Things don’t always turn out quite how you anticipate. Life being one of those things. Cheesecake being another. I might not have many tips on life but I do know that to help prevent your baked cheesecake cracking when it cools you should leave it to cool in the oven, with the door ajar. I thought I had it covered when I realised my cheesecake could do with a little longer but I had to go out. I turned the oven off and left the door closed instead of ajar, pretty confident that my cheesecake would still be perfect when I got back. Instead I came back to a cheesecake that was more reminiscent of the Grand Canyon than New York. I considered adding some berries but came to the conclusion that it would have needed an entire forest of berries to hide the cracks and it probably would have collapsed under the weight anyway. So instead I had the bright idea of slicing it and putting it on plates before our dinner guests turned up, rather than after. They’ll never know…
I wanted an 8″ cheesecake rather than a 9″ as there were only four of us and there is only so much cheesecake you can eat for breakfast afterwards. All the recipes I looked at were for 9″ cheesecakes so I adapted one I found online. I used chocolate digestives rather than plain as I thought it would add a little something extra. This is a really smooth and tasty vanilla cheesecake and I’m hoping the next time I make it it will behave a little better. I’d love to hear your experiences of baking cheesecake: do you have any tips to get them crack-free each time? Or do you just slice them and/or make creative use of berries and icing sugar? Let me know!
120g chocolate digestive biscuits
720g cream cheese
160g caster sugar
150ml soured cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2½ tablespoons plain flour
Grease, and line the base of, an 8″springform cake tin.
Set the oven to 180°C.
Either use a food processor to turn the biscuits into crumbs or put them into a large plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Put them into a bowl.
Melt the butter and pour over the biscuit crumbs. Mix well and tip into the base of the prepared tin.
Level carefully and press down with the back of a spoon to make sure that the base is well compacted:
Bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned.
Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C.
Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and well mixed. Do not whisk as this will incorporate too much air.
Add the soured cream, vanilla essence and flour and beat again so that it is well mixed.
Add the eggs, one at a time.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the base:
Bake on an oven tray for around 40 minutes, until the cheesecake is beginning to brown around the edges and there is still a slight wobble in the centre.
Turn the oven off and leave the oven door ajar so that it can cool down in the oven. Once the oven is cool you can take it out and allow it to cool completely before removing from the tin.
Refrigerate before slicing and serving.