Baked and no-bake cheesecakes have quite different textures, the addition of eggs and some flour change the consistency of the baked version.
While no-bake recipes are handy in the warmer summer months a baked cheesecake is a nice alternative.
When I was growing up cheesecake was always served cold and was usually lemon or vanilla.
Tasting a baked variation on a trip to the United States, as a young adult, was a revelation.
Although I found some American baking a little too sweet, and the addition of crazy-colour laden ingredients such as sprinkles and candy sweets are a bit of a distraction, the premise of a baked cheesecake was great.
While no-bake cheesecakes are light and airy the baked ones are very dense and velvety.
For either version it is better to have your cream cheese at room temperature.
If you whip it while cold it is more likely to result in little lumps. Also a spring form tin is ideal.
You will need to be gentle when removing the ring from around the sides once your cake has set or is baked.
For the baked recipe it is recommended to leave the cake in the oven after you turn it off.
Leaving it in the oven, to cool very gradually, will help prevent excessive cracking and will also allow it to firm up slowly.
There is plenty of opportunity to decorate your cheesecake as elaborately as you wish.
The smooth shiny surface is an ideal canvas.
Mixed berry baked cheesecake
280g of digestives, finely crushed
170g of butter, melted
900g of cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tbs of plain flour, sieved
170g of golden caster sugar
3 eggs and 1 extra egg yolk
30g of raspberries, crushed
30g of blueberries, crushed
200 mls of sour cream
A selection of colourful fruit and dried berries
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees and line a 9 inch round spring form tin with parchment.
Stir the crushed biscuit into the melted butter and combine. Press them down into the prepared tin and flatten the surface.
Bake for ten minutes and set aside.
Turn your oven up to 200 degrees.
Whisk the cream cheese, flour and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and yolk one at a time until combined.
Slowly mix in the crushed fruit and sour cream until everything is combined.
Scoop the mixture on top of your base and smooth it out. You can tap the tin very gently on a work surface to get out any air.
Bake for ten minutes and then turn your oven way down to 90 degrees and bake for a further 50 minutes.
Turn off the oven and allow the cake to sit there cooling for at least a further hour.
This will help prevent the top cracking too much and also allow it to firm up.
Decorate with a selection of fresh and dried fruit.
Chocolate and lime cheesecake
250g of dark chocolate digestives, finely crushed
100g of butter, melted
600g of cream cheese, at room temperature
The zest of 6 limes
90g of icing sugar, sieved
270 mls of cream
The zest of 2 limes
Curled 50g of dark chocolate curled
Line a 9 inch round spring form tin with parchment.
Stir the crushed biscuit crumbs into the melted butter and combine.
Press the mixture down into the prepared tin and flatten the surface. Place into your fridge for at least an hour.
Whisk the cream cheese, zest, sugar and cream until smooth.
Scoop the mixture on top of your base and smooth it out.
Place into the fridge for at least four hours.
Curl the zest and chocolate and sprinkle onto the cake before serving. Serve chilled.
Mini strawberry cheesecake tartlets
375g of gingernut biscuits, finely crushed
150g of butter, melted
600g of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tsp of vanilla extract
The zest of 1 lemon
100g of icing sugar, sieved
260 mls of sour cream
About 16 strawberries, halved
Line the base of 4 loose based mini tart cases and butter the edges.
Combine the crushed biscuits and the melted butter and press them into the tart cases making sure the mixture goes up the sides to make a well in the centre.
Place into the fridge for at least an hour to firm up.
Whisk the cream cheese, vanilla, lemon zest and icing sugar until smooth.
Add in the sour cream and continue whisking.
Fill the tart cases with the cream cheese mixture and place back into the fridge for about an hour.
Gently ease the tartlets out of their cases.
Decorate with the sliced strawberries just before serving.