To be honest, making cheesecake doesn't excite me nearly as much as eating cheesecake (quite the opposite from regular cake!) The state change that happens to cheesecake in the oven isn't nearly as cool as regular cake, ingredients are simple, and you can make it without putting it in the oven at all!! My mum used to make a lower fat yoghurt cheesecake which I always found to be a bit strange in texture and I must say it wasn't my favourite.
Anyway, back to bog standard cheesecake. The ingredients are the same as any other plain cheesecake (quantities seem to be variations on a theme) and making cheesecake is THE easiest kind of cake to make, as there's no raising agent to be worrying about - and therefore a whole lot less things that can go wrong. Here are some guidelines for 12 cheesecakes (give or take):
Note: my pet hate is using digestive biscuits to make the base. I can always tell if its a biscuit by the salt content and it just seems to ruin the flavour when coupled with the cake filling... but that's just me!
When I make a base I tend to make the same one you would expect to see in chocolate caramel slice. This one is taken from taste.com.au here (for some reason I still default to Australian sites and blogs when I'm looking for a recipe!) - again note that there is no need to be exact with these quantities. As long as the texture is cookie dough like there's really no issue.
- 1 cup plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 125g butter, melted
Simply mix together and pat it in the bottom of the cupcake wrappers. Bake for 10min or so at 180 degrees until the colour is golden.
- 2 packets of philly cream cheese (softened)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tub of sour cream
- Spoon of vanilla
- Around a cup of sugar (adjust to taste)
- A spoon of cornflour
- Splash of lemon juice
My way of making cheesecake is purely based on taste. Beat together the cream cheese with the sour cream, and slowly add in the sugar (keep beating while you do this and most importantly, keep tasting!), then the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Right before you finish, add a spoon of cornflour (stops it cracking so easily), and some lemon juice if you think the batter is too sweet and needs freshening up. Add some raspberry coulis and a fresh raspberry and bake at 180 degrees in a water bath (helps stop the cracking as well) for 20 minutes or so.
The filling will puff up but will sink again once the heat is off. Because I'm not normal I like my cheesecakes (and everything else) to be golden which I think by normal standards is a definite no-no. But, I do like all my food ever so slightly burnt or crispy and cheesecake is no exception!