I'm in a cake baking mood today, I think watching Masterchef has inspired me to jump into the kitchen and bake again and so I baked......Cheesecake! I've been a die hard cheesecake fan from way back when my mum used to bake them for birthdays. I love the creamy texture and that crumbly sweet biscuit base. I thought I was only a convert of the no-bake variety until I met the 'baked' cheesecake. This recipe is the one my mum uses and since we're celebrating another birthday in our house the cheesecake was the cake of choice.....the hardest part of assembly is trying not to sample the delicious sweet goodness of the filling before cooking it!
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon - Aussie lemons are the best!
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
1 1/4 cups sweet biscuit crumbs
1 tablespoon flour (optional)
2 x 55g eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup caster sugar
70g butter, melted
750g of block Cream Cheese, softened (is 3 blocks of the cheese)
First, smash up the biscuit crumbs in a blender or similar until you have nice fine crumbs. Melt the butter and mix into the crumbs. Press the crumbs into a prepared cake tin (spring forms are good as you can pop the cake straight out). Pop the base into the fridge to set. (depending on the crumb size I tend to add a little more butter if the crumbs aren't sticking together well).
Make sure to push the biscuit crumbs into the tin
with the back of a spoon so the base is hard.
Next beat the cheese on a low speed until the cheese is soft, add the sugar and combine. Then add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Add the lemon rind and juice and mix well until smooth.
You can add the flour as well but I'm not a fan of the flour in the cake and have never added it and my cakes have always turned out fab!
Pour the batter onto the base you prepared earlier and smooth out. Pop into the oven for 45 mins at 150 degrees Celsius.
Tips: Tap the prepared tin on the bench to get rid of any air bubbles. Nigella Lawson also swears by cooking cheesecakes in water baths - I can't say I've tried this method as I cook with a gas oven at home and every cake I've ever baked comes out perfect (I swear it's not my cooking only the gas!), I therefore will never by an electric oven! I did cook this one in an electric oven though and the results are below!
The results - YuMmO!
Whilst perusing Nigella's website I came across another fabulous cheesecake - Peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake. I love peanut butter and chocolate! Nigella describes it as: "Unashamed indulgence; think Reece's Peanut Butter Cup's in cheesecake form" (YuM!!!!!).
Here's the recipe if you dare........
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake:
for the base:
200g digestive biscuits
50g salted peanuts
100g dark chocolate chips
50g soft unsalted butter
for the filling:
500g cream cheese
3 egg yolks (freeze the whites to make meringues)
200g caster sugar
125ml sour cream
250g smooth peanut butter
for the topping:
250ml sour cream
100g milk chocolate chips
30g soft brown sugar
1 x 23cm springform tin
Serves: 10 - 12
Preheat the oven to 170°c/gas mark 3
Then process the biscuits, peanuts, dark chocolate chips and butter for the base in a food processor.
Once it comes together in a clump, turn it out into a springform tin and press into the bottom and up the sides to make the crunchy crust.
Put in the fridge while you make the filling.
Process the filling in the cleaned or wiped-out processor bowl, putting in the cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks, sugar, sour cream and peanut butter and whizzing to a smooth mixture.
Pour and scrape the filling into the base in the chilled springform tin and cook for 1 hour, though check after 50 minutes.the top – only – should feel set and dry.
Take the cheesecake out of the oven while you make the topping.
Warm the sour cream and chocolate with the brown sugar gently in a small saucepan over a low heat, whisking to blend in the chocolate as it melts, and then take off the heat.
Spoon and spread the topping very gently over the top of the cheesecake, being as careful as you can in case you break the surface of the cheesecake. (not that anything bad will happen; you’ll just have chocolate marbling the cake a bit.)
Put it back in the oven for a final 10 minutes.
Once out of the oven, let the cheesecake cool in its tin and then cover and put into the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to eat the cheesecake, take it out of the fridge, just to take the chill off: this will make it easier to spring from the tin. don’t let it get too warm, though, as it will become a bit gooey and be hard to slice.
Additional information - for vegetarians make sure the cream cheese is a brand that doesn't contain rennet.