The Ultimate Cheesecake

13 Apr

Ok.  This is it.  You never have to look up another baked cheesecake recipe again.

I give you the most versatile and yummy cheesecake in the history of baking:

The Ultimate Cheesecake

Ingredients:

2 X 250grams Cream Cheese (I use Philly)

5 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1/2 packet Marie biscuits*

150grams unsalted butter

Dash of thickened cream (approx 100-150mls)

50g vanilla sugar

150g caster sugar

dash vanilla essence (to taste) or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped in

400g sour cream

*These can be substituted for your biscuit of choice, for example, Choc Ripple, etc.

This recipe should be started a day ahead.

Method:

Take cream cheese out of fridge to soften.  Line a square baking tin with baking paper on the bottom. Preheat oven to 170°C.  Melt butter in microwave.

Use food processor to crush up biscuits (or if you don’t have one, fill a clear plastic bag with a handful of biscuits and use a rolling pin to crush them into a fine powder.  Pour into a bowl and repeat for remainder of biscuits.  Then vow to buy a food processor!)  Once crushed, pour melted butter over the top and mix well.  Press biscuit mixture into the bottom of your tim and bake in oven for 10 minutes.

Cheesecake Base

While the base is baking grab your cream cheese and put it in your mixing bowl.  Use the “dough” attachment, if you have one, to mix the cheese on a high setting for a good five minutes so it gets very light and fluffy.  This step is very important if you want an airy cheesecake!

Next, work on separating the eggs and grabbing the other ingredients out of the fridge.  Once the cheese is sufficiently mixed (think very thick cream consistency) add the eggs, vanilla sugar, 100grams caster sugar, vanilla essence, and thickened cream.  Using the balloon whisk attachment, allow this to mix up to five minutes, scraping the sides consistently.  Make sure there are NO lumps left in your mixture – they are unsightly and are very easy to get rid of by upping the mixer speed.

While your cheese mix is plugging away, remove the biscuit mix from the oven, and set the oven temperature to 110ºC.  Allow the tin to cool a little, and brush some melted butter on the sides of the tin (again, VERY IMPORTANT).  Once your mix is ready, pour it into the tin and place in the 110ºC oven.  Bake for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

Clean your mixing bowl, as you will need it for the next step.  About 15mins before the cake is ready, mix the remaining caster sugar with the sour cream until all the sugar is incorporated into the cream.  Remove the cheesecake from the oven (don’t worry if it still wobbles a bit).  Pour the sour cream mixture on top, remembering to smooth it down with a spatula.  Return to the oven for 15minutes to set.

IMPORTANT: When the 15 minutes is up, switch off the oven but do not open the door or remove the cake.  It is very important for presentation purposes that you let the cake cool down naturally in the oven overnight.  If you open the oven and let cool air in, I guarantee the cake will crack and look extremely ugly once you serve it.  This is why I begin this recipe about 7pm the night before, so it has time to cool down completely in the closed oven.  The next morning, I transfer the whole tin into the fridge to cool even further and settle until the afternoon.

Once the cake has been in the fridge for a few hours, it’s time to serve!  Carefully cut around the sides of the cake, or if you have buttered them just gently press on the top of the cake edges and the cake should come away easily.  Decorate with fresh fruits and berries, and if feeling indulgent, chocolate sauce.  Yields 25 decently-sized pieces.  And can be made a couple of days in advance, and even sliced up.  Perfect for a dinner party!

TIP

To cut, boil a jug of water and grab a large, non-serrated knife.  Dip the knife in the hot water, wipe it on a teatowel, then cut the cake.  Do this every time you make a cut in the cake, remembering to wipe off any water/cake bits every time.  This will achieve a perfectly cut cheesecake.

Ultimate Cheesecake

Variations

There are many you can make to this very basic recipe.  Here are some I have done:

– Cookies and Cream: Add Choc Ripple biscuits to the base and crumbled Oreo cookies to the cheese mix

– Rum and Raisin – Add a dash of rum essence, or dark rum, and  3/4 cup of raisins or sultanas to the mixture.  Omit the vanilla sugar, substituting in caster.

– Calorie Conscious Cheesecake – Change sugars for Equal Baking, reduced fat philly, reduced fat thickened cream (or evaporated milk, or can omit altogether for a less yummy cheesecake) and reduced fat sour cream.  You CANNOT substitute out the eggs in a baked cheesecake.

– Non bake cheesecake – take out the eggs, whip the cream separately and then add it to the mix.  Add gelatine according to packet instructions.  Refrigerate overnight, and omit sour cream topping.  The base does not need to be baked, but it does hold its shape much much better if you do.

– Marbled cheesecake – once cake batter is mixed, place 1/3 in another bowl.  Add 2 tsp cocoa, or 3 drops food colouring, etc.  Mix together.  Alternate drops from each bowl into the baking tin.  Once all in the tin, smooth the top delicately with a spatula and use a skewer to make shapes in the cake.  I use a U∩U∩U∩U∩ -type shape through mine.  Looks quite special when all cut up.  Do not do anything to the sour cream mix though, the white on the top looks very professional.

Any other ideas, post them below!

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6 Responses to “The Ultimate Cheesecake”

  1. pencil1902 November 18, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    It just looks so stunning and I imagine it tastes even better! A far cry from the rsutic baked cheesecakes my grandmmother used to make (and I miss more than anything). I want to marry your ability to bake successfully!

    Like

  2. yumyumyummers April 13, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    looks delish! thanks for the tip on how to cut a perfect slice of cheesecake. i just might have to try this recipe sometime soon… who doesn’t love cheesecake?

    Like

    • chefcrissy April 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      So true. If you don’t like cheesecake you just haven’t eaten a good enough one yet!

      Like

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide April 13, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    That looks perfect. Love the sour cream topping.

    Like

    • chefcrissy April 13, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      Thanks for your comment! I find the sour cream makes it look that little bit more special. The slightly different texture adds to it also.

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Baked Dulche De Leche Cheesecake with Toffee Shards « Crissybakes - April 18, 2011

    […] Probably could have cut the cake a little bit nicer.  A warmed knife will do the trick.  It tasted amazing though, and it was such a labour of love to […]

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