Baked Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe

I love cheesecake. I love it even more when I am pregnant. It has to be plain vanilla. And it has to be baked.

After a plea on Twitter for anyone to share their favourite recipes, Sian from The Pink Kitchen (Gourmet Catering) came to my rescue with the recipe below (I’ve made a few tweaks and added my own comments according to my experience with trying it out…)

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Let me warn you – this cake is not for those who are trying to save/budget, or for those on any sort of diet – but WOW! It is amazingly delicious! And huge! Just prepare yourself for it’s enormity!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • A large (and I mean LARGE) and quite deep, round spring-form cake tin (my tin is approx 26cm across and 10cm high)
  • Tin foil
  • Another deep baking tray/tin that the spring-form tin will fit into (this is for the bain-marie* component, more info below)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 packets of ginger nut biscuits
  • approx. 250g butter melted
  • 4 x 250g blocks Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons Maizena
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 500ml cream
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Vanilla pod seeds
 (I didnt have and forgot to buy so left the seeds out but Im sure they would make it even more amazing than it already is!)

METHOD:

1. Crush the biscuits finely and add a little bit of butter at a time to make the mixture moist, but not too moist. Use sparingly because if you use too much the base of the cake and actual tin you cook it in become quite greasy. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom of your spring-form tin.

2. Place the eggs, cream cheese and sugar into a bowl and mix with an electric mixture until smooth. Add the cream, Maizena, vanilla essence and vanilla seeds. Whisk again until completely smooth and fluffy.

3. Bake at 170 C in a bain-marie* so that the sides of the tin are kept moist. To make sure that no water enters the cake tin, it is best to place a double layer of foil around the outside of the cake tin.

*Bain-marie: place your cake tin inside the larger baking tray/tin. Add water to the bottom tray/tin – the water only needs to come up about 1/3 of the spring-form tin.

4. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes until you can just see a light golden appearance on the top. The cake might still appear to be soft in the middle when you take it out but don’t worry about that because it will set once cooled. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before refrigerating.

Best served cold (as in straight from the fridge!)

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PS. Even with my huge spring-form tin, I had a little extra cheese-part leftover so I filled three of my le creuset ramekins, made another bain-marie for them and baked them as “no-base cheesecakes” (because I’m not the hugest base fan as it is) and they were equally as amazing! If you do this, cook for about half the prescribed time and in either case, keep an eye out on water levels while baking to make sure your cheesecake doesn’t dry out!

PPS. Also – I couldnt wait for my cheesecakes to cool down before I tucked in, I tried one of my mini baseless versions soon after it came out of the oven, so it was still all warm and gooey – YUM – I could be a convert, warm cheesecake for the win!

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