Sunday, 19 October 2008

Baked vanilla and cherry cheesecake

The quest for MPC (that’s My Perfect Cheesecake) has resumed. Regular readers will recall that I have had a couple of near misses but am yet to find The One. For cheesecake escapades to date, click here.

What made me hope that this could be MPC? A couple of things: I liked the idea of a shortbread biscuit base and I liked the mix of cream cheese and sour cream. The recipe as written scattered raspberries on top but I fancied cherries. I also put a line of cherries though the cheesecake in homage to those fascinatingly long, rectangular pork pies with boiled eggs in that you used to see on supermarket deli counters.

A change is as good as a rest so the cliché goes, thus I decided to make the cheesecake in my new toy – a springform terrine/loaf tin, apart from just looking a bit different, it gives lovely even slices:

I had a dilemma in Tesco this morning (in truth, it wasn’t much of a dilemma – the outcome was easily guessable if you had only a passing knowledge of me). When browsing the shortbread biscuits I had two options: firstly, a packet weighing 200g i.e. EXACTLY the right amount for this recipe or secondly, a packet weighing 150g. So of course, I bought two packets of the 150g and ate the leftovers!

Look at how the cherry juice bleeds into the cheesecake – it’s a lovely colour combination:

If there was a cheesecake equivalent of the Man from Del Monte (I’d forgotten how naff these adverts were) what would he be saying, on tasting this attempt at MPC? He’d be saying yes!

Eureka - I have found it!

For the base:
200g shortbread biscuits (you can use digestives if you prefer)
5og unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
600g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
2 tablespoons plain flour
175g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
142ml soured cream

For the topping:
425g tin of black cherries in syrup (this weight includes the syrup)

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- You will need either a 20cm round springform tin or a 30cm x 10cm springform terrine tin. I never grease a tin when making cheesecake, but you can if you wish.
- Start by making the base. Place the biscuits in a food processor and whizz until you have fine crumbs. If you don’t have a processor put the biscuits in a tightly sealed bag and hit with a rolling pin.
- Add the melted butter and mix until the base resembles smooth peanut butter.
- Spread into the base of your tin. If using shortbread biscuits, you do not have to bake the base in advance; if using digestives you should pop the tin into the oven for 5 minutes.
- Now make the cheesecake: put all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat until smooth, thick and well combined.
- Pour half onto the base and place some cherries on top. You don’t have to do this but it looks pretty when you cut slices. Pour the remainder of the cheesecake mix on top and smooth the surface.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the cheesecake is set but still has a wobble in the middle. I used the terrine tin and mine took 45 minutes – it puffed up on baking and levelled as it cooled.
- Leave to cool in the tin. You can either cool on a wire rack, or in the oven with the door ajar.
- Just before serving the cheesecake add the topping. I used the remainder of my cherries and boiled the syrup that came in the tin until it reduced to a thick, luscious sauce.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


glamah16 said...

I think all your chessescakes are great. The quest is just an excuse to make more and more.

April said...

Oh Yum - try my Baileys and White Chocolate cheesecake - now that's MPC!

April xx

Soo said...

A truly delicious cake. But speaking as someone who gets to taste most of your attempts -- I think you should keep on trying!!! :)

Margaret said...

I love your new toy!!!
Love the cheesecake, those tinned cherries are a brilliant product.

Rosie said...

This cheesecake looks sooooo delicious!!

Rosie x

Cakelaw said...

One word - YUM!

Dee said...

Love the new toy - am definitely going to see if I can find that here; won't be holding my breat though.
Cheesecake looks very scrummy!

Cakespy said...

That is one serious--and yummy looking--slice!