Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday is a nice day for Cheesecake

Ever since the best ever ricotta cheesecake , I have been wanting to try my hand at the cheesecake baking game. A lazy Sunday afternoon provided me with the opportunity to do just that. Sunday's are also a good time for confessional too and so here is an outpouring of my sins.

I am not very good at baking. It is like there is some block that prevents my baking from succeeding. Some people would argue that there is no difference between baking and cooking but somewhere in the realms of my brain there is. I leave things to burn ALL the time and this NEVER EVER EVER happens when I am cooking. We were once on our way to a boondal entertainment centre for a concert when C remembered that I had left muffins in the oven. Oh dear! I never even overcook lamb, let alone forget about it. I just don't understand how it can happen but it does. Does anyone else have this problem?!

Anyway, I decided to give the cheesecake a go despite my little um... problem. And guess what?! The cheesecake turned out pretty well. I'm quite confident if I can bake it, you can too! The recipe must be very idiot friendly. The result was a pretty good cheesecake with not too much effort. Next time I will try ricotta because PP's ricotta cheesecake was to die for. I know I probably can't match it, especially with my aversion to baking but at least it will give me something to strive for! I'm sure C won't be complaining!!

The recipe comes from the cook's book of everything. If you are trying 'to be good' or can't tolerate large amounts of fat/sugar this recipe is NOT for you!! A couple of hints

Baked Cheesecake with Sour Cream (serves 8-10)
250 g plain sweet biscuits
1 teaspoon mixed spice
100 g melted unsalted butter

500g softened cream cheese
145g caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 eggs

250g sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
ground nutmeg to sprinkle on the top

1. Lightly grease a 20cm spring form cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

2. Finely crush the biscuits in a food processor or place them in a sealed plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

3. Transfer to a bowl, add the mixed spice and melted butter and stir until all the crumbs are all moistened. Spoon the mixture into the tin and press firmly onto the base and up the side to create an even shell. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

4. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese with electric beaters until smooth ( I actually used a blender but if you don't have beaters- just use a fork.)

5. Add the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice then beat until smooth. ( I also added about quadruple the amount of lemon juice and double the amount of vanilla. My tip is (seeing my baking is on the way up is -- always use good quality vanilla extract- NOT vanilla essence.)

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each egg is added.

7. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes (as a lame baker- I have worked out to ALWAYS check about 15 minutes before it is due to be ready- this cheesecake needed a little less than the time suggested.

8. To make the topping, combine the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl.

9. Spread the topping over the hot cheesecake. Sprinkle with nutmeg and return to the oven for another 7 minutes. (Try and soften a little before you put it onto the cake.

10. Turn off the oven and leave to cool with the door ajar- This is important in preventing the cake from cracking. When cool refrigerate until firm.

Woo Hoo- only a couple of small cracks on the outer edge! Very happy with that- and when it cooled it looked and tasted pretty good! Maybe the baking curse is over- or I am getting too cocky too soon?! I'll have to try baking something else sometime soon and let you know.
What is your favourite type of cheesecake and do you suffer from a baking curse? Or maybe its a cooking curse. Let me know.

4 fabulous comments:

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Yum! I'm not averse to sugar and fat at all so this is for me :) I don't mind banging the biscuits with a rolling pin but I think I get too violent and often break the bag!

Ally said...

I made a killer peanut butter cheesecake recently-it had a peanut butter cookie base. My GOD it was good.

My fave is white chocolate, or coffee ricotta.

sparkles said...

mmmm...awesome. definitely will try this one!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That looks delicious! thankfully no baking curse for me-well some days things are just determined not to work but most of the time it's ok *cross fingers*

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