Baked cheesecake, my current baking battle. Have any of you won at the baked cheesecake battle? I have not. I mean this one was delicious but it wasn’t quite cooked enough for my liking, I wanted it to hold a little better when cut. I made a summer fruit cheesecake the week after but that one was too cooked. Too cooked to even share with you,weep. I mean, we ate it but the edges were too cooked, the middle wasn’t too bad though, phew, at least we ate something. I made it when we had people who I’d only just met for dinner, why do things never pan out like you’d planned when you are trying to impress?!
Also water baths. Can we discuss these for a minute? Thoughts on cheesecake water baths? Why?!?! That is my thought on them, I mean I understand why, no cracking etc but they are a pain in the ass. I also think they really delay this whole cooking process. I might try not using one and see how it goes but maybe I am too scared. Talk to me!
This is a Hummingbird Bakery recipe, so I am pretty confident that the issues I had were my incompetence/oven/forgot one of the eggs maybe, and that it should work out. Although I did double the cooking time and it still wasn’t cooked enough but my water bath was more of a water lake. For my second attempt (the summer fruit one) I used a smaller water bath and I think that was more successful but I cooked it for too long, so it was a little overcooked and very cracked. Grump.
Anyway, if I haven’t put you off, you should go and make it, I can promise it will taste delicious, regardless of how much wobble your cheesecake has! Please tell me if you get it to cook perfectly and tell me your secret. I will be making a third baked cheesecake attempt this week, fingers crossed!! Also, this is really a two day process unless you start in the morning, so time it accordingly.
- 220 g of digestive biscuits
- 100 of unsalted, melted, butter
- 700 g of full fat cream cheese
- 120 g of caster sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla essence
- 3 large eggs
- 80 g of pecans, finely chopped (plus extra halves to decorate)
- 60 g of unsalted butter
- 45 g of light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp of whole milk
- 120 g of icing sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla essence
- Line the bottom of an 8 inch spring-form cake tin.
- Place the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until they form fine crumbs (if you don’t have a food processor then a sealed plastic bag and a rolling pin will do the trick).
- Stir the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs and then scrape them into your prepared tin and press them down until you have a flat, even layer. Place the tin in the fridge for half an hour to set.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3 (I have a gas oven now but I still always use an oven thermometer).
- Using a mixer or electric hand held whisk, mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
- Add the eggs in individually, scraping down the sides between each.
- Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the mixture into the chilled biscuit base tin.
- Wrap the tin in foil and place in a roasting tin. Fill the roasting tin with water until 5 mm from the top of the cake tin (no indication of water temperature given, I went for hot tap water so that it didn’t take too long to heat up, my roasting tin was quite large).
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cheesecake is a light golden colour, especially around the edges, has a slight wobble in the centre and is firm to the touch. I cooked mine for double and still had no colour on top. It felt firm and has a wobble but I think I should have given it another ten minutes or so. I think they may have had to do with the size of the water bath though, it was huge.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven (although I have heard that leaving it in there with the oven off helps it to finish off cooking, I think I might try this) and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Leaving it in its tin, put it in the fridge for a few hours to set.
- Once the cake is chilled, make the glaze. Place the butter, sugar and milk in a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
- Remove it from the heat and stir in the icing sugar and vanilla, whisk until smooth.
- Pour the glaze over the cake, ensuring it gives an even coating, and then top with pecans.
- Put it back in the fridge to set for a few hours/ overnight, in the tin.
- Once ready to serve, remove it from the tin.
- Enjoy!! It really is worth all the drama!!