A Welsh take on the classic cheesecake. The chunky Welsh cakes stirred into the mixture add an interesting texture.
For the Welsh cakes, tip the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Rub the lard and butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the caster sugar, then add the white chocolate and cranberries and mix until well combined. Add the eggs and mix with your hands until the mixture comes together in a smooth dough, adding milk if needed to loosen the dough. Roll the mixture out on a floured work surface to a thickness of 6mm/¼in.
Cut circles from the dough using a 5cm/2in pastry cutter – this mixture should make about 50.
Grease a heavy frying pan with butter and heat over a high heat. Once hot, reduce the heat, place a few Welsh cakes into the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown. Keep an eye on the heat, increasing or decreasing as necessary. If the pan is too cool the Welsh cakes will spread, if too hot, they will burn on the outside.
Once the Welsh cakes are cooked, place them onto greaseproof paper sprinkled with caster sugar. Sprinkle with caster sugar and set aside to cool. Repeat with the remaining Welsh cakes.
For the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Put the digestive biscuits in a freezer bag and crush them gently with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in pan and mix in the crushed biscuits and spices. Press this mixture into a 23cm/9in springform tin and bake for 5–10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
Whisk the cream cheese, flour, sugar, vanilla essence, eggs, egg yolk and soured cream in a bowl until well combined.
Cut up four or five of the Welsh cakes into chunky pieces and gently fold them into the mixture. Arrange some of the remaining Welsh cakes over the biscuit base until it is covered and then pour the cream cheese mixture on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cheesecake is slightly wobbly in the centre but able to hold its shape.
Leave to cool in the tin and serve in slices, warm or cold.
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