It is time again for the “Secret recipe club” reveal! I am sure you all know what the club is about, but for the few of you who still don’t know about it, here goes a brief explanation. It is a great concept… each month you are assigned a participating food blogger to make a recipe from and in turn someone else will be assigned your blog. All you have to do is choose a recipe, make it and blog about it on the specified date. The only rule is to keep it a secret! If you are interested in learning more, or want to join the club, please visit the Secret recipe club website.
This month’s assignment was a total discovery as it was completely new to me. So weird when you think it is been out there for a while, cooking up a storm and delighting so many people! I am so grateful to the Secret Recipe Club for introducing me to Sweetly Serendipity written by the very talented Taryn! She is a fantastic and very passionate baker and I was tempted by many of her creations! As always, choosing what to make was not an easy task! In the end I decided to go for her Lemon Cheesecake Bars. Why?? Well, besides the fact that they looked amazing, the truth is I had never ever baked a cheesecake in my life! I know, I know… so weird for many of you reading this. But cheesecakes are not an Italian thing and I discovered them quite late in life. Even though I like them (a lot!), I have always been intimidated by the baked kind. So, I thought I should give these bars a try and overcome yet another one of my culinary taboos! And I was so so happy I did! I now see myself baking all kinds of cheesecakes!!! Hehehe I love lemon and citrus desserts, so I LOVED these. I think the shortcrust base is the perfect choice for these bars as the topping is a bit sour (though I guess that may vary depending on how sour your lemons are) and the sweet buttery base beautifully compensates for it. Also, I definitely encourage you to brûlée the tops. I love the crunchy and sweet layer up there… when you take a bite, all these contrasting flavours combine in your month and you can taste perfection!
Thank you so much for a fantastic recipe Taryn! Please, make sure you drop by Taryn at Sweetly Serendipity and check out her beautiful site!
- 115 gms – ½ cup softened butter
- 100 gms – ½ cup granulated sugar
- 125 – 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Zest of one lemon
- Line a 23x23 cm - 9x9 inch pan with baking paper and grease it with butter.
- Put the butter, sugar, flour, vanilla and lemon zest in a food processor and blend it until crumbly.
- Press this crumbly dough evenly into the bottom of your prepared pan.
- Bake it in a preheated oven at 175°C - 350°F for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, beat the softened cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition and then add the lemon juice. Continue beating until well combined.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture onto the par-baked crust and return the pan to the oven.
- Bake it for 25-30 minutes or until the cheesecake is set and the centre is slightly jiggly.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack before refrigerating for at least 3 hours.
- Once the cheesecake is completely set, remove it from the pan and slice it into 9 or 16 bars.
- Serve immediately, or sprinkle with granulated sugar and brûlée before serving.