I'm not sure there's really much I need to say about this topic...
I am a huge lover of baked cheesecake and probably, even if I admit it myself, a little bit of a cheesecake snob... Ha! I'm not normally too fussy when it comes to desserts, but a good baked cheesecake is really like sweet heaven on a spoon.
To me, it has to be creamy and lush. Not dry, over sweet or cloying. I hate it when it's so dry the inside of my mouth sticks together. Trust me, I've had bad cheesecakes, but this, this recipe is nothing like that.
At the peak of my catering days this cheesecake was one of the most requested desserts. People who otherwise hate desserts and cheesecakes in particular have repeatedly told me how much they love this one.
It's a super easy dessert option, I do the whole thing in a food processor.
And the secret to no cracks on the surface? A low oven temp, slow baking and a rest in the switched off oven before chilling.
This dessert is best made at least a day in advance.
Before you start:
Grease and line the sides and base of a 22 cm spring form tin with baking paper.
Preheat oven to 130°C
To make the cheesecake crust
1 packet any sweet biscuits (I used butternuts but you could use anything really, digestives or gingernuts would work great too!)
90g unsalted butter, melted
Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs, I used a food processor but you could just as easily crush them using a rolling pin and a large snaploc bag.
Add in the melted butter and mix until thoroughly combined and the mixture resembles a wet sand consistency
Press this mixture evenly onto the base of the tin and smooth as best as possible.
Place the tin with the crust in the fridge while making the cheesecake filling
Lemon Cheesecake Filling
500 g cream cheese ( I used 2x Philadelphia Original blocks)
250 g fresh full cream ricotta
250 g Marscapone cheese
250 g castor sugar
3 extra large (700g) eggs
2 tablespoons cornflour
zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
I use a food processor and begin by placing the eggs, sugar and lemon zest at the bottom, followed by all the cheeses and vanilla bean paste.
Blitz everything together until smooth and well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Combine the juice from 1 lemon with the corn flour to make a paste and add this in last. Blitz again for 30 - 40 seconds to make sure everything is fully incorporated. Scrape the sides down with a spatula one last time, then pour directly on top of the biscuit base.
If you don't have a food processor this cheesecake can be made in a regular stand mixer or even with a handheld beater. Simply make sure the cheeses are all soft and at room temperature, in cold weather the Philly can be softened in short bursts in the microwave. The ricotta will give the cheesecake a little texture that the food processor blends away, but this isn't a bad thing.
Bake the cheesecake in a preheated oven for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes.
Your cheesecake is baked when there is a slight wiggle to the top of the cake but there's no sign of runny cheese. When pressed gently the surface should feel soft but set.
Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the switched off oven for a further 20 minutes.
Please keep in mind that all ovens are different. Keep an eye on your cheesecake as it's baking. There should be very little browning on the surface of the cake. If it begins to look brown simply turn the heat in your oven down by 20 degrees. Also, if your cheesecake is still very wobbly and visibly runny after the entire baking time, simply add an additional 10 minutes before turning the oven off.
Once your cheesecake is baked, place in the fridge to set over night or for a good 10 hours so the cake can chill. This also allows the flavours to develop.
This cake isn't overly sweet so I add a whipped cream topping to add a touch of sweetness and adorn with what will probably be the last of the summer berries we have available.
300 ml thickened cream ( I used PURA brand )