Sunday, 16 May 2010
Despite my abiding love for making cheesecakes of various types (see chocolate, cherry and the ravishing raspberry and caramel) I've never actually made a baked cheesecake. You see, once you love the chilled version, why make a baked? I want a cheesecake I know will be yummy.
My mum was passing through a few nights ago and so I wanted to make her a nice dessert. In the interest of experimentation, I forced myself to make a baked cheesecake rather than a chilled one (by 'forced' I mean that I ran about getting awfully excited...).
I chose to make a fairly plain version with a simple digestive base, a baked vanilla middle and then a slick of sour cream on top. I bought some hideously overpriced but utterly gorgeous strawberries to pile on top. My 20cm tin wasn't deep enough so I had some mixture left over and that layer wasn't as deep.
I really enjoyed the cheesecake, especially with the strawberries. I have to say that I found the texture a little bit grainy but that could well be my fault. My flatmate - a bit of a cheesecake aficionado - decided that she still prefers the chilled version because on a scale, the baked version is nearer dessert. Make of that what you will!
Simple Baked Cheesecake
(barely adapted from the recipe for 'London Cheesecake' from Nigella's Domestic Goddess)
For the base:
150g digestive biscuits
Bash the biscuits with a rolling pin until they are crumbs (or process). Melt the butter and stir it in (or process again) then press into a 20cm springform tin. Place into the fridge to set.
For the middle:
600g cream cheese
150g caster sugar
3 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, then beat in the sugar. Beat the eggs and egg yolks together lightly and then pour into the cheese mix and blend in. Finally add in the vanilla and lemon juice. Put the kettle on. Tear two big squares of strong tin foil and place the chilled tin in the middle then fold them up over so water won't be able to get in. Place in a roasting tray. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin. Pour the hot water around the tin until it reaches about half way up the sides. Put it in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes or until it feels set but not solid. Remove the tin to a rack and unwrap.
For the topping:
100ml sour cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Beat the three ingredients together then pour over the top of the cheesecake in the tin. Leave to cool and set, then remove from the tin to a plate and pop in the fridge. 30 minutes or so before serving, remove from the fridge. I then piled a punnet on strawberries on top.
(Serves about 10)