Normally on my Birthday I would bake myself a cake . . . I do so love a Victorian Sponge. It's my absolute favourite . . . golden brown, moist and stogged full of jam and cream. (I do love my jam too!! If you've been visiting me for a while . . . you already know that!)
This year I decided to have something a little bit different and made myself a cheesecake. Well, i did share it with Todd, I confess . . . I'm not that greedy! I think even I would have a difficult time eating a cheesecake all by myself, but I do think I could give it a good go! (We won't go there . . . )
Anyways, I have this lovely little book called "Easy Desserts" deliciously indulgent treats. It's published by Murdoch Books and is a compilation of a variety of dessert recipes created by different chef peoples. On the back cover it says . . . "No-fuss recipes for irresistible desserts that are guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone's face." I can attest to the truth of that statement. I've made quite a few recipes from the whole of the "easy" books series and they are all good, and . . . as one would expect from their titles . . . easy.
This Vanilla Cheesecake is attributed to Fiona Beckett. I did play with it a bit. I chose to leave off her cooked blueberry topping. I was feeling rather lazy and I quite like this easy topping that I started making years ago using jam for on top of cheesecakes. It's very simply jam whisked together with a bit of honey to loosen it up a bit. I find it goes very well with the richness of the cheese filling. And I am rather lazy . . . I put my hand up . . . anything for an easy life.
I converted the measurements fo North American for my North American Friends and left out her cooked blueberry topping completely. Those are my changes.
The cake itself is rich and yes . . . indulgent, with a creamy cheese filling topped with an even creamier sour cream/yoghurt topping.
The blueberry topping???? Well, it's just the icing on a very delicous and moreish dessert. Do make sure you chill this properly before cutting and do use a wet and very sharp knife to cut. You will have no problems getting perfect slices if you follow those two pieces of advice . . . oh, and line the pan leaving some handles for lifting the ice cold cheesecake out of the pan. I find this works much better than using a springform pan . . .
Oh, and a square pan makes for nice even slices that look very pretty on the plate. I think so anyways. Enjoy! I did! (I am soooo not looking forward to my weigh -in this week!)
*Vanilla Cheesecake with a Simple Topping*
Serves 8 to 10
Lush and delicious. I top mine with a mixture of blueberry jam and honey, but you could use any jam you like. It makes an easy topping.
For the crust:
50g of unsalted butter (3 1/2 TBS)
110g of digestive or otehr wheaten biscuits, crushed into fine crumbs
(1 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs)
For the first layer:
two (200g) tube of full fat cream cheese (two 7.5 ounce tubs)
2 large free range eggs
100g of caster sugar (1/2 cup of fine sugar)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the Second Layer:
284ml carton of sour cream (1 1/4 cup)
150ml of Greek style yoghurt (2/3 cup)
2 1/2 TBS of caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 to 5 dessert spoons of wild blueberry jam
(I used bon maman)
2 TBS of liquid honey
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Have ready an 9 inch square baking tin. Butter it well. Line it with some baking parchment, leaving an overhang, and then butter the baking parchment.
Melt the butter, cool slightly and then stir in the crushed biscuits. Press evenly and firmly into the base of the pan.
Beat all of the ingredients for the first layer together, making sure they are completely mixed and smooth. Pour over the biscuit base. Smooth over the top. Place onto a baking tray and then bake it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until just set. Remove from the oven and set aside for a further 20 minutes in order to let it set up.
Whisk together the ingredients for the second layer, until smooth and completely combined. Spoon this mixture evenly over top of the first layer. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Place in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
The next day, gently warm the blueberry jam. Stir in the honey. Set aside to cool somewhat.
When you are ready to serve the cake. Gently loosen the edges with a sharp knife and lift the cake out onto a cutting board. Wet the knife and carefully cut into 8 or 10 narrow slices. Place each onto a chilled plate and then spoon some of the blueberry sauce over top. Serve.
Note: You don't need to use blueberry jam for the topping. Strawberry, Raspberry, Cherry and Apricot are each also VERY good!
The Toddster cooked me dinner and did a pretty good job. I think he had some help from M&S, but that's ok. I enjoyed it anyways, and I appreciated the effort he took . . . not to mention the thought.