ground cardamon visible

The finished cheesecake, with tiny flecks of ground cardamon visible

What are your tips for using excess eggs? Please leave a comment below!

 

 

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