Vanilla Cheesecake – sheer unadulterated HEAVEN!
So, October is going to be cake month here on LinsFood. My plan is to put step by step instructions to a couple of my celebration cakes, one of them being the very popular Tinkerbell cake. I shall, however, start with my favourite cake – vanilla cheesecake, I could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, again and again!
This is my take on the classic New York cheesecake and it always reminds me of the time I met my husband. A week after we met, he went off to work in Chicago and soon after, he faxed me a menu for The Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant that specialises in my idea of Heaven! I knew right then he was the one!
More often than not, I refuse to have a base or crust for my various cheesecakes as I think it’s a crime to mar perfection!
I fiddled with this recipe quite a bit but this version is probably from the 4th or the 5th try – I kept going back to this & finally decided I couldn’t better it!
MAKE THIS A DAY BEFORE
900g full fat cream cheese (I always use Philadelphia, their larger pack is 300g)
250g caster sugar
150mls full fat evaporated milk (I have used semi skimmed & it was still very good)
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla paste (I love the richness and the seeds, Madagascan vanilla is best)
2tsp lemon juice
1.Preheat oven to 200 C, 180 c fan. Line a 9 inch/23cm springform tin and grease it, including the sides.
2.In a tabletop mixer (or large bowl with handheld whisk), beat cream cheese on medium low till creamy for about 30-60 seconds. Add the sugar gradually as you keep whisking.
3.Next add the two flours, scraping down the sides if you have to.
4.Add vanilla, lemon juice and then the eggs, one at a time.
5.Finally, add the evaporated milk & whisk till just mixed. Don’t overbeat. Check for lumps, squash the bigger ones with a wooden spoon but don’t worry about it too much.
6.Pour the mixture into the prepared tin gently.
7.Bake at the initial high temperature for 10 minutes. This aids the rise.
8.Reduce temperature to 110C/90C fan and bake for another 35 minutes. When done, the cake should still have a slight wobble in the middle.
9.Let cool in the oven with the door shut for 2 hours. As the cake doesn’t have a base, it needs to be slightly firmer.
10.Cover loosely with foil & refrigerate overnight.
There are various toppings out there for cheesecakes. My favourite is serving it with a simple strawberry coulis.
Frankly, this is SO good on its own too!