This recipe comes from one of Tall’s lovely work colleagues, Annie. Many of the people at his work are major foodies, and after being entered into their inaugural Bake Off Challenge, this cheesecake has been made and shared at many a morning tea and pot luck dinner. The recipe has also been shared, and it has lovingly become known as “Annie’s Cheesecake”.
I was in the throes of morning sickness the first time I tried it (from Tall’s plate, no less), and even though my tastebuds had been doing strange things for some time, I fell in love with its smooth, velvety creaminess, and the amazing depth of flavour I often find is missing in a baked cheesecake.
This is not a recipe for the faint-hearted. Or those on a diet, or probably those with diabetes, and those who try to steer clear of mildly unhealthy desserts.
Annie’s Baked Vanilla Cheesecake – serves 10 (or 4 plus 1 pregnant lady)
120g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing
250g digestive biscuits
800g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
1t vanilla extract (or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod)
2T plain flour
150g sour cream, plus an extra 150g for the topping, if desired
4 medium eggs
Preheat oven to 180degC.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 23cm round spring-form cake tin. Line the bottom of the tin with a circle of baking paper, cut to size.
Melt the remaining butter in a small pan or in the microwave.
Break the digestive biscuits into the bowl of a food processor; blitz to a fine crumb.
With the motor running, drizzle the melted butter into the biscuit crumbs until it forms a damp, sandy-looking mix.
Tip the buttery crumbs into the prepared tin. Smooth them out with the back of a spoon (or your hand), pressing them down firmly in an even layer.
Put the tin onto a baking tray, then bake for 15 minutes, until the base is a dark golden brown.
Put the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, flour and sour cream into a large bowl. Using an electric beater, beat until creamy and smooth.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Tap the tin once on the bench to bring any bubbles to the surface.
Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 140degC and cook for a further 40 minutes. The cheesecake should be set, with a slight wobble in the centre.
Turn off the oven, then leave the door ajar and leave the cheesecake to cool on the shelf. As it cools, cracks may appear across the middle, but the topping will hide these!
When the cheesecake is cool, chill for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight.
To serve, run a knife around the sides of the cake tin, unclip the sides and ease the cheesecake off the base and onto a plate.
Spread the remaining sour cream over the top if desired; slice and serve with fresh or stewed fruit.
I served this with syrupy, stewed rhubarb:
Chop approximately 400g of rhubarb into 4cm lengths. Place in a medium pan with approximately 100g caster sugar (use more or less depending on your personal tartness/sweetness preference) and 2T water.
Heat gently for about 5 minutes, until the rhubarb begins to break down and the sugar has dissolved.
Use a slotted spoon to scoop the rhubarb into a bowl, then turn up the heat under the pan and boil the juices for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and syrupy. Pour the sauce over the fruit and leave to cool completely.
Recipe: from Annie 🙂