Kim-Joy’s recipe for a dinosaur cheesecake


Spanish burnt Basque cheesecakes are very popular right now as it’s one of those recipes that can’t go wrong. The custardy interior combined with the caramelised crust (yes, it’s burnt on purpose) make it irresistible. I’ve been wanting to make one for a long time, but it took me some time to think of a way to decorate it that would embrace its natural ruggedness. So here we are – a volcanic dinosaur landscape. The cheesecake itself takes minutes to mix up, and you can make your own dinosaur biscuits, buy some or use some dinosaur figurines.

Serves 8 to 10

For the cake
170g caster sugar
460g full-fat cream cheese
3 medium eggs
240g double cream
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
25g plain flour
Yellow, orange and red food dyes

For the dinosaur biscuits
Make these using your favourite ginger biscuit recipe

For the royal icing
200g icing sugar
40g egg white
Food dye (any colour of your choice)
Plus extra icing sugar and egg white to adjust to the correct consistency for piping

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas mark 7. Grease an 8-inch cake tin, then line the base and sides with one sheet of baking paper, making sure there is a two-inch overhang above the edge.

Whisk together the sugar and cream cheese until smooth, without lumps. Then add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the cream, salt and vanilla, and whisk until combined. Sift in the flour and mix again, until everything is combined.

Divide the batter between three bowls and dye each one a different colour: yellow, orange and red.

Pour the red batter into the prepared tin, then pour the orange on top and right in the centre (it will merge as the batter is liquid, that’s OK), and then finally the yellow. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until deep brown on top and still jiggly in the centre.

Let the cheesecake cool for half an hour, then remove the baking paper. Place in the fridge and leave to cool completely before serving. If you prefer, you can serve it warm and it will have a gooier centre.

To make the dinosaur biscuits, use ginger biscuits – either using your own favourite recipe or store bought – and shape using dinosaur cutters. Whisk together the icing sugar and egg white, add food dye and transfer to a piping bag. Use this to decorate the biscuits.

Decorate the cheesecake with dinosaur biscuits just before serving, to go with the reveal of the ombré red centre.