Pablo’s New York Cheesecake Facecake

I really don’t like it when people leave at work.  I form attachments to people and to the things they contribute to my life, so when the time comes that they have to move on, I get sad.  And I make cake.  What a shock.  On this occasion, the departing party is my colleague Pablo, whose presence in our office will be sorely missed.  Knowing that his favourite pud was New York Cheesecake, I took the opportunity to make my first one.  I based it on the Hummingbird bakery recipe but made a few adjustments, as follows:

140g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
50g golden caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
1 egg yolk

900g full fat Philadelphia cream cheese
190g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
4 large eggs (always buy eggs from happy chickens, please)
Pablo's Face Cake - Crumbly base

Pablo’s Face Cake – Crumbly base
Pablo's Face Cake - firmed base

Pablo’s Face Cake – firmed base

Pablo's Face Cake - rich glossy cheesy goodness

Pablo’s Face Cake – rich glossy cheesy goodness

Pablo's Face Cake - spot the vanilla seed

Pablo’s Face Cake – spot the vanilla seed

When baked, this is a pretty boring looking creation, and Pabs shunned my suggestion of decorating it with fresh fruit so, having watched the Comic Relief Great British Bake Off episodes, my lovely colleagues and I plotted to make a stencil of Pablo’s face.  Heather located a photograph, did something clever with it and printed it off on lightweight card, then Claire impressed us with her craft-knife-wielding capabilities to create a brilliant template.  We snuck off to the board room and dusted the cake with cocoa, revealing a surprisingly accurate image of Pablo’s face.  Success!  (It tasted pretty good, too, even if I do say so myself.)

Pablo's Face Cake - spot the difference

Pablo’s Face Cake – spot the difference

Pablo's Face Cake - in all its glory

Pablo’s Face Cake – in all its handsome glory