Cheesecakes have a rep for being rather difficult, but if you know what you’re doing they can actually be quite easy. They probably get the stigma because of how difficult they look – anything that looks that good, must be hard.
But once you know what you’re doing and have done it a few times, cheesecakes become a breeze to whip up.
150g plain chocolate biscuits
50g butter, melted
500g cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar (normal sugar is just as good, if you don’t have caster sugar)
1 tablespoon plain flour
1/2 cup (60g) roasted pecans, chopped finely
1/3 (75g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cream
1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced.
2. Process biscuits until fine. Add butter, process until combined. Press mixture over base of 20cm springform tin. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
3. Make filling by beating cheese, extract and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until smooth; beat in eggs. Stir in flour and nuts.
4. Pour filling into tin; bake about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake in oven with door ajar.
5. Make butterscotch topping by heating ingredients in small saucepan until smooth.
6. Spread topping over cheesecake. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Instead of using chocolate biscuits I just used a packet of wine biscuits, which is what I normally use for a cheesecake base. By using an entire packet you will need to also up the amount of butter used. I used 100g of melted butter. I tend to add more butter than the recipe usually says anyway because I like a base that does not crumble and actually sticks together. I usually use a base which is 1 packet of wine biscuits, 40g of low fat spread, and 2 tablespoons of apple puree. This makes an amazing base, but alas, I did not have apple puree on hand, so had to do it the old fashioned way.
Also, with the spring form tin, if you place the base upside down in the tin it allows for easier removal of the cheesecake.
With adding the pecans I just used a 70g packet, which is the average size of a packet of nuts here in NZ. I didn’t chop them up too finely, because if you’re adding something like nuts to a cheesecake they should be chunks that you can see and eat, not ground up into the mix.
When cooking the cheesecake, I baked it at 140°C with fan-forced. In doing so you don’t have to bake it for as long as a conventional oven. I left it in there for 35 minutes and then turned the oven off and left it in there to cool. By doing this you cook it till just set and by leaving it in the oven it finishes cooking the cheesecake. It makes a more creamier cheesecake than if you were to remove it from the oven straight away.
This cheesecake is best served with a bit of whipped cream on the side. It makes it just that bit more devilish.