14 January 2013

A Foodie Enigma - London Cheesecake

As a foreigner, there are a lot of things I've happily adapted to, living in the UK. At the end of the day; new country, new rules. But, this is one thing I can't quite understand.



It's a lovely, very naughty sweet bakery treat - buttery layers of pastry, jam, icing and coconut. But I couldn't find any 'Cheese' in the Cheesecake. And I ate a whole one to make doubly sure.


 
After some quizzing of the baker, and some intensive Internet research (fuelled by aforementioned taste testing of the slice), the answer is... no one seems really sure whyit's named as a Cheesecake. All they know is that you only really find these in London and go down well accompanied by a cup of Tea.

- Unique to London, the recipes are handed from Mother to Daughter and only a few larger companies mass-make these
- They seemed to hit the height of their popularity as a lunchtime pastry in the 1960's
- Traditionally they are circular, with a drop of Jam or Frangipane paste in the centre below the Icing
- The Cheese reference may have been a reference to a curd which may used to have been put into them
- They have their own Facebook Page

Well, whadda know.

Have you tried a London Cheesecake, or would you go for a traditional Cheesecake?


14 comments :

  1. I've never heard of this, in all my years in London! Obviously didn't mix with the right crowd? Very bizarre name, all things considered. Am off to check out their FB page. x

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    1. It's quite possible I'm just mixing with the wrong crowd! Apparently homesick Londoners crave them.

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  2. Oh my goodness... i have been having mini flash back memories to when i was about 5 years old (1967ish) while doin 10 mindfulness meditations...today i remembered eating a coconut iced pastry with my grandmother in london... possibly golders green...im not sure exactly ...but ive never seen them anywhere since.... i currently live in newcastle upon tyne.... i just googled images and the only thing that looked similiar is this image ....can you tell me the name of a shop i can get them from? im kinda craving the taste ... Cat Edmonds

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    1. Hi there, I'm so glad you stumbled on my little blog - I didn't find them anywhere flash, they were in a bakery chain called Wenzels the Bakers - they are all over London!
      I hope you get this message!

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  3. omg.... i do! i remember eating them as a child with my gran back in 1967 (ish)ive never seen them or heard of them since. the only reason i found this was cos i keep getting mini flashbacks to when i was about 5 years old when i do ten minute meditation sessions and todays one was this cake...i googled coconut icing pastry 1960s and came up with your blog!can you tell me the name of a shop i can get them from? i am actually craving one now..... Cat xx

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  4. My great aunt from the East end of London used to bake these for us all the time growing up as kids. It makes me sad you don't see them around too much anymore! I heard they could be called that because the shredded coconut could resemble strands of grated cheese? I had a go at making my own here: http://cupcakecrazygem.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/london-cheesecakeand-not-piece-of.html

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    1. Oh, this is so cool - spmeone who knows what I'm muttering on about! Great recipe by the way - sometimes the best things in life are the simplest!

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  5. I live in Greater London and these bad boys are EVERYWHERE. They are my absolute favourite, so believe me, I notice them. I'm actually eating one as we speak, there's a bakery right on my doorstep that do lovely ones :)
    Maybe I'm lucky but I've never found them hard to find. Most family owned bakeries will do them.

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  6. Hello! I just found this post trying while looking these cheesecakes up online - I absolutely love these things too! I'm surprised to read that they are only unique to London - I live in Essex, and you can find them here too. I grew up loving these, and had one the other day in Chelmsford! No idea why they are called cheesecakes either, lol. Thanks for sharing :)

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  7. Hi. I live in Southend and as a child in the 50/60s we used to eat these all the time Garons Bakery in Sutton Road. As you say no cheese but apparently ver old english recipes used curd. Nowadays there's frangipani in the middle of the pastry. Recently rediscovered them and stillmlove them. You can buy a pack of 2 from Aldi. Babs Inglis ( nee Caten)

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  8. Aaah, maybe the curd explains it! They are l9vely aren't they!

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  9. That's so weird! I do love that they're more places, and have so many memories for people!

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  10. I think a spot of London Cheesecake is more than enough excuse to pop over ;)

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  11. Yes i agree totally with you Emma ;) x

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