Tuesday, 1 May 2012
It's hard to think of anything to better a creamy, tangy baked cheesecake with a light brown crust that reveals a silky creamy interior. Except maybe a classic bakewell tart, a buttery tart shell and a pool of raspberry jam underneath a toasty baked frangipane filling. Such a wonderful afternoon tea treat when it's still slightly warm from the oven. If you cannot choose which you like better then try this - Bakewell Cheesecake!
Americans have come to call cheesecakes made with cream cheese as 'New York' or 'Jewish' cheesecakes, as to differentiate them from the Italian type made with ricotta. I always find the best results are gotten from using the regular full fat Philadelphia cream cheese, nothing fancy needed here.
This is quite a special occasion dessert, not an everyday sort of a treat. Although it is a very straightforward recipe, you need to make sure you don't want to cook anything else in your oven for a few hours as your cheesecake goes through the cooling down process. This is to ensure the surface of the cake doesn't crack, but in truth it could still happen and if it does, relax, a few flaked almonds and a lot of icing sugar will make it look just about perfect again.
Serves 10 - 12
200g plain shortbread type biscuits
1/2 tsp almond extract
4oz butter, melted.
3 x 300g packs full fat cream cheese
8oz caster sugar
4 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
200ml tub sour cream
About 150g of raspberry jam (Thats half of an average 300g jar)
A handful of flaked almonds
Icing sugar to dusting
Heat the oven to 200°c/180°c fan and line the base and sides of a 23cm springform tin with baking parchment. To make the crumbs, double bag the biscuits in food bags and bash with a rolling pin or whizz in a food processor. Mix with the almond essence and the melted butter and press into the base of your tin. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool in the tin while you mix up your cheesecake filling.
You need your biggest bowl for this next bit. Whisk the cheese with an electric whisk until creamy, add the sugar and whisk again. Whisk in the flour, the vanilla, the eggs one at a time and lastly the soured cream. Dollop nice big spoonfuls of the mix into the tin. Drop in spoonfuls of the jam as you go. Cover all the jam up with the rest of the cheese mixture and smooth out the top carefully. Gently slide it into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 10 mins. Scatter the flaked almonds on top and reduce the oven temperature to 110°c/90°c fan and bake for another 35 mins. Turn off the oven without opening the door and leave the cake to cool for an hour. Open the oven door and leave it ajar for a further hour, I wedge it open with a tea towel or similar. Cool for a third hour at room temperature then cover and chill overnight. Remove from the tin and peel of the parchment. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve.