To those of you who are not the 0.0000001% of drop-dead gorgeous women (or men) who override the effects of traffic lights in New York City’s bustling streets, cheers. Cheers because your friends are not jealous of you. Cheers because you have weaknesses that you can boast about. Cheers because even though you don’t stop every car that passes you by, you really only need to stop one person in the midst of their life who knows from first sight how special you are.
Oh, and did I mention you’d also get to eat cheesecake without everyone around you turning heads whispering “I can’t believe she’s eating cheesecake!” No I’m not saying go pig out on cheesecake tomorrow in front of your girl or guy friend. I mean, they’ll still love you for who you are, but mind your health. There’s no point in trying to make yourself feel loved by stuffing yourself.
Have cheesecake if you’re feeling down.
But don’t have too much for that’ll weigh you down.
Plus, you never know – maybe this is actually how somebody sees you, actually, someone does see you like this:
“You are beautiful, my darling,
beautiful beyond words.
Your eyes are like doves beyond your veil.
Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats
winding down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are as white as sheep,
recently shorn and freshly washed.
Your smile is flawless,
each tooth matched to its twin.
Your lips are like scarlet ribbon;
your mouth is inviting.
Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.
Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David…
You are altogether beautiful, my darling,
beautiful in every way.“
~Song of Songs 4:1-7
Ingredients for the nutty crust (this is such an amazing crust, you must try it!)
1 c oats
1/2 c raw pecan halves (walnuts, almonds, cashews or even roasted mixed salted nuts will do)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c brown sugar
3/4 tsp fine sea salt (use 1/2 tsp if using salted nuts)
a pinch of cinnamon, optional
3 tbsp coconut oil
To make the nutty crust, put the oats, nuts, cornstarch, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor or blender. Whiz together until the mixture resembles graham cracker crumbs. Add the coconut oil and pulse until the mixture begins to moisten and clump up.
Line the bottom of four 4-inch springform pans or one 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Press the oat and nut mixture evenly, and firmly into the pan with a measuring cup with a flat bottom or your fingertips. Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with the rack placed in the middle of the oven. Take the crust from the freezer straight into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and slightly puffed. Use the back of a spoon to gently press down on the crust then let cool completely before chilling until needed.
Ingredients for the cheesecake batter:
1 kg 2% cottage cheese, strained, at room temperature
250 g full fat cream cheese, cut into cubes, at room temperature
3/4 c sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 free range eggs, at room temperature
To make the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 325 degree F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven, and another rack below it. Fill a pan with water and put it on the bottom rack – this will create the bain marie without risking a water-soaked crust.
Put the cottage cheese in the blender and whiz until smooth. Add the cream cheese, a cube at a time until the mixture is thick and creamy without any lumps. Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and sea salt and continue blending until smooth. On low, pulse in the eggs just until evenly incorporated.
Pour the cheese batter into the chilled baked crust and bake in the top rack for 30-40 minutes if using small springform pans or 60-75 minutes if using a large springform pan. The middle should jiggle a little bit when you remove it from the oven, but don’t worry the residual heat is sufficient to cook it through.
Cool it completely before covering and chilling overnight to set.
When ready to serve, simply run a thin-bladed knife around the side of the pan to release the cake.
I actually like to sprinkle a generous layer of sugar on top then torching it to make it a creme brulee cheesecake, just sayin’.
But honestly, you really can’t do much to top a cheesecake, perhaps some cherry compote, but really, I mean, it’s cheesecake.
Enjoy, but don’t pig out.
(At least don’t blame me if you do, I provided fair warning)