Home » Cooking Up History » i: To make almond cheesecakes

i: To make almond cheesecakes

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.

An 18th century-style almond cheesecake,  based on a recipe from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

An 18th century-style almond cheesecake, based on a recipe from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

We made our own Naples biscuits for the filling, but trifle sponges will do just as well.

Ingredients

  • 135g ground almonds
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 190g butter, melted
  • 170ml single cream
  • 2 tbsp rosewater
  • 125g trifle sponges (ladyfingers)
  • puff pastry
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC
  2. 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 .
  3. Ensure the melted butter has cooled a little (so that it won’t cook the eggs) and stir into the egg and sugar mix.
  4. Pour in the rosewater and single cream.
  5. Crush the trifle sponges so that they resemble fine breadcrumbs and stir into the batter. Beat well until the mixture is smooth.
  6. Line a pie dish or tart tin with puff pastry
  7. Pour the batter into the pastry-lined dish and place in the oven
  8. 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.

Another view of our Georgian style almond cheesecake

Another view of our Georgian-style almond cheesecake

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.

Almond cheese cakes recipe from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

Almond cheese cakes recipe from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

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 archives@westminster.gov.uk and we’ll post a selection online. Or leave a comment to let us know what you thought of this 18th century treat!

One thought on “i: To make almond cheesecakes

  1. Pingback: Cheese-less cheesecake | The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

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