Baked cheesecake was one of the challenges recently on the Great British Bake Off. I usually stick with easier no-bake cheesecakes but decided to up my game and try one. I don’t know why but I was so anxious to get this right! I researched a lot of baked cheesecake recipes and pulled out Donna Hay’s The New Classics, Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess and read several of Martha Stewart’s recipes online. It was way easier than I thought and once you are careful there is no need to worry about cracked tops or over baking.
I have used raspberries here as I find them good with white chocolate but you can use whatever fruit you like. Frozen fruit will work well too. If you are catering for someone who has an aversion to fruit in their desserts, you can bake the cheesecake without any fruit and just pour some of the sauce on top but I like it to ripple through the filling. I have added dark chocolate to the base for some contrast and to balance out the sweetness but you can leave it out if you prefer. Some recipes call for the base to be baked separately first but I just chilled mine while prepping the filling.
I would stress to use the water bath when you are cooking the cheesecake. I know a lot of recipes don’t bother but it helps to cook the filling evenly. I allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven to stop the top from cracking. Now, in fairness a cracked top isn’t the end of the world and can easily be covered over with fruit or a sauce. Allow it to cool long enough to set. I got blogger fear of lack of daylight so whipped it out of the fridge early to take pictures and as you can see it hadn’t quite set fully. I put it back in and it was fine after another couple of hours, but still…
This can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a few days. Apparently baked cheesecakes also freeze well if left whole in the tin and wrapped tightly in layers of clingflim but I’ve never tried it.
Bring your ingredients to room temperature before starting.
For the base
- 150g digestive biscuits
- 40g unsalted butter
- 40g dark chocolate
For the sauce
- 250g raspberries
- 25g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 50ml water
For the filling
- 250g cream cheese
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 100g double cream
- 200g white chocolate
- 75g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Fresh fruit and white chocolate to decorate (optional)
- Start by making the base. Use an 8″/20cm springform tin and lightly grease this.
- Make a bain marie by putting a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Put the chocolate and butter into the bowl and gently melt together.
- Bash up the biscuits in a plastic bag until you get the texture of large breadcrumbs. A few chunks is good. Pour them into a bowl and mix through the chocolate and butter until it is completely combined. Press this as evenly as possible into the base of the tin and put it in the fridge to set while you make the rest.
- If you want to make the raspberry sauce put all of the ingredients into a pan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the raspberries have started to break down I like to pick out a few and dot them onto the biscuit base so that you get a chunk of raspberry in each slice. You don’t have to do this.
- With the remaining sauce stir until the raspberries have completely broken down and the cornflour has thickened the sauce. Pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds and set to one side to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 170c/150c fan/gas mark 5. Boil the kettle for your water bath later. Set up the bain marie again and this time put the cream and white chocolate in the bowl to melt together. When white chocolate has lost it’s shape it has melted enough and you should be able to just mix into the cream. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Use a mixer to soften the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese and combine well together. When fully mixed slowly add the sugar and then the eggs, egg yolk and vanilla until well combined.
- Fold the cooled melted white chocolate mixture into the rest of the batter.
- Take your tin out of the fridge. Place it on top of a few sheets of aluminium foil and wrap these around the base in layers. Allow it to come up the sides of the tin. You want to make sure the tin is watertight so that water from the bath doesn’t get into your tin.
- Put the tin into a large roasting dish. Pour the batter into the tin. Then pour spoonfuls of the raspberry sauce into the batter, spacing them out around the tin. Use a cocktail stick or knife to ripple the sauce through the batter.
- Put the roasting dish into the oven and then pour water from the boiled kettle into the roasting dish so that it comes nearly halfway up the side of the tin.
- Close the oven and bake for 55 minutes to an hour. The top of the cheesecake should turn a nice golden brown and there should be a hint of a wobble in the centre. Turn off the oven when it is cooked and leave the door open a bit. Allow the cake to cool slowly in the oven so that when it sinks back down a bit it should not crack.
- When cool transfer to the fridge to set for 6 hours or overnight. To release the cheesecake from the tin gently open the springs and run a spatula around the edge before removing the ring.
If you want to try a no-bake chocolate and raspberry cheesecake have a look at this recipe from Melissa in the Glen House.