RECIPE | Celebrate the return of ‘The Great South African Bake Off’ with Siba Mtongana’s Cheat Meringue Cheesecake

RECIPE | Celebrate the return of ‘The Great South African Bake Off’ with Siba Mtongana’s Cheat Meringue Cheesecake

What’s your best baking tip for the home baker?

If you are completely new to baking, I highly recommend following a tested recipe — one that you know has been tried and tested successfully by other people. This will help you start your baking journey on the best possible footing. Ensure that you have all of your tools of trade (whisks, spatulas and so on) as it makes the process far more smooth and manageable. Remember to preheat your oven before you start so you don’t waste your time waiting when it’s time to bake.

Do you have any advice for hopeful competitors?

If you are watching at home and feel like you belong on the show, then there’s your answer — you absolutely do! Everyone who is on the show took a chance and now they’re getting to do what they love and share it with the world. Who’s to say that it couldn’t be you too?

What’s your favourite thing to bake?

My Cheat Meringue Cheesecake. No sweet craving stands a chance against this crowd pleaser, especially because it bakes at half [the time] of a traditional cheesecake.



200g tea biscuits, such as Bakers Tennis, crushed;

80g dried desiccated coconut, toasted;

125g butter, melted.


2 x 250g tubs of cream cheese, room temperature;

1 x 398g tin condensed milk;

2 large egg yolks;

100ml fresh lemon juice;

15ml lemon zest.

Meringue topping

2 egg large whites;

Pinch of salt;

100g castor sugar;

200ml store-bought passion fruit coulis.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and lightly grease an 18cm loose bottom spring form baking tin with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the crushed biscuits with the toasted coconut and melted butter. Tip into the prepared tin and press the mixture down to form the base and sides.
  3. To make cheesecake, whisk the cream cheese until smooth, adding the condensed milk a little at a time, until combined. Stir in the egg yolks, the lemon juice and zest and mix to combine. Pour the filling over the biscuit base and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  4. To make the meringue topping, place the egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until frothy. Add the salt and beat again until soft peaks stage. This takes three minutes on medium to high speed.
  5. Add the castor sugar, 30ml at a time, beating well after each addition until all the sugar is dissolved and until stiff peak stage is reached — for about five minutes — and the egg whites are shiny, fluffy and glossy. Do not overbeat as this will deflate the meringue.
  6. Spoon the meringue on top of the centre part of the baked cheesecake and blow torch until caramelised or grill in the oven for about 5 minutes until the meringue is golden.
  7. Drizzle with the passion fruit coulis all around the meringue and serve immediately.

• The Great South African Bake Off airs Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC Lifestyle (DStv channel 174).

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