Monday, September 19, 2011

Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

Decimated cheesecake  but you can see how creamy it looks...can you?
Reuben's favourite dessert and cake is a plain cheesecake. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday cake this was his choice. No flavours, just a plain cheesecake with some strawberries on the side. So this was what he got. It doesn't look particularly glamorous in the photos but if you ever want a fantastic baked cheesecake look no further. The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan's book (and one of my bibles) 'Baking: From My Home to Yours'. This is AMAZiNG!!! Yes it uses a hell of a lot of cream cheese BUT this is cheesecake and therefore it is meant to be a treat and special occasion dessert. It fed 14 of us easily with some going back for seconds and then left 3 more slices for Reuben to have the next day (but yes I did just have the last little piece...well I made it!!!). This cheesecake is creamy but light and does not have that heavy denseness that some cheesecakes have. I found that it did colour quite a bit on the top but I just covered it with some foil to stop it from browning even more. In fact now that I am looking at the recipe it might have helped if I had dropped the temperature of the oven like the recipe said...must have had my boy-eyes on! You can make this into whatever you want by changing the biscuit base or adding some different flavours to the filling. Dorie offers lots of different options at the end of the recipe. So here it is...make it if you dare.

Tall and Creamy Cheesecake: A Basic

Prepare the 23cm springform tin by buttering it well and wrapping the bottom of the tin with 2 layers of tin foil.

1 3/4c superwine biscuit crumbs
3 Tbsp sugar (I forgot this)
50-75g melted butter

Mix all together and press into a buttered 23cm springform tin so they come halfway up the sides. Preheat the oven to 170C and bake 10 mins. Reduce the oven to 160C.

900g cream cheese
1 1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used half this and half vanilla paste)
4 eggs
1 1/3 c sour cream or cream (I used half and half)

Boil a full jug.

Put the cream cheese into a stand mixer and beat until soft and creamy (about 4 mins).
With the mixer running add the sugar and salt and continue to beat for another 4 mins or so until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one beating for a full min after each. This aeration makes it light. Reduce to low speed and add the sour cream and/or the cream, Scrape down well throughout to get avoid having lumps in the mixture. 

Pour into the tin (the mix should come almost to the top). Put the tin into a roasting dish and pour in enough of the boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the tin. Bake 1 1/2 hours, then turn the oven off, prop it open with a wooden spoon and leave in it's water bath for another hour. Remove the tin from the water bath and take the foil off. Leave to go cold on a rack in the tin then put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours (overnight is better). 

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