Cheesecake is basically my favourite dessert, and also one of my favourite things to bake.
Over the years I’ve been making this recipe, I’ve adapted and tweaked it to what I think is cheesecake perfection – although of course that depends on your personal cheesecake preference!
I know most people prefer a biscuit base, but I like a sponge base and that’s what I’ve used here. It’s an easy recipe, but quite time consuming – it’s best done over 2 days if you have the time.
The basic cheesecake will suit any number of toppings, and is equally delicious plain, but as I had a large bag of apples waiting to be used, I went for caramel apple.
It’s insanely calorific, and a bit pricey to make, but well worth it for a special occasion, or just if you need some indulgence!
Caramel Apple Cheesecake:
For the sponge base:
- 65g butter
- 65g caster sugar
- 4tbsp cornflour
- 1 egg
- 65g self raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
Line a 9″ springform tin with baking paper, and grease the paper and sides of the tin. Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, then beat in the egg and fold in the flour and baking powder until combined. Spread into the tin and bake at 180 for about 20 minutes, until golden and springy.
For the cheesecake:
- 900g full-fat cream cheese
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- zest and juice of a lemon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 375ml double cream
Beat the cream cheese to soften, then add in the sugar and cornflour and beat until well combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, then add the lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract. Finally, fold in the cream, until it’s mixed in well. It should be a fairly liquid consistency.
Remove the sponge from the tin when cooled, grease the sides of the tin and put the sponge back (with the paper still on the bottom). Pour the cheesecake mixture on top, and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. When you are pre-heating the oven, leave a baking tray at the bottom to heat up, then when you put the cheesecake in pour a couple of centimetres of hot water into the tray, to make the oven nice and steamy.
After the first 15 minutes of baking, turn the heat down to 110 degrees, and bake for a further hour and a half. When the time is up, the cheesecake should be set but still have a bit of a wobble in the centre. Turn the heat off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for at least 3 hours, when it can be transferred to the fridge to chill overnight.
For the caramel apples:
- 3-4 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into wedges
- 1tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/3 cup brown or muscovado sugar
Heat the butter in a saucepan until melted, then add in the sugars. Stir until dissolved and bubbling, then add in the apples. When the apples are starting to soften, remove from the saucepan and set aside. Keep cooking the sugar and butter mix until it becomes a thick syrup, then stir into the apples.
To assemble the cheesecake, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove the side of the tin. Cover a plate with clingfilm, then turn the cheesecake upside down on to it. Take the paper of the bottom of the sponge, then flip back onto a cake board or whatever you want to serve it on. When the apples are cooled, spoon on top of the cheesecake and serve!