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Learn how to make cheesecake with our easy step-by-step guide. With foolproof photos and fail-safe tips, you're guaranteed a perfect baked cheesecake every time.
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g butter, melted
- 1kg cream cheese
- 200g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250ml soured cream
First, prepare all of your ingredients. The cream cheese and eggs should be at room temperature, as this helps to create a uniform mixture.
Straight from the fridge?
If you forget to remove the cream cheese from the fridge in advance, cut it into cubes, place in a bowl and give it 15 seconds in the microwave. It should soften nicely without melting.
For eggs straight from the fridge, place them whole in a bowl. Run warm water from the tap over the eggs for a few minutes to help bring them closer to room temperature.
Start by preparing the digestive biscuit base. Take the biscuits and grind them into crumbs using a mortar and pestle, food processor or even a meat tenderiser! If using a food processor, process in short bursts so that your crumbs are evenly crushed and don't get too fine.
Mix the 50g of caster sugar (or less to taste) in with the crushed biscuits. Then pour in the 50g of melted butter.
For added flavour...
Here is where you can add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, or even grated nutmeg.
Grease a 23cm springform cake tin with a little butter. Tip the biscuit mixture into the tin, then press with the bottom of a glass to get a compact, even base.
No springform tin?
If you don't have a loose-bottomed cake tin, or springform tin, no problem! Simply butter a regular 23cm cake tin, then line neatly with extra thick foil, then butter that as well. Once the cheesecake has been chilled, it can be simply removed from the tin by carefully lifting the edges of the foil.
The result is a smooth surface, which we use as a basis for our cream cheese filling.
To make the filling, place the room temperature cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
Lightly beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer just until creamy.
Do not whip the cream cheese for more than a few minutes in total. Otherwise, the mixture will fill with air, which will make the cheesecake crack whilst baking.
Add the caster sugar all at once and give it a quick mix with the electric mixer.
The mixture will become more runny just by adding the sugar.
Now add the eggs one at a time, beating with the mixer after each addition just until the egg is combined. It is important to add the eggs one at a time to reduce the amount of time spent whipping.
Once the eggs are incorporated and the cheesecake mixture is smooth, add the vanilla extract.
Add the lemon zest, grating directly into the bowl if desired.
Add the fresh lemon juice.
Finally, add the soured cream. Give the mixture a quick stir (with a wooden spoon is fine) to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
Slowly tip the cheesecake mixture into the prepared tin over the biscuit base.
Smooth the surface of the mixture with a rubber spatula.
Now place your cheesecake a preheated 180 C / Gas 4 oven for 1 hour. Do not open the oven door whilst the cheesecake is baking, otherwise the cheesecake will crack. After 1 hour of baking, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for a further 2 hours. (Resist the urge to open the oven door!)
Remove the baked cheesecake from the oven after it has been in there for a total of 3 hours.
Take a knife and run it around the edges of the tin to prevent the cake from sticking. Carefully remove the rim. Here's where you have to resist the urge to dig in; for best results you now need to chill your cheesecake in the fridge for several hours or overnight! This makes cheesecake the perfect make-ahead dessert for a dinner party or special occasion. Check out our Cheesecake recipe collection for hundreds of gorgeous cheesecake recipes!
If you baked in foil...
...don't remove the cake from the tin until after several hours of chilling.
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