The Cottage Smallholder

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Guest Spot: Sam Raithatha’s special lemon cheesecake recipe

Photo: Sam's cheesecake with praline topping

Photo: Sam's cheesecake with praline topping

Debonair and charming, Sam serves organic food to the tradesmen of East Anglia. His van is parked in the car park of Ridgeons, Newmarket. A lot of people that I know visit Ridgeons just for Sam’s food. I also have driven in, ordered my food and shimmied out without even buying  a one inch brush.  Sam also runs the successful Queens Events company. I discovered that he has a penchant for puds when he mentioned that there’s a dearth of them on this blog.  So here is his generous contribution to that slim section of our site. This is a real treat and probably a waist expanding recipe if you slump in front of the TV after Sunday lunch. As Sam says:
“As you can see, this is not one for anyone on a diet!  This is full fat.”

But a  rich pud just once a week is a treat to enjoy and dream about.

Sam Raithatha’s special lemon cheesecake recipe

(Bake for 1hour @ 170c/150c-fan)


  • 7 x Digestive biscuits
  • 5 x Ginger Nut biscuits
  • good handful of roasted hazelnuts
  • 50-70g of Real Butter
  • 4-6 Unwaxed lemons
  • 675g of Mascarpone (Sainsburys do the best one I have found £2.00 for 500 grams)
  • 140g -170g caster sugar to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Paste
    ( from Waitrose, the Most amazing Find EVER!  £ 4.99 for a small jar, and its so rich that you only need a small amount )
  • 3 x large Free Range eggs
  • 120 ml (1/4 pint) of Thick cream

Praline topping:

  • 6-8 large table spoons of granulated sugar
  • 2 large handfuls of chopped almonds


The cheesecake:

  1. In a saucepan, melt butter, and add the roughly bashed the biscuits (Free Anger Management)  and  mix on low heat.
  2. Once mixed, press into a 10′ baking tin and bake 170c/150c-fan for 5-8 mins or until firm.
  3. Now, mix the Mascarpone and cream together until rich and velvety, squeeze the lemons and add 4 first, add more if you want more of a lemon flavour.
  4. Add eggs (one at a time as will need time to mix in properly)
  5. pop in oven 170c/150c fan for one hour, pour a glass of wine and chilax.

The praline topping:

  1. Put 6-8 large table spoons of granulated sugar in a saucepan, on a gentle heat (DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF IT) once golden brown add a couple of good handfuls of chopped almonds, mix and put back on heat.
  2. If you have a silicon oven mat fine, if not just a greased baking tray.  Pour mixture on to it and put in oven, check after about 10 mins and when just about to set take out.
  3. Using a knife cut long strips and be careful as it will be hot!  Find a rolling pin and wrap it around and mould it and gently slide off, hey presto!
  4. Once cheesecake is cooked, allow to cool and put in the fridge as it is best served cold. Place the praline twizzles on top just before you serve the dish.

Sam says.
“I have found that if you make the cheesecake the day before it will taste much, much better. If you like lemons and limes, you can make a lime jelly which can be spooned over the cheese cake (it must still be in the round cake tin) and leave to set. Present to your guests and just sit back and accept the compliments.  A wry smile might also go down well, just think of Miss Marples, when she reveals all! Smug, but oh so gracious.”

  Leave a reply


  1. This is torture! I think lemon cheese cake comes only second to raspberry pavlova but it’s a really close second, practically a tie. I already had the munchies when I saw the picture, now I’m going to have to go and find something to eat.

  2. Sounds superb. I had a lovely uncooked recipe but you rarely see the cream cheese now – I used to buy it loose at supermarket deli counters. Haven’t had a good recipe since but am looking forward to trying this one. In my uni days we used to know a place to go out for dinner & they did huge portions of the best cheesecake I ever tasted. Hopefully this one should be along the same lines. Do you know if it freezes? We rarely eat puds now but could make an exception in this case! Yum!

  3. kate (uk)

    Ginger nuts in the base make cheesecake really, really yummy, as does keeping it before eating.
    If you use orange zest instead of lemon, chocolate digestives for the base instead of plain ones and make a topping from cranberries ( just make a slightly sweeter version of cranberry sauce) it makes cheesecake all christmassy…

  4. FANTASTIC! That’s all I’m going to say…

  5. Veronica

    oooh! What a nice surprise, I don’t come here for desserts normally :) I love lemon cheesecake, and this sounds gorgeous. I think for even more lemony goodness you could spread a thin layer of home-made lemon curd on top — that’s what I do with mine. Love the praline twists — they make it look really special.

  6. Is Sam at Ridgeons every day? Reading Pamela’s comment about raspberry pavlova I somehow managed to leave a comment about pavlovas on your Friday 13th blog about poor Mrs Boss. I have never kept hens but reared a duck who landed o0n our lawn (dropped by a magpie we guessed). Quakers grew up with my children and could dribble a football the length of the garden using his beak.He used to come indoors and seemed to enjoy being picked up. He fathered two families but eventually we released them on Burwell Lode and when we decided Quakers should join them I wept. But I used to visit and take him titbits and he would come out of the water when I called.

  7. Dave Jones

    lemon cheese cake…sounds delicious…never heard about this…i want to taste it…bookmarked.

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pamela

    I love a really good cheesecake and Sam’s reads so well! I was just inches from eating cheesecake when I read this recipe. Delightful and tantalising.

    Hello KarenO

    I have no idea whether this freezes and Sam had closed when I rolled up to Ridgeon’s today. I have to return tomorrow am so will ask him and post the answer tomorrow evening. I suspect that the entire thing can easily be eaten at one sitting.

    Hi Kate (uk)

    These are great twists. Thank you so much for your contribution.

    Hello Amanda

    Yes, I agree. It looks superb!

    Hello Veronica

    This site will have desserts in the future. Sam has inspired me ?

    Love the idea of lemon curd. Thank you.

    Hello Liz

    Sam is at Ridgeon’s every day except Sunday ATM. I know that he has loads of summer bookings for fairs.

    He’s there Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm (weather permitting)
    At the moment he’s there on Saturday morning (7am to midday)
    He puts his feet up on a Sunday at the mo.

    Quackers sounds like a duck in a million. Of course you cried when he was released and I’m not surprised that you visited with titbits. I’m sure that he appreciated them and your visits.

    Hello Dave Jones

    I can’t believe that you have never tasted lemon cheesecake. If this is true you are in for a real treat!

  9. Recipe sounds great, but what about the hazelnuts? Are they chopped and mixed with the biscuits for the base?

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Linda B

    I reckon that they go in with the biscuits in the base.

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