Look, I baked you a cake. Nice of me isn’t it? That’s because I love you. And because I just can’t eat a whole cheesecake by myself, I need help in sharing the calories. That’s what true friends are for.
Cheesecake was a coming of age thing for me. Like wine or maybe even blue cheese for some, it took me a good long time to get used to. Maybe because what I grew up with in Europe was nowhere near as good as what I’m getting my teeth into now. Mind, it has to be worth it. If I’m going to eat a piece of cream cheese as big as a brick I want to taste the calories please. I want to taste every gram of guilty pleasure. I want it to be creamy, silky and smooth, with a deliciously buttery base. Because life’s too short.
Cheesecake of Cheesecakes
2 Tbsp caster sugar
150g frozen raspberries
500g granita biscuits, roughly crushed
200g salted butter, melted
750g cream cheese, softened
250g sour cream
330g caster sugar
1 lemon, juice
finely grated rind of half an orange
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
½ vanilla bean, seeds (if you can afford it – I just think the little black dots elevate it from great to sexy)
combine the sugar and the raspberries in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and raspberries are soft. Remove and pass through a sieve. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grind the biscuits to a fine powder and combine with the melted butter. Line the base of a 24cm tin and add crumb mixture, patting it firmly into the base and up the sides. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and reduce heat to 150°C.
Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add the sour cream, the sugar, the juice, rind and vanilla and keep on beating until the sugar is dissolved. Add the eggs, one at a time, until you’ve got a volumtiously creamy cheesecake filling in front of you. Resist the urge to eat it all and spoon into the cooled baking tin. Draw a few swirls with the raspberry sauce on top of the cheesecake filling and make it look fancy by pulling the back of a spoon through it. Or just leave it. But I like fancy.
Place into the oven. Place a baking tray beneath it, and fill it about halfway with some water. This is the secret to the cheesecake’s dreamy texture, promise. Make sure you top it up if it runs low during the baking process.
So now, bake this little gem for 1½ hours. Then take out of the oven, cool, and keep in the fridge for a few hours or over night.
Serve it cut into thin slices with a few dabs of the remaining raspberry sauce and a scattering of raspberries. And if you still feel guilty (you sinful person you) then run around your house five times. Done. Time for another slice.