Friday, 5 July 2013

Vanilla Cheesecake

This cheesecake is a beautiful dessert for a special occasion and also really easy to make. I have previously made it for mothers day, watching the American elections and most recently for  the last meal before we moved out of our student house, every time I make it it gets a lot of love.  For a baked cheesecake it is very creamy and light so it is perfect after a big meal. I think it might have originated once upon a time from the Sainsbury's Magazine

For this recipe you will need:

60g butter
250g plain chocolate digestive biscuits
300g ricotta cheese
300g full fat soft cream cheese
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 extra egg yolk 
1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
150ml double cream
50g dark chocolate

You will also need  a 22cm cake tin with removable base,
baking paper, tin foil and a deep roasting tin. 

Firstly preheat your oven to 140 degrees or gas mark one and line your cake tin with baking paper (if you don't line your tin you will have to chisel your cheesecake off the tin and it doesn't look so pretty after that!)

Blitz your chocolate biscuits in a blender and melt your butter. Mix the two together and spoon into the cake tin. Spread the mixture so it covers all the tin and press down the mixture with a spoon to make it nice and even. The base of your cheesecake is now completed:

Mix the ricotta, cream cheese and sugar together using a mixer. Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolk and then add them to the mixture, beat until all the ingredients are well mixed. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the cream cheese mixture (or add your vanilla essence). In a separate bowl beat the double cream until it is thick enough to stand in soft peaks. Then very gently fold the cream into the other ingredients. The mixture should look like this:

Fill the kettle completely and put it on to boil, whilst it is boiling wrap the foil tightly around your tin (I tend to use two or three layers of foil). Put your wrapped tin in the baking tin and add you cream cheese mixture. Pour boiling water into the roasting tin until it comes halfway up the side of the cake tin:

Very carefully put the tin in the oven (on a practical note open the oven door before lifting the tin)  bake in the oven for an hour. Then switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour without opening the door. Once you remove the cheesecake allow it to completely cool before removing it from the tin and placing it on a plate. Don't worry if it cracks slightly, the chocolate decoration does a beautiful job of covering it up. Melt the dark chocolate and using a spoon dribble the melted chocolate across the cheesecake to decorate how you wish. Don't be tempted to use milk chocolate, it is not as runny when melted and this makes for a very frustrating decorating experience.

Happy baking xxx

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