CREAM CHEESE CAKE


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This is a cream-coloured one-layer cream cheese sponge with cream-coloured cream cheese icing (sprayed with pink lustre).

It is the cakiest cake I’ve ever known, and it’s the most delicious. I love it like it’s my friend. I love that in this raucous world, where 8,000 useless recipes are published every day, we found each other. I feel known by this cake.

It’s one of the first things I baked when I moved into my flat and felt overcome with freedom. It’s got six eggs in it! A whole box! Butter and cream cheese! Mum would say: “that’s a lot of eggs”.

I don’t like sponges that fall apart – that have big, wide crumbs. Loaf cakes in 99% of cafes – I don’t dig them. I love a sponge that is both dense and creamy-soft with sour cream, or buttermilk, or cream cheese.

But this isn’t even about me. The main thing about this cake is that it will not let you down. It’s a mensch – as steadfast as it is rich and creamy. I have made it for countless people now, and whereas usually I experience a few hours of panic-stricken foreboding before I hand over my baked goods, I am at the point with this where I can just sit back and prepare to be adored.

“You MADE this?!”
“It tastes like cheesecake!”
“I’m not even supposed to eat dairy!”

One year, I made it for my friend’s birthday and he said: “I don’t think you’ll ever make a cake that’s nicer than this. It is the best cake ever”. I didn’t take this as a challenge because life presents enough challenges for my tastes. I just made it again for his next birthday.

Because he’s right! There is no better cake than this! It’s perfect! I will be making it forever. It wasn’t until I started writing this post that I realised I am loath to give it to you. This cake is mine.

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TIN:
Round spring bottom cake tin, buttered

OVEN:
Pre-heated at 160°C

FOR THE CAKE:
340g unsalted butter, softened
225g cream cheese
6 eggs
500g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
0.5 tsp almond extract
375g flour
1tsp salt

FOR THE FROSTING:
150g white chocolate
360g cream cheese

MAKE THE CAKE:
1. Put the soft butter and cream cheese in a big bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.
2. Add the sugar and ramp up the speed of your mixer. You can get this really pale, light and airy, so keep going for at least five minutes.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula whenever you need to. The batter might go a bit curdly here. This is more than fine. Keep going.
4. Add the vanilla and almond.
5. Fold in the flour and salt with a spatula, until just incorporated.
6. Tip the batter into your tin and tap gently to even it out. Bake until the cake is golden on top and a skewer comes out clean – about an hour, but possibly longer.
7. As it cools, it’ll crackle a bit on top. This is excellent.

WHIP UP THE FROSTING:
8. Melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie.
9. Meanwhile, put the cream cheese in a bowl and give it a whisk.
10. Pop two tablespoons of whisked cream cheese into the tepid chocolate and mix with a wooden spoon.
11. Pour the white chocolate into the rest of the cream cheese and mix well.
12. Leave to cool, then frost your cake and decorate it however you like. It’s ever so versatile.

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