Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a slice of heaven. There is a common sight when someone puts a spoon of cheesecake in their mouth. They close their eyes, lips curl into smile , a halo surrounds them and all you hear is mmmmmm…..tell me thats not right :))))

I have longed to make a baked cheesecake but being a stickler for NOT following rules and measurements, I had always avoided the painstakingly long process till I was forced to, purely in an effort to defeat the forces that were trying to make it not happen…..the first effort failed as the entire waterbath toppled in the oven ( well, i cleaned the oven instead). I tried again and conveniently forgot the time and ended up with charred cheesecake ( not recomended) 🙂 , so finally, it dawned that fate was fighting against my efforts and decided to do it once more. Yet again, I marched to the shops, got the ingredients and hey presto, it worked. Never been so happy with any of my desserts…..Its fresh, soft and delicious. Try it and you will not make anything else again.

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Crust Ingredients:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup melted margarine

Filling Ingredients:

900 gm ( 3 tubs ). cream cheese

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

½ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 eggs

Topping Ingredients:

½ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Canned whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet
(that the cheesecake pan will fit inside) filled with about ½-inch of
water into the oven while it preheats. This will be your water bath.

2. Combine 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon into
a medium bowl. Mix in 1/3 cup melted margarine. Press the crumb into a
9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with
parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb
mixture into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side.
Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the
cheesecake dry when placed in the water bath in the oven. Put the
crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

3. Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese with sugar, sour
cream, and vanilla. Blend mixture for a couple of minutes or until the
ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of
the bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the
cream cheese mixture. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the
eggs.

4. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the filling into it.

5. Carefully place the cheesecake into the preheated water bath. Bake
for 12 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees
and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns
a light brown or tan color. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to
cool.

6. When the cheesecake has cooled, combine ½ cup sour cream and 2
teaspoons sugar. Spread the sweetened sour cream over the entire top
surface of the cheesecake. Cover and chill the cheesecake in the
refrigerator for at least 4 hours. To serve, slice the cheesecake into
12 equal portions. Apply a pile of canned whipped cream to the top of
each slice and serve. Makes 12 servings.

nigella
for the base
150 grams digestive biscuits
75 grams unsalted butter (melted or very soft)
600 grams cream cheese
150 grams caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
for the topping
145 ml sour cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

CAKE
Method

Process the biscuits until they are like crumbs, then add the butter
and pulse again. Line the bottom of a 20cm / 8 inch springform tin,
pressing the biscuits in with your hands or the back of a spoon. Put
the tin in the fridge to set, and preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark
4/350ºF.
Beat the cream cheese gently until it’s smooth, then add the sugar.
Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, then finally the vanilla and lemon
juice. Put the kettle on.
Line the outside of the chilled tin with strong foil so that it covers
the bottom and sides in one large piece, and then do the same again
and put it into a roasting dish. This will protect the cheesecake from
the water as it is cooked in its water bath.
Pour the cream-cheese filling into the chilled biscuit base, and then
pour hot water from the recently boiled kettle into the roasting tin
around the cheesecake. It should come about halfway up; don’t overfill
as it will be difficult to lift up the tin. Put it into the oven and
cook for 50 minutes. It should feel set, but not rigidly so: you just
need to feel confident that when you pour the sour cream over, it will
sit on the surface and not sink in. Whisk together the sour cream,
sugar and vanilla for the topping and pour over the cheesecake. Put it
back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Take the roasting tin out of the oven, then gingerly remove the
Springform, unwrap it and stand it on a rack to cool. When it’s cooled
down completely, put it in the fridge, removing it 20 minutes before
eating to take the chill off. Unmould and when you cut into it, plunge
a knife in hot water first.

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