There was a need for therapeutic cheesecake baking and eating. And yes, cheesecake must, must, must be baked. In my youth all I had ever eaten was the far less superior put-in-the-fridge-to-set type. I never particularly liked it, but would eat it on offer as I had a feeling cheesecake should be good. Well, it turns out that what my little self was yearning unknowingly for was baked cheesecake. If you have never tried a baked cheesecake before, please vamoose from this blog, go to the supermarket, buy the ingredients and make this pronto. It will change your view of cheesecake forever - and I'm afraid probably make you a cheesecake snob like me.
So, the reason for the therapeutic nature of this cheesecake: the glass on our car back windscreen was randomly smashed in a couple of nights ago. Nothing was stolen, but dealing with the whole thing wound me up. To the kitchen I went, and baked this. In fact, I am now eating it as I write this post:
Yes, there is a random hat in the back corner of the photo. It's my husband's recent purchase for winter...anyway, back to the cheesecake. I found the recipe years ago in a Waitrose Food magazine; I baked it for one of my first ever dinner parties and now, having admittedly tweaked the recipe a bit, it is up there as one of my favourite recipes. As I have little self control, I usually make this just before going to bed. When the 40 minute cooking time is up, I turn off the oven and go to bed so I can't keep peeking at it...
Ingredients - enough to make a cheesecake to fill a 16cm diameter round cake tin.
- 50g butter
- 200g bourbon biscuits, crushed (not sure if you can get these outside of England; if not, just use chocolate cookies!)
- 400g cream cheese
- 142ml double cream
- 75g icing sugar
- 25g cornflour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 200g raspberries (I didn't have that many left and it's fine with fewer!)
Heat oven to 170C and put a baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven.
- Grease and line your cake tin with baking paper.
- Set about making your base; melt the butter in a small saucepan while you whizz the biscuits in the food processor to crush them. Add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter, stir to coat them and put this mixture into the bottom of your tin. Push it down with a wooden spoon until you have an even base for your cheesecake. Transfer this to the fridge while you make the rest of the recipe.
- Put the cream cheese, cream, icing sugar and cornflour into a bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat to combine.
- Add vanilla extract and eggs, then beat again until smooth.
- Stir in the raspberries. Then transfer the mixture into the tin, on top of the biscuit base.
- Put the cheesecake into the oven, on top of the preheated baking sheet. Cook for 40 minutes or a little longer, until the cheesecake is just set in the centre.
- Now is the tricky bit: turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake in there for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Don't keep opening the oven door, or the cheesecake will crack!
- After the cheesecake has cooled, transfer it to the fridge to get it really cold.
If you want to be fancy and serve this at a dinner party, decorate the top with extra raspberries and dust with icing sugar.