Thursday, 21 July 2011

Baked Berry Cheesecake

I have to admit I have never made a cheesecake before and was always slightly afraid of them ! Not to mention the eating of one but the baking !
So when I was asked by a friend to make a surprise cheesecake for her husbands birthday, I trembled ! 
She insisted and sent me this recipe here and I trembled a little more, I sent her this 'no bake' Nigella Lawson cheesecake but still insisted on the baked variety ! 
She really wanted cherries for him but I had no luck as we are totally in the wrong season & I couldn't even find them frozen. 
I picked raspberries instead as I always enjoy raspberries tartness in sweet creamy foods like this. 
I put my baking hat on and went to work, it turned out fab and looked pretty darn spectacular, I never tasted it but was assured it was delicious !
It was rather easy to make all in all, the trickiest part was most probaly  getting the cream cheese to a blend-able texture and as my dear old mixer wasn't going I had to use a hand beater. Many swear words later & voila it was ready to be put into the pan - even though mine did get a small crack in the top I use a fan forced oven & only put a small dish of hot water with it to cook to keep it moist, I would recommend this.

 Next time it will be perfect and oh yes there WILL be a next time !

1 Packet of super wine biscuits or any sweet biscuit around 200 g 
80 grams butter melted
1 tsp cinnamon

750 cream cheese, at room temperature chopped ( 3 cartons of philly cream cheese ) 
 ¾ cup caster sugar 
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature 
1 tbs lemon juice 
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind   
2 tbs plain flour    
300g frozen berries ( I used raspberries )  + extra thawed for the top if you like
Icing sugar for dusting            

  1. Preheat oven to 160c Grease a 22cm spring-form cake pan and line the base and side with baking paper or tin foil
  2. To make the base, break the biscuits and place in a food processor.  Process until finely crushed.  Add cinnamon and melted butter.  Process until well combined.  Evenly press mixture into the base of pan.  Refrigerate while you make the filling
  3. To make the filling, its best to use a mixer but hand beaters work if you use your wooden spoon for help & beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add lemon juice, zest and sour cream and sift over the flour.  Mix on low speed until smooth.  Swirl through frozen cherries.  Pour mixture over biscuit base.  Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes until just firm but the centre trembles slightly when the side of the pan is gently tapped.  Turn oven off and cool in oven with the door ajar until cool.  Remove from oven, leave to completely cool in pan, then refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight) until chilled
 To serve, remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving.  Remove from pan and place on a serving plate ( I did this by using a plate on top & flipping then placing serving plate under and flipping again)  Dust with icing sugar and top with extra just-defrosted berries

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