Malted Milk Cheesecake
Malt is a flavour that is really close to my core. Somehow feels like a flavour I've always known. My mam tells me she drank it all through her pregnancy. At the time, low-income families would Horlicks drinking powder for free on prescription due to its incredibly high carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral content. I was born at a whopping 11lbs and I'm absolutely convinced malt is the reason why! Since then, I was raised on malt drinks. As much as it kept me a chubby little chunk of a kid, I owe it my good health today. It helped my body grow strong, solid and balanced - that's what I call good health - in spite of a few extra pounds.
A few years ago I took this nursery flavour and decided to infuse it into a cheesecake. I woke up one day with the idea. I tried it out and it was great. Tweaked it - it was better. Years later, I am still reeling it out. As soon as the nights draw in and I feel the urge to nest down for the winter, this malted milk cheesecake comes out for the season.
The base is a mixture of Digestive biscuits (or Graham Crackers) and Malted Milk biscuits. I bake the crust slightly to strengthen it and to tease the oats, malty flavours from the biscuits. After that, I flood the pan with a silky, buff-coloured cheesecake batter, toasty with golden caster sugar and a generous helping of pure malt extract. You can buy it easily, whether it's in a large supermarket or a health food shop. If you absolutely cannot get ahold of it, try mixing 5 heaping tablespoons of Horlicks powder to a paste with the double cream in the recipe. It's how I originally used to add the malt to the cheesecake until I came across the pure extract. The flavour isn't as deep or romancing, but the suggestion is still there nevertheless.
MALTED MILK CHEESECAKE
200g Digestive Biscuits (or Graham Crackers)
100g Malted Milk Biscuits
120g unsalted Butter
600g full-fat Cream Cheese
180g Golden Caster Sugar
2 tablespoons Malt Extract (or 5 tablespoons Horlicks powder)
300ml Sour Cream
150ml Double Cream
4 large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 180C.
As per usual with a cheesecake, we start with the crust. Take 200g of Digestives and 100g of Malted Milk biscuits and blend them until crumbs. You can use a food processor, or place them into a sandwich bag and beat them with a rolling pin or a glass bottle.
Melt 120g of butter in a microwave until completely melted. Pour into the biscuit crumbs and mix well until everything is damp and the crumbs can be pressed up the side of the bowl without crumbling. If they're just a little too dry, you can add a few teaspoons of oil to give it a little push.
Tip the buttery crumbs into a 8-9" springform cake tin. Press the crumbs around the base of the tin until they are firm and compacted. Place into the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 180C to set the base to a crisp, then remove and leave to cool
Into a large mixing bowl, add 600g of full-fat cream cheese and mix aggressively until creamy and smooth.
Add 300ml of soured cream and 180g of Golden Caster Sugar and mix until combined and the sugar is dissolved.
Into a measuring jug or small bowl, add 60g of cornflour along with the 4 eggs. Whisk aggressively until there are no lumps of cornflour to be seen, and stir into the cream cheese mixture
Add in 150ml of double cream, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 2 sloppy tablespoons of malt extract. If using Horlicks powder instead of malt extract, add 5 tablespoons to a measuring jug or bowl and mix with the 150ml of double cream until it is a paste. Add this into the cream cheese mixture and mix well to combine.
Before pouring the batter into the tin, take a small piece of butter and grease up the sides of the tin generously. Pour the cheesecake batter into the tin and gently place it into the middle of the oven. Reduce the temperature down to 120C and bake for 1hr30minutes. When finished, the cheesecake should have shrunk away from the sides of the tin, and be slightly wobbly in the centre.
Leave to cool in the oven, with the heat turned off completely, until cool. Then transfer to the fridge to chill for a few hours until cold. Once cool, slice and eat as it is. If you like malt, I guarantee you'll be in a hurry to make it again!