The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
I was very excited when I saw this month’s challenge was cheesecake. I adore cheesecake but find ones you have out are often disappointing. Often they are not what I consider ‘proper’ cheesecakes. Many are just mascarpone mixed with sugar and shaped into a mould or even worse – set with gelatin. However, this cheesecake sounded perfect – lots of cream cheese, a proper biscuit base and baked in the oven – hurrah!
This recipe was given to Jenny by her friend Abbey T. Jenny says it is her favourite cheesecake and thought it would be the perfect recipe for this months Daring Bakers challenge and after making mine, I applaud Jenny for her choice – it’s fantastic!
We were given a lot of free reign on this challenge. All we had to do was follow the basic vanilla cheesecake recipe and modify it in any way we desired. The hardest part of this challenge was choosing what flavour to do, so many great ones kept popping into my head – apple, salted caramel, double chocolate, Amaretto, Coffee, fruity… you get the idea. In the end I decided to make a raspberry ripple cheesecake as I wanted to keep the smooth creamy flavour of the vanilla cheesecake but also include a vibrant fruity ripple of raspberry as a contrast.
When I bought the raspberries they looked so plump and had such a wonderful aroma that I bought two packs and stirred one pack through the cheesecake batter just before placing in the tin, meaning it baked with little pockets of juicy raspberries hidden inside. I am so pleased I did this, as they intensified in flavour and looked so pretty when the slices were cut.
For the ripple effect I pureed the remaining pack of raspberries and sieved out the seeds as I wanted a smooth coulis. I then boiled it with some sugar to make it thick and jammy before swirling it over the top of the cheesecake. The colour of the coulis dulled a little on baking, but the flavour intensified and it tasted wonderful.
The texture of the cheesecake itself was heavenly. With 750g of cream cheese I thought it was bound to be a bit heavy and dense, but it turned out amazingly light and creamy whilst still retaining the body of a baked cheesecake. It was also fantastically deep – just look at how high and creamy it is! It sort of melted on your tongue, coating your whole mouth with vanilla and raspberry flavours. Mmm just divine. The worst part about it was that it tasted so light that it meant you could eat more of it without any trouble – pleasurable but rather detrimental to the figure. I made sure to divide it up amongst my family for fear of eating it all myself.
I served the cheesecake with some leftover raspberries and extra coulis which added a vibrant colour and zingy sweet flavours which went perfectly with the creamy cheesecake. I can’t wait for an excuse to make this cheesecake again and to experiment with other flavour variations. Check out the Blogroll to see what other Daring Bakers did with their cheesecakes. Thanks Jenny for such a divine recipe!
Raspberry Ripple Cheesecake
Ingredients – for the base
180g digestive biscuits
1 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients – for the cheesecake
750g cream cheese
210g caster sugar
225ml double cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
100g fresh raspberries
Ingredients – for the raspberry coulis
150g fresh raspberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
100g caster sugar
½ tsp raspberry extract
Method – for raspberry coulis
Place the raspberries in a microwaveable bowl and cook for 1 minute. The raspberries should not be soft and releasing juice. Crush them with a fork and then pass the liquid through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.
Place the raspberry juice, sugar and lemon juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until syrupy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the raspberry extract if using.
Allow to cool and thicken before using.
For the cheesecake
Preheat the oven to 180C.
To start, make the base. Place the biscuits into a strong plastic bag and crush into fine crumbs using your fingers. Melt the butter, stir in the vanilla and pour over the biscuit crumbs.
Mix well to ensure all the biscuit crumbs are evenly coated in butter and press firmly into the base of a deep 8inch/20cm springform tin.
In a very large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until soft and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one.
Pour over the vanilla, lemon juice and cream and mix well.
Gently fold in the fresh raspberries and pour the mixture on top of the biscuit base, smoothing down the top. Tap the tin a few times on a work surface to remove any trapped air.
Drizzle half of the raspberry coulis over the top of the cheesecake and swirl in into the mixture using a skewer or small knife. Don’t mix too much as you want a rippled effect to remain.
Wrap the base and sides of the tin in foil, making sure to use one large sheet rather than lots of little ones, as you want it to be water tight.
Place the wrapped tin into a deep baking tray and half fill with boiling water from the kettle. Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven and top up with a little extra water is necessary.
Bake for 60-70 minutes until the outside is set and the middle remains fairly wobbly. Give it a small jiggle to test it. Once ready, turn off the heat but leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool down gradually. It will continue to firm up during this time.
After an hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven and from its water bath. Leave to cool to room temperature before refrigerating overnight.
The next day, run a thin hot knife around the edge of the cheesecake and release it from the tin.
Serve in generous slices with extra coulis and fresh raspberries.
Indulge and enjoy. Makes 1 very deep 8inch/20cm cheesecake.