Intrigued by what a cheese-less cheesecake might taste like, we whipped up our own version based on a recipe in the Cookbook of Unknown Ladies.
We made our own Naples biscuits for the filling, but trifle sponges will do just as well.
- 135g ground almonds
- 135g caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 190g butter, melted
- 170ml single cream
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- 125g trifle sponges (ladyfingers)
- puff pastry
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large until the mixture is pale, glossy and thick. If you drop some of the mixture from a whisk held above the bowl, it should its shape for a few seconds on the surface of the batter before disappearing .
- Ensure the melted butter has cooled a little (so that it won’t cook the eggs) and stir into the egg and sugar mix.
- Pour in the rosewater and single cream.
- Crush the trifle sponges so that they resemble fine breadcrumbs and stir into the batter. Beat well until the mixture is smooth.
- Line a pie dish or tart tin with puff pastry
- Pour the batter into the pastry-lined dish and place in the oven
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes, placing a piece of foil over the top of the cake for the final 15 minutes if it looks like it might brown too much.
You might like to make a few smaller cheesecakes rather than one large dish. If so, scale down the cooking time accordingly, as the mixture will need less time to cook through.
Here’s the original recipe:
To Make Almond Cheese Cakes
Put a pound of blanched almonds very fine with six spoon fulls of rose water. Put in now and then have a pound of loaf sugar and when your almonds are very fine, mingle the sugar, the yolks of fifteen eggs, a pound and a quarter of melted butter, a pint of sweet cream, three quarters of a pound of naple bisket. Mix them all together a quarter of an hour and so put them in the past.
We hope you decide to give these cheese-less cheesecakes a try! If you do, we’d love to know how you get on. You can send photos of your dishes by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post a selection online. Or leave a comment to let us know what you thought of this 18th century treat!