"blush" orange cheesecake part one

so im on holiday from work this week and as you may know i have a love of baking. i decided that today would be the day that i got out my mixer and baked something from my new book cake days. i have to thank emma once again for this as it was a really kind birthday pressy. very thoughtful.

unfortunately when i popped into waitrose to pick up a few vital ingredients they didn't appear to have any blood oranges but never mind, i went for blush oranges instead and i have to say, snacking on one mid bake...fwahhhh what a scrummy orange!

so you will need :

220g of biscuits (i used digestives but its up to you)
100g of melted unsalted butter
as much orange zest as you can muster (i always use more zest)
700g of philly cream cheese (full fat, none of that light stuff)
100g of ricotta cheese
120g caster sugar
3 large eggs
save all the orange juice you can squeeze out of the oranges you used for zesting, this will be used in the final step (which will be posted separately)

firstly take your biscuits, dont worry if they are already broken as it wont make much difference in a second...

place the biscuits inside a bag of some sort, i used a freezer bag but anything you can seal will do.

and now for the fun part. smash the hell out of those yummy biscuits, these are not for dunking!

next take your butter and melt it. most books tell you to melt it on the hob in a pan but really, do i look like i have the time or patients for that?

time to add some zest to those biscuits, grate the zest of one blush orange and go ahead and stick that in a bowl with the biscuit. i used over a teaspoon of zest for my biscuit base as i love the flavour but zest at how you like it.

now its time to bring together the zesty biscuit with the melted butter. mix it all together until it starts to combine and form small clumps.

line a springform cake tin with parchment paper and pour in the biscuit mix. if you manage to spill any dont waste it, eat it!

spread the biscuit so that it covers the bottom of the tin and make sure its pressed down firmly to form the base of the cheesecake. go ahead and pop that in the fridge to set whilst you do the next part.

now get your mixer out, i splurged a few months ago and purchased a kenwood chef but a hand mixer will do.

put the philly, recotta and sugar into a bowl and mix until its all smooshed together nicely. then add a few teaspoons of orange zest into the mix, again it really is to your taste but i personally always use more than recommended. next chuck in one egg at a time and let that mix in with the other ingredients, kind of like a meet a greet...."hello mr philly im Alan egg, meet my sisters Mary and Pam"...oh dear....anyway....back to the cheesecake!

once thats all mixed together well remove the cake tin from the fridge and wrap the base and sides in kitchen foil, this will all make sense soon. Scoop the cheesecake mixture into the tin and spread it all about so that you have a nice even cheesecake top.

now pop that onto a baking tray and fill the baking tray with some water, enough to go about half way up the cake tin. this should stop it from drying out whilst it bakes.

place the tray into the oven for about 40 mins at 160, your oven may vary to mine so judge it yourself. just make sure that you keep an eye on it because it may split if its over cooked, you want it to start going a golden colour around the edges before you remove it.

just enough time to have a snuggle with my beautiful baby boy, Ringo. he turns one on friday, how exciting!

after 40 minutes my cheesecake was firming nicely on the edges and wibble wobbling about in the middle but it had not really gained any colour. i added 5 minutes onto the timer which was just enough time to give it a golden shimmer.

allow it to cool in the cake tin for a while before putting the whole thing into the fridge to chill. most books tell you to leave a cheesecake in the fridge for a few overs or over night. but i actually find its best to leave it for 2 days with most cheesecakes. it gives the flavours time mingle and get to know each other a bit before relaxing, the first time i made a cheese cake it was mint chocolate flavoured. i tried it on the day of making and was almost sick, 2 days later it was heavenly!

there is still one last step to this cheesecake but i cannot do that until it has fully chilled. this will be posted tomorrow hopefully so keep your eyes open for it!