Friday 9 December 2016

Recipes: Brenda Costigan says indulge yourself with these baked cheesecake recipes

Go on, indulge yourself, your family and friends, with these baked cheesecake recipes, says Brenda Costigan —try cheesecake New York style, with lemon and strawberries, or mouthwatering chocolate and cream

Published 02/10/2011 | 23:59

A little self-indulgence never did anyone any harm. For a special treat, serve a cheesecake to your family and friends. I’m especially fond of baked cheesecakes, which are traditional in central Europe.

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A springform tin is necessary to make a cheesecake. Crushed biscuits make up the base of the cake; the biscuit base should go out to the side of the tin and up it a little as well. This prevents the liquid mixture from oozing out of the tin’s base. Stand the tin on a baking tin to catch any escaping butter.



Line the tin’s base with a large piece of baking parchment — it must be bigger than the tin’s base. First, disassemble the tin and lightly butter the base. Place the baking parchment over the buttered base — the parchment will stick to it. Reassemble the tin — the excess parchment should stick out at the sides.



Once the baked cheesecake has cooled, and the sides of the springform tin have been removed, gently pull the baking parchment in order to slide the baked cheesecake off the base of the tin, and on to a serving plate. When the cheesecake is in position, carefully remove the baking parchment.



NEW YORK-STYLE BAKED VANILLA CHEESECAKE



This delightful cheesecake is baked, then allowed to cool before serving. Use full-fat cream cheese, not slimline. If you’re watching your weight, then this is not the dessert for you. Serves 8-ish!



You will need:



225g (8oz) digestive biscuits, finely crushed 110g (4oz) butter, melted 650-700g (almost 1½lb) full-fat cream cheese 75g (3oz) caster sugar 2 tablespoons cornflour Seeds from 1 vanilla pod or ½-¾ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 large eggs (or 3 medium ones), lightly whipped together 175ml (6fl oz) fresh cream



Use a 23cm (9in) springform tin. Preheat the oven to 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3. Line the base of the tin with baking parchment as described in the introduction. Unless it is non-stick, grease the rest of the tin. Mix the finely crushed digestive biscuits with the melted butter and spread this mixture over the tin’s base in an even layer, ensuring that the mixture goes a little up the sides of the tin. Press the crushed-biscuit base firmly into position.



Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Then cool the tin on a wire tray. Put the full-fat cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat it to soften it, then add in the caster sugar, the cornflour, and the vanilla seeds or the vanilla extract, whichever you are using. Beat everything together. Add in the lightly whipped eggs, beating them carefully through, then gently beat in the fresh cream until you have a smooth mixture.



Ensuring the tin has cooled, pour the cream-cheese mixture carefully over the crushed-biscuit base and spread it out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Raise the heat to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5, and bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the top is a light golden brown and the filling has set around the edges, but is still a tiny bit wobbly in the centre. Do not overbake, as the filling should be slightly moist.



Remove the cheesecake from the oven and stand the tin on a wire tray to cool. When the cheesecake has cooled, using a sharp knife, loosen the cake from the edge of the tin and gently remove the sides of the springform tin. Slide the cheesecake off the tin’s base on to a serving platter, then gently remove the parchment. Serve the cheesecake plain or with a topping of poached autumn plums (see the photo above and the recipe below).



TOPPING OF POACHED AUTUMN PLUMS WITH PORT



(Pictured)



Choose dark-red plums for this recipe.



You will need:



700g (1½lb) plums, halved Juice of 2 large oranges 50g (2oz) sugar 1 rounded teaspoon cornflour 2-3 tablespoons ruby port (optional) Whipped cream, to serve



Cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Put the halved plums into a saucepan with the orange juice and simmer gently with the lid on until the plums are tender, but still hold their shape.



Using a perforated spoon, lift out the plums and let them cool. Stir the sugar into the juice until it dissolves. Blend the cornflour with a little drop of cold water and add it to the juice. Bring the juice to the boil to thicken it and then add the ruby port, if you are using it. Arrange the plum halves, cut-side down, on top of the cheesecake and spoon the juices all over them.



If you prefer, cut the plums in quarters. Once the juice has thickened lightly, add the quartered plums to it, and serve as a sauce spooned over each portion of cheesecake. Serve with some whipped cream.



BAKED LEMON CHEESECAKE WITH STRAWBERRIES



The zing of the lemon in this creamy cheese filling contrasts nicely with the crunchy biscuit base. Serves 8-10.



You will need:



200g (7oz) digestive biscuits, finely crushed 100g (3½oz) butter, melted 3 medium eggs 400g (8oz) full-fat cream cheese 1 tablespoon cornflour 200ml (7fl oz) creme fraiche 110g (4oz) caster sugar (a little more if required) Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 4 tablespoons lemon juice Use a springform cake tin measuring 20-23cm (8-9in) in diameter — no bigger or the filling will be spread too thinly. Preheat the oven to 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3.



Line the base of the tin with baking parchment as described in the introduction. Unless it is non-stick, grease the rest of the tin. Mix the finely crushed digestive biscuits with the melted butter and spread this mixture over the tin’s base in an even layer, ensuring that the mixture goes a little up the sides of the tin. Press the crushed-biscuit base firmly into position.



Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Then cool the tin on a wire tray. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs lightly enough to make them evenly runny and put them to one side. Put the full-fat cream cheese in a larger bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon to soften it. Add the cornflour, and the creme fraiche and stir everything together. Then add in the caster sugar, the whisked eggs and the finely grated lemon zest. Mix well until you have a soft, velvety consistency.



Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Taste to see if mixture is sweet enough — add more caster sugar if it is not. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out in an even layer over the crushedbiscuit base. Bake the cheesecake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes until it is just nicely set. Cool the cheescake cake in the tin, standing on a wire tray. When the cheesecake has cooled, using a sharp knife, loosen the cake from the edge of the tin and gently remove the sides of the springform tin. Slide the cheesecake off the tin’s base on to a serving platter, then gently remove the parchment. Cut in wedges and serve with spoonfuls of strawberry or fruits of the forest sauce — see the recipe below.



STRAWBERRY (OR FRUITS OF THE FOREST) SAUCE



If fresh strawberries are not available, use frozen fruits of the forest instead.



You will need:



Juice of 1 orange 1 rounded teaspoon cornflour 1 tablespoon blackcurrant jam 225g (8oz) strawberries, hulled and quartered, or frozen fruits of the forest, defrosted



Blend the orange juice into the cornflour and put it into a little saucepan, adding the blackcurrant jam. Bring it gently to the boil to thicken slightly, stirring all the time. Take the saucepan off the heat, pour the mixture into a bowl and allow it to cool. Add in the strawberries or the defrosted fruits of the forest, whichever you are using, and leave to stand for a good half-hour before serving to allow the flavours to mingle.



CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE



If you like, a topping of whipped cream or creme fraiche, laced with some liqueur, can be spread over the top of this cheesecake, once it is cold. Serves 8.



You will need:



225g (8oz) digestive biscuits, finely crushed 110g (4oz) butter, melted 200g (7oz) dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids) 600g (1lb 5oz) full-fat cream cheese 110g (4oz) caster sugar 1 tablespoon cornflour 2 tablespoons Irish Mist or dark rum or liqueur of your choice ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 3 eggs, lightly whipped together 100ml (4fl oz) fresh cream or creme fraiche Use a 23cm (9in) springform tin. Preheat the oven to 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3.



Line the base of the tin with baking parchment as described in the introduction. Unless it is non-stick, grease the rest of the tin. Mix the finely crushed digestive biscuits with the melted butter and spread this mixture over the tin’s base in an even layer, ensuring that the mixture goes a little up the sides. Press the crushed-biscuit base firmly into position. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Then cool the tin on a wire tray.



Melt the dark chocolate. This can be done in a bowl in the microwave on the defrost setting for 5-10 minutes as required, or in a bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Put the melted dark chocolate to one side to cool just a little.



Meanwhile, put the full-fat cream cheese into a mixing bowl and gently beat it to soften it, then add in the caster sugar, and the cornflour. Next, add in the Irish Mist, the dark rum, or whatever liqueur you’re using, the vanilla extract, and gently beat everythingtogether. Add in the lightly whipped eggs and the fresh cream or creme fraiche, whichever you are using, and beat carefully into the mixture. Finally, gently beat the melted chocolate through the mixture. Ensuring the tin has cooled, pour the mixture carefully on to the biscuit base in the tin and spread it out evenly.



Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes, until the cheesecake has set around the edges but remains a bit wobbly in the centre. Do not overbake, as the filling should be slightly moist.



Remove the cheesecake from the oven and stand the tin on a wire tray to cool. When the cheesecake has cooled, using a sharp knife, loosen the cake from the edge of the tin and gently remove the sides of the springform tin. Slide the cheesecake off the tin’s base on to a serving platter, then gently remove the parchment.



If you like, cover the top with the following topping.



For the optional topping, you will need: 200ml whipped fresh cream 2 tablespoons Irish Mist or dark rum 2 teaspoons caster sugar Cocoa powder



Mix together the whipped fresh cream and the Irish Mist or the dark rum, whichever you are using, and the caster sugar. Spread this mixture over the cooled cheesecake and dust with some cocoa powder.



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