I should say up front that the Lemon Almond Cheesecake is completely delicious and well worth the effort. But oh what an effort! It's not something to make when you're feeling tired (which I was). I had to compartmentalise this recipe to avoid being overwhelmed by the amount of work involved.
Step One: baking tin Tetris
If your oven is small like mine then you need to work out the biggest baking tin you can use to take the voluminous cheesecake batter, that will also fit into a slightly larger tin which is used as a water bath, that will all fit into your small oven. You also need to find a tin which is very slightly bigger than the cheesecake tin in which to bake the cake bottom.
There was quite a lot of grumpy banging around in the cake tin drawer before I found the winning combination. Next cheesecake I'm buying some more tins.
Step Two: the cake bit
The light almond cake which is used as the base of the cheesecake is not too difficult but it requires toasting some almonds and then grinding them finely. It's the little steps that drive you crazy.
I had a slight panic just before adding the eggs. I could find no weight in my ebook for the egg whites. Just when I've been trained into weighing eggs the rug (shell?) is pulled out from under my feet. Luckily Alpha Bakers Hanaa and Patricia came to my rescue with the right weight.
The good thing about this cake is that it makes two layers. Good housekeepers can use this opportunity to freeze one layer for later. I ate mine. It was delicious. And very light.
Not the best looking cake you've ever seen, but a bit of trimming got rid of the 'browner' bits.
My gorgeous colleague asked me genuinely what the brown stripe was between the cheesecake and the cake. I had to fess up that it was a darker than desirable cake top rather than, say, a deliberate chocolate layer.
Step three: more sour cream than you've ever seen in your life
The cheesecake batter-making part of this recipe is a bit of a blur. And my camera ran out of battery so I have nothing to remind me. I remember zesting a lot of lemons and weighing out my own body weight in cream cheese and sour cream. I also had to google 'substitutes for turbinado sugar' (again). I used golden caster sugar.
This was a truly delicious batter and there was a lot of it. I didn't add the suggested almond essence (I'm a bit scared of its potency) or lemon oil (I don't have any and the potency thing also).
Step four: water bathing
Is this a new form of torture? It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have oven/baking tin issues. But all the same I still manage to somehow flick water on the cheesecake. Every time.
And all the foil in the world can't seem to keep out the water. The cheesecake survived despite this, although my state of mind was a little fragile by the time I took it out of the oven. And that was a little too soon perhaps, but by the time I realised there was no way I was putting the bath back together.
Oh good God, there's a step five??!!
Lemon curd glaze. I've made a a lot of this recently. I have the zombie stance standing over the pan stirring, down pat. I was so comatose by the time it thickened up, I even found myself straining it, just like the recipe says.
And possibly it was worth it because it looked pretty smooth once I put it on the cheesecake.
Step six: almost too tired to eat
Not really. I'm never that tired.
Next week the Alpha Bakers are making Irish Cream Scones with Raspberry Butterscotch Lace Topping. I just looked at the recipe. Multiple steps!! Scones! How does Rose do it?!