Let’s talk about cheesecakes, shall we? As a teenager, I was not fond of cheesecakes. What the fudgesicle right? I soon realized that it was because I never had the right cheesecake! Lo and behold, when I started baking, cheesecakes were one of the things I struggled with.
One thing that I have noticed about a lot of cheesecake recipes (apart from the fact that they are deeeelicious) is that they make a very large cheesecake. Which of course is far from being a bad thing, I prefer to have a smaller cheesecake so I can bake different flavours and have more. Hence, I came up with this one! It makes a smaller 6-inch cheesecake that is ultra creamy and light, trust me it will melt in your mouth.
Few things to keep in mind for this recipe:
IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOUR INGREDIENTS ARE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.
- Cream cheese: Please use actual cream cheese and not a cheese spread. If at all you cannot find it where you live, you can make your own cream cheese at home there are plenty of recipes online.
- Egg: You may use 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk if you do not eat eggs. I will recommend reducing the sugar by approximately 30 grams.
- Crust: You may use any biscuits you like, I happen to love Oreos in all my cheesecakes.
- Cheesecake filling: The key to a very smooth and luscious cheesecake is to pass the mixture through a sieve before pouring it into you prepared base, it is a little bit of an extra step but very worth it.
- Berries: You can use any berries that you like or mix them up.
- Water bath: I prefer to bake my cheesecake in a water bath, it always makes for a cheesecake without cracks and that is always worth it. Cover the bottom of your cake pan with foil so that if at all there is a leak, your cheesecake isn’t ruined. I use a larger baking pan to make a water bath. Here I used an 8×8 inch square baking pan.
- Baking time: Please make sure when you turn off your oven, your cheesecake jiggles slightly in the centre and make sure you keep your oven door closed and leave the cheesecake to finish cooking for at least an hour before removing from the oven and letting to come to room temperature. Do not open the oven door while it is inside, resist the temptation.
- The toughest part: THE CHILLING, it is extremely important that you refrigerate your cheesecake for at least 4-6 hours or else you will be heartbroken to find your cheesecake collapse when you try to cut into it. Trust me, the wait is definitely worth it.
Now let’s get baking shall we?
- 120 g Oreos powdered
- 20 g melted unsalted butter
- 325 g full-fat cream cheese room temperature
- 100 g castor sugar
- 1 large egg
- 180 g berries of choice I used strawberries and raspberries
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
Make the crust:
- Blitz the Oreos in a food processor (I use the cookies with the filling), tip them out in a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix until it moistens all the crumbs.
- Take a 6-inch springform pan or cake pan with a loose bottom. Cover the exterior base of the cake pan with foil. Press this cookie mixture into the base of the pan as firmly as possible, bring up few of the crumbs up the sides as well. Set this aside.
Make the filling:
- Preheat your oven to 160 C. Now in a food processor, add the room temperature cream cheese and castor sugar. Blend until very smooth, you can stop and scrape the bowl once, to make sure everything is smooth and combined.
- Now add the egg and blend really well, followed by the berries and vanilla. Blend until smooth.
- Now sift in the cornstarch and salt and just blend until combined.
- Pass this mixture through a sieve before pouring into the prepared crust. Now place this inside a larger dish (I use an 8×8 inch baking pan. Place this inside your oven and before closing the door, pour hot water into the bigger pan (make sure it doesn’t get into your cheesecake pan) and bake for 1 hour. After which you will turn your oven off and let your cheesecake stay in the oven for one more hour.
- After this, let your cheesecake cool down to room temperature and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours before garnishing with whipped cream and berries. Enjoy!