Dessert in a hurry

I guess we all have  those days when plans are changed and suddenly there are more guests than you first thought or your  children remember as you pop them into bed that they are supposed to bring cake to school tomorrow or friends pop in and you need a recipe for dessert in a hurry. This week  happily we have had guests for dinner Monday and Tuesday night that I had not originally planned and on these occasions I try to avoid experiments and fall back on something tried and true.

A  quick what can I make for dessert’ standby is cheesecake. Almost everyone likes it it needs nothing to  accompany it, save a little cream or ice cream if you want.

I like my cheesecake to be cheesy and have a little bite so I substitute sour cream for normal cream and prefer all cream cheese rather than a mix of cream cheese and riccotta. I like the slight tang of the lemon zest and have made this without the poppy seeds, but they do give extra flavour and interest.

The secret to stopping the cheesecake from cracking is to cool it slowly, Leave the cake in the oven when it is done, turn the oven off and leave the door slightly open until the cake has cooled.


Lemon and poppy seed cheesecake


125 g Nice biscuits (or similar)

45 g butter, melted

750 g (3 packs) cream cheese, softened

200 g sugar

15 g plain flour

10 ml vanilla extract

5 eggs, lightly beaten

120 ml cream

60 ml lemon juice

6 g grated lemon peel

45 g poppy seeds


1.      In a food processor, combine the biscuit and butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 23cm. spring form pan. Set aside

2.      In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs, cream, lemon juice, peel and poppy seeds. Beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into prepared crust

3.      Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 180 degrees C for 55-60 minutes or until centre is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.


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