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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baked vanilla cheesecake (with bonus friands!)

Chocolate and vanilla cheesecake

Recently I discovered that two of my colleagues were having birthdays in the same weekend. I discretely questioned one of those colleagues, trying to figure out his cake preferences and discovered that he didn't really like cake! Shock horror! How can someone not like cake?! But after some further sly questioning, I found out that he liked cheesecake, and specifically, baked cheesecake.

I immediately thought of the recipe below from Australian Table, which has been my go to recipe for baked cheesecake for many years. Unfortunately, I mislaid it for a while and only rediscovered it recently when I did a clear out of most of my food magazines.

I'm very fond of this cheesecake. It's not too large and doesn't use a kilo of cream cheese unlike other recipes I have tried. And it's delicious, with just the right balance of sweetness and richness. The other bonus is the sour cream topping - it doesn't matter if the top of the cheesecake cracks or bubbles in the oven, because it all gets covered up!

The only change to the original recipe I make is to double the amount of biscuits and butter as I prefer a thicker base. Sometimes I top the cheesecake with fruit, but this time (as you can see) I drizzled it with dark chocolate.

The cheesecake was a hit at work and slices were very enthusiastically gobbled down! I was happy to see that the base and filling held up well, and slices were even able to be hand-held.

Coconut and berry friands

Along with the cheesecake, I also made mini coconut and berry friands. I have made and blogged about these before, but I love them so much I thought I'd rave about them again.

This time I used a mini patty pan to make tiny bite side friands. They were a pain in the arse to get out of the pan. I ended up breaking several, but Alastair happily "taste tested" those ones for me. They were little but fabulous!

Chocolate and vanilla cheesecake

Baked vanilla cheesecake

Serves 8

From Australian Table - December 2005

250g Nice biscuits, crushed
120g unsalted butter, melted
500g cream cheese
2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
3/4 cup (180ml) cream
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
2 punnets raspberries (or other fruit of your choice)
icing sugar, to dust

Preheat oven to 190°C. Line and grease base and side of a springform (2cm) pan.

Combine biscuit crumbs and butter. Press firmly into base of prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Place cream cheese, eggs and egg yolk, cream, 1/4 cup caster sugar and vanilla into a food processor. Process until smooth. Pour over biscuit base. Bake for 25 minutes, until firm, but still slightly wobbly in centre. Cool.

Whisk together sour cream and extra sugar. Spread over cheesecake. Top with fruit and dust with icing sugar.

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