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
- Heat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- Bake for 30-35 mins until the cheesecake still has an unnerving amount of wobble.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 1-2 hours (until cool).
- 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.
- For the topping: make up the jelly as per the packet instructions.
- 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.