Food > Cakes & Desserts

Suspiro Cheesecake

This is a cheesecake version of the Peruvian Suspiro de Limeña, a delicious cake with a flavour of caramel. Combined with the ginger nut biscuit base it is totally irresistible.

Suspiro Cheesecake
Category Cakes & Desserts
Preparation Time 25 minutes
Cooking Time None
Serves 10 portions

The dessert Suspiro de Limeňa, named by a poet, meaning “the sigh of a woman from Lima” certainly sounds romantic. Even more so if you are familiar with the South American poets Borges and Neruda, who wrote some of the most romantic poetry ever. I experimented with the dessert and ended up inventing the following cheesecake. It does however require patience as the mixture needs to set at various stages before proceeding to the next. Definitely worth the effort when you taste it!

Ingredients

  • 500g (2 packets)Philadelphia full fat cheese
  • 200ml cream whipped
  • 1 sachet/1 tablespoon powdered gelatine + 120 ml hot water
  • 1 tin of Dulce de leche or caramel
  • 150ml milk
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 250g ginger nut biscuits
  • 100g butter melted

Equipment

18cm loose-bottomed tin, baking parchment, plastic food bag, rolling pin, large bowl, dessert spoon, chopping board, kitchen knife, electric mixer, spatula, serving plate, blender or food processor, sieve

Make the base

  1. Butter and line a 23cm (or 3 mini tins) loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter. Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour to set firmly.

Make the filling

  1. Place the soft cheese in a large bowl (or blender) and beat, adding the caramel bit by bit as you continue to beat
  2. Place egg yolks in a bowl. Place milk in a saucepan and bring close to the boil.
  3. Add some of the milk to the egg yolk, beat rapidly and add the rest gradually. Return this custard mix to the heat and stir until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Allow this to cool before adding to caramel and cheese. Blend well.
  4. Dissolve gelatine by sprinkling over hot water. Add this to the rest of prepared ingredients. Allow this mixture to thicken before adding the final 2 ingredients in step 5;- may take up to 1 hour in a fridge, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps forming.
  5. In a bowl beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.
  6. Beat cream until thick
  7. First fold in the cream, then the egg whites. Pour mixture into the tine and allow to settle for 3 hours before turning out.

Un-moulding

Bring the cheesecake to room temperature, about 30 mins before serving. To un-mould, place the base on top of a can, then gradually pull the sides of the tin down. Slip the cake onto a serving plate, removing the lining paper and base. If you find the cake difficult to un-mould, then either let it sit for a little longer, or wipe the outside of the tin with a hot cloth. This heats the edges and should allow you to remove the tin easily.

Decorate with chocolate leaves and raspberries.

I make mine by picking small leaves from plants in my garden. Wash the leaves. Melt chocolate in the microwave and spoon onto the leaves. Allow to dry in the fridge and the chocolate just peels off.


Read the following poem by South American poet Borges while enjoying your dessert. Good for you if you’re with a lover savouring this but you don’t necessarily need one, since Borges sonnet’s caress the heart and spirit on a metaphysical level.

Sonnet XVII By Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz

or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:

I love you as certain dark things are loved,

secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

 

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries

hidden within itself the light of those flowers,

and thanks to your love, darkly in my body

lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

 

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,

I love you simply, without problems or pride:

I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

 

but this, in which there is no I or you,

so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,

so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

Remember to look at these recipes:

Suspiro de Limena

Suspiro de Limena Cupcakes

Suspiro de Limena Cupcakes

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