Passionfruit Cheesecake

Australia has a trailblazing culture for modern baking, and nothing represents it better than this sun-soaked, mood-lifting cheesecake. The passionfruit flavour is perfectly complemented by the coconut, and the brandy snap-style base brings texture, while the added lemon juice in the cheesecake mixture keeps the sweetness down and the freshness up.

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Ingredients
To Make The Base
125g of soft butter
250g of caster sugar
1 medium egg
100g of plain flour
A pinch of salt
To Make The Filling
375g of cream cheese
250g of caster sugar
6 medium eggs
½ tsp of vanilla extract
80g of fresh passionfruit pulp (about 6 ripe passionfruits)
75ml of fresh lemon juice (about 2 small lemons’ worth)
100g of plain flour
100g of desiccated coconut, plus extra for sprinkling
125ml of whole milk
To Make The Syrup
1 tbsp of apricot jam
50ml of water
Method
Step 1
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C Fan/350°F/Gas 6 and line your 22 x 33 x 5cm (8½ x 13 x 2in) baking tray.
Step 2
To make the base, beat together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until well combined, then add the egg and mix together. Sift in the flour and salt and fold in until smooth. Spread into your lined tray using a spatula, making sure to get an even spread across the tray, right into the corners.
Step 3
Bake for around 25 minutes, or until the base has a dark gold colour. It might rise up around the edges in places, but that creates a really nice crispy edge and helps to hold the cheesecake mix in place.
Step 4
Meanwhile, to make the cheesecake mixture, beat together the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth, then add the eggs and vanilla and beat gently until emulsified. Add the passionfruit pulp, along with the lemon juice, and combine well. Sift in the flour and fold in, then add the coconut. Once that’s all combined, slowly pour in the milk and stir until you have a fully combined mixture.
Step 5
Once your cooked base is out of the oven, pour the cheesecake mixture over the top and return to the oven for around 50 minutes, or until the top is set and slightly doming around the edges.
Step 6
While the cheesecake is baking, make the syrup by mixing together the apricot jam and water in a small bowl. When the cheesecake comes out of the oven, brush the top with the syrup and sprinkle over a little desiccated coconut: the syrup helps the coconut stick.
Step 7
Leave to cool in the tray before transferring to a chopping board before serving.
Step 8
Best eaten at room temperature or chilled. This will keep for 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. This feels more like a dessert than a slice of cake, so try serving with a little whipped cream and some more fresh passionfruit to elevate the state of affairs to middle-class stardom.

Bake It. Slice It. Eat It. by Tom Oxford and Oliver Coysh (Quadrille, £15)

Photography ©Sam A Harris

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