Yep, this a fatty post*. With all this lockdown business, lots of people have been
pigging out on cake exercising their baking skills and I am no exception. I finally decided that it was time to attempt my sister’s baked cheesecake. We all have our specialities when it comes to family gatherings and this is one of hers. In our family, recipes tend to be vague and proportion-based, and always open to experimentation, which is how we like it. My sister maintains that her cheesecake comes out different every time, and why not!
*the fat referred to here is in the cheese, not around my midriff…well, mostly.
Anyway, I had a go and, boy, was it good! It took a supreme effort of will not to snarf the lot down in one sitting. The second one was almost completely different and every bit as good, if not better. I posted it up on my Facebook page and a couple of people requested the recipe, so I thought that I’d put it up here since I haven’t posted any recipes for a while.
This is my interpretation, based on my sisters instructions, and very much still under development. As it will continue to be, probably forever. The recipe is quite straightforward, as long as you aren’t too hung up on exact weights and measures, or indeed, temperatures and times. I do recommend reading the notes though, as I hope I have clarified the details a little through my observations.
Baked Cheesecake Recipe
This is not so much a recipe as a broad guideline. The initial recipe was from my sister, who always makes a cake base. I’ve played with it and opted to use an English cheesecake biscuit base. I plan to try a Greek pastry base next as I always loved the Cypriot Easter Cheesecakes I used to get from the corner shop when I lived in London. Please do experiment and have fun! And let me know your results too 😀
Preparation Time: 20mins
Cooking Time: at least 1hr, plus cooling time.
Ingredients (Read notes below):
750g-1kg soft cheese*
4-5 eggs, separated**
1 tsp vanilla extract
handful of sultanas (optional)
1 tsp Rum (optional)
1 tsp cornflour (if required – see notes)
1 packet Biscoff (or similar) biscuits
A mixture of Ginger Nut biscuits, Pecans and Ground Almonds
Melted butter (2oz or so)
Line a 9” cake tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
Crush or process in the blender/food processor the biscuits and nuts. Add enough melted butter to bind. Press the mixture into the cake tin and refrigerate for at least 15mins.
Pre-heat the oven to med-low temp – 140/150C for fan, 160C for electric*. The best temperature will depend on your oven and the wetness of your mixture. See cooking notes below.
In bowl or food processor, mix the cheese well with the egg yolks, sugar vanilla and rum. The mixture should not be too runny. If it is, you may want to add a tsp of cornflour to help the thickening process during cooking. Mix in the sultanas (it’s ok to chop them up a bit if you want, but don’t shred them).
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cheese mixture. When thoroughly combined, pour onto the base and bake for at least an hour or until set and a wooden skewer poke in to the centre comes out clean. If the cheesecake is browning too much, reduce the temperature. Allow to cool slowly in the oven.
It is best when completely cooled, so try to resist tucking in too soon 🙂
Notes on ingredients:
*Cheese: I use 250g of Ricotta and 500-600g (2 tubs) full fat soft cheese, my sister (cheesecake queen) prefers Polish curd cheese (Twarog) and a little butter. You can use any soft cheese that isn’t too watery, but if you use a low fat one, adding a little butter is best. Avoid any cheese that has thickeners and other additives.
**Eggs: You may need to add more egg if your mixture is runny. Conversely, your mixture may be runny due to the amount of egg. Add 4 medium eggs to begin with if you have at least 750g of cheese. The eggs will provide the set. The egg whites will add lightness and cause the cheesecake to rise during cooking.
***I don’t like my cheesecake too sweet so I don’t add much sugar.
****You can use any base as long as it is pre-baked or otherwise firm, so make a cake base, sweet pastry crust or biscuit base. Just allow it to cool before adding the cheese mixture. This is my version of the biscuit base. I added the nuts to reduce carbs (and because I like them). You can dispense with the biscuits altogether and just use nuts for a proper Keto/low carb version, but you will then need to add some sweetener and some cream cheese to bind it otherwise it will crumble.
I use the Aldi Caramel Biscuits (Biscoff style). My first version of the cheesecake was just 1 pack each of these and Ginger Nuts. Latest version used 5 or 6 ginger nuts and made up the difference with Pecans and Ground Almonds for a lower carb version. It’s very flexible and totally up for experimentation.
Notes on Cooking:
*At 160C in the fan oven with quite a wet mixture, my first cheesecake rose like a soufflé and was quite brown on top before it had set through. It settled back down again once cool and was extremely tasty nonetheless. The browning really doesn’t detract at all from the taste, honestly, so don’t panic if you over-brown yours. Just use a lower temperature the next time. This time, with a less runny mixture, I started at 140C and increased to 150C about half way through. The mixture rose only a little and didn’t brown as much on top.
So, there you have it. Go forth, bake, try and remember to take a pic before you’ve eaten it all and let me know how you got on.
Meanwhile, to keep you entertained, here is The Monochrome Set with Fat Fun