I always find that when I am milling about the house, doing a hundred different things my mind is at it's clearest. I know that probably makes no sense in any real terms but when I have a few jobs to do I make a list. I hop from item to item on the list, marking off as I go. The marking off brings that clarity. It seems to be once there's one less think to think about, I can think more freely.
And it's then that I come up with random cake or bake ideas.
I have a book, I put them in. Most never come to fruition because of reasons like.. I don't have the money for that amount of gold leaf, or I'm not sure that ingredient has been invented yet or... Am no, just no!
Now I am not saying that this Baked Cheesecake notion is new or even mine. But it did pop into my head while I was thinking about dessert week on this weeks Great British Bake Off. This weeks task was Creme Brulee, Cheesecake or Windtorte.
Creme Brulee or Cheesecake.. Creme Brulee... or Cheesecake... Finkle and Einhorn...
CREME BRULEE CHEESECAKE!
And as I mentally patted myself on the back for my ingenuity, I started making a new list.. of ingredients and things to add to the pantry. Because damn.. I had such a good feeling about this!
Creme Brulee Cheesecake it was to be.
This super rich, creamy and oh-my-goodness-get-in-my-belly baked cheesecake is genuinely the best I have ever made. I have never really had any huge success with baked cheesecakes. They either crack, sink and fall in all the places you don't want them to. I scoured Pinterest looking for tips on handling a baked cheesecake and was pleasantly surprised with how little I had to change. With a few easy steps I was able to use my own recipe, the one I like the taste of, to get it perfect.
And I mean perfect when I say it. This is me blowing my cheesecake trumpet here.. Toot! Toot! Toot! Leaving the brulee aside, this baked vanilla cheesecake is the bees knees.
Creme Brulee Baked Cheesecake
The Biscuit Base/ The Crust
300g (crushed to crumbs) digestive biscuit
3 tbsps of demerara sugar
125g butter, melted
Preheat your oven to 190C/375F.
In a medium bowl mix together the crumbs, butter and sugar and press into a 9 or 10 inch round spring form tin.
Bake for 91-2 minutes until the crumbs have set and turned a dark golden colour.
Allow to cool fully. (Pinterest TIP #1; Allowing the crust to cool down significantly).
The Vanilla Filling
Three (3) 225g packets of full fat cream cheese
60ml of double cream
2tbsps of flour
pinch of salt
300g caster sugar
4 large eggs
the seeds from one vanilla pod
Reduce the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2.
Beat the cream cheese, double cream, flour and salt until smooth and fluffy.
Add the sugar and continue until smooth.
Add the vanilla, then the eggs one at a time, mixing in the next after the last yolk has been incorporated.
Beat all the ingredients until smooth, ensuring there are no lumps or bumps.
Pour into the cooled crust.
(Pinterest TIP #2) Sit the springform tin in a large baking sheet, that has sides to allow you to fill the baking sheet with water. Fill your baking sheet with boiling hot water, about 1/3 the way up the cheesecake tins wall.
Put the whole lot in the oven for 50-55 minutes. Until the top has turned golden and when you move it, the centre jiggles a little bit.
Crack open the oven after the time alloted with a wooden spoon. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool fully in the oven. Remove from the oven and refrigerate overnight.
Eat, as is the next day or brulee the top like I did.
Now I know that on the show.. you weren't allowed use a blowtorch. But guess what.. I'm not on that show. I did my time in the tent.. I will Creme Brulee the top of whatever I want, the way want to.
Sprinkle two tablespoons of sugar over the top of the baked and cooled cheesecake and just let at it with a kitchen blowtorch. Make sure you evenly coat the top of the cheesecake with sugar, and then use the blowtorch evenly to burn it. I over browned mine in spots but that crisp caramel texture was really good throughout.
As too was cutting through the top and getting the "crunch".. That audible crisp; that is basically the signature sound of Creme Brulee.
This week the lovely Michelle of Utterly Scrummy Food For Families is our host. Make sure you pop by over the next while and see what all the other bloggers have baked in homage to this weeks Bake Off.