This is based on the BBC Good Food recipe (that can be found here) but with a couple of tweaks.

I thickened the base, as initially it seemed a little thin, and I also added a fruit topping, just using berries and a packet of fruit jelly. This worked out even better than I’d hoped – it didn’t quite set, but made a thick yet slightly runny layer.

For the base:

  • 130 g butter (+plus extra to grease the tin)
  • 210 g digestive biscuits
  • 1 tbs sugar

For the filling:

  • 900 g full fat cream cheese
  • 250 g sugar
  • 3 tbs plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • 284 ml (1/2 pint) tub of soured cream

For the topping:

  • 1 packet of jelly e.g. Hartley’s Glitter Jelly Strawberry Flavour 100g (which is veggie!)
  • 290 g tin of blackcurrants
  • 200 g frozen blueberries

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4.
  2. For the base: Melt the butter, blitz the biscuits and then combine the base ingredients. You could line the bottom of a 23 cm springform cake tin, as the original recipe advises, but I didn’t bother and the base didn’t stick to it. Press the mixture into the tin and bake for 10 minutes. I’d recommend using a baking sheet here (flat metal tray), as some of the butter will likely leak out. Leave to cool.
  3. For the filling: In a stand mixer, using a medium-low speed gradually incorporate the sugar into the cream cheese – scraping down the sides as necessary.
  4. Continue to gradually add each ingredient one by one, including the eggs one by one.
    “Blend, but don’t over-beat. The batter should be smooth, light and somewhat airy.”
  5. Brush the insides of the cake tin (again the original recipe says to line it, but I didn’t, and wasn’t an issue) and then pour the filling in.
  6. Bake for 30-35 mins until the cheesecake still has an unnerving amount of wobble.
  7. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 1-2 hours (until cool).
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to further cool, in the tin, for another hour or so. I made this to serve the next day, and only removed it – after decorating – right at the last moment.
  9. For the topping: make up the jelly as per the packet instructions.
  10. Mix in the canned berries, and then, being sure to stir continuously, add the frozen berries. This’ll reduce the temp quite a bit – so work quickly and get it spread over the cake. Return to the fridge until it has completely cooled.

3 reasons it might crack: bubbles in the mix, overcooking, or cooling too quickly. To make sure the cake doesn’t crack:

  • Let the finished batter sit for ~5 mins after pouring into the cake tin. That’ll allow any bubbles to rise to the top.
  • Make it a day in advance as possible – it’ll take 2hrs to cool down in the oven. And ideally a further 3-4 on a rack, then 12 more in the fridge. The more gradually it cools the less likely it is to crack.
  • Do not open the oven door while it is cooking.
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