Cakes & Bakes: Peanut butter baked cheesecake

Home-made peanut butter baked cheesecake | H is for Home

It’s Justin’s 50th birthday today so, of course, I had to make him a birthday cake.

Crushed plain chocolate digestive biscuits for peanut butter baked cheesecake base | H is for Home

I made a peanut butter baked cheesecake – seeing as cheesecake is his favourite kind of cake, and he’s quite partial to peanut butter too.

Cheesecake cake tin wrapped with wet tea towel

I also wanted to try out a tip that I found on the internet this week. Apparently, instead of using a Wilton Bake Even Strip (which helps keep your cake level and prevent a cracked top), you can wrap the sides of the tin with a wet cloth or tea towel.

Peanut butter baked cheesecake batter ingredients | H is for Home

It worked pretty well, there was a slight bulge to one side of the top which I put down to the overlap of the cloth. Next time I’ll use a cloth cut down to fit the circumference exactly. So long as the cloth is very wet, it won’t burn in the oven. Elasticated cloth, or nylon/polyester fabric probably wouldn’t work very well in the heat of an oven; stick with cotton or linen.

Pouring peanut cheesecake batter on to biscuit base

The plain chocolate digestive biscuits gave just that bit of extra depth of flavour over plain digestives, and baking the base for 10 minutes gave it a ‘biscuity’ taste and texture.

Chocolate topping ingredients for peanut butter baked cheesecake

I used mascarpone, but you can use Philadelphia or any other plain, full-fat cream cheese.

Smoothing chocolate topping on peanut butter baked cheesecake | H is for Home

The results were delicious – a rich, indulgent treat.

Home-make peanut butter baked cheesecake with toasted mixed nut sprinkles | H is for Home

There’s only one slice left – that must mean that the birthday boy approves!

Peanut butter baked cheesecake
Serves 6
For the base
  1. 150g/5oz plain chocolate digestive biscuits
  2. 30g/1oz butter, melted
For the filling
  1. 250g/9oz mascarpone cheese
  2. 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  3. 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  4. 150g/3oz crunchy peanut butter
  5. 60ml/2fl oz soured cream
  6. ½tbsp cornflour
For the topping
  1. 125g/4½oz soured cream
  2. 50g/2oz dark chocolate
  3. 15g/½oz caster sugar
  4. 3tbsp mixed chopped toasted nuts (optional)Home-made peanut butter baked cheesecake ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/325°F/as mark 3
  2. Grease & line and 22cm diameter spring form tin
For the base
  1. Using a food processor, grind the plain chocolate digestives into fine crumbs
  2. Add in the melted butter and combine well
  3. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin pressing down firmly & evenly using a cold metal spoon to form a level base
  4. Put the base into the oven for 10 minutes, when cool put it into the fridge to set
For the filling
  1. After washing out the processor bowl, use it to combine the mascarpone, eggs, yolk, sugar, peanut butter, soured cream and cornflour to a smooth consistency
  2. Pour the mixture into the over the base and bake for 30-40 minutes until just set
  3. Allow to cool for half an hour on a wire rack before putting the tin into the fridge to chill
For the topping
  1. In a small saucepan, gently warm the soured cream, chocolate and sugar stirring to form a smooth sauce
  2. Pour the mixture on top of the cold cheesecake and allow it to set in the fridge
  3. When cooled & set, run a sharp knife around the edge of the tin before easing the cake carefully
  4. Finish with a sprinkling of mixed chopped toasted nuts (optional)
Print
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Lemon & blueberry cheesecake

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Slice of home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

Right, it’s official, cheesecake is H is for Home’s favourite cake!

Hobnobs ground in a food processor | H is for Home

It’s by far, the most baked Cakes & Bakes entry.

Cheesecake biscuit base made using Hobnobs | H is for Home

Juicing & zesting lemons | H is for Home

This week, lemon & blueberry cheesecake joins the ranks.

Eggs broken into a small measuring jug | H is for Home

Cheesecake mixture and blueberry purée | H is for Home

I’ve used Hobnobs instead of the usual digestive biscuits for the base. Frozen blueberries are available in the supermarket all year round and at a fraction of the price of fresh.

Adding blueberry purée to cheesecake mixture | H is for Home

Lemon & blueberry cheesecake put into a water bath before baking | H is for Home

Home-made cheesecake isn’t difficult. The secret is cooking it long & low. Wrapping the tin with foil and placing it in a water bath (bain-marie) makes sure it cooks properly all the way through without burning. You want the slightest browning of the top.

Top of home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake before topping with fruit | H is for Home

Home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

It feels like a very indulgent cake… but I know the blueberries count as one of your 5-a-day. It leaves just one question, do the lemons make it two?

Detail of a home-made lemon & blueberry cheesecake | H is for Home

If you’d like to save this recipe, you can pin it from here.

Lemon & blueberry cheesecake
Serves 8
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
for the base
  1. 200g/7oz Hobnobs
  2. 75g/3oz butter, melted
for the filling
  1. 500g/17½oz cream cheese
  2. 350g/12oz blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  3. 3 lemons, zest & juice
  4. 200g/7oz caster sugar
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 150ml/5fl oz sour creamLemon & blueberry cheesecake ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/Gas mark 2
  2. Grease the sides of a 20cm/8-inch spring-form cake tin
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter
  4. In a food processor, add the Hobnobs and grind to a fine crumb
  5. Add the ground biscuits to the butter and combine
  6. Empty the mixture into the base of the tin and smooth the surface evenly using the back of a tablespoon
  7. Bake the base for about 15 minutes then set aside to cool while you make the cake mixture
  8. Zest & juice the lemons. Set aside
  9. In the food processor you used to crumb the biscuit, add half the blueberries and lemon juice and purée
  10. In a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl if doing it by hand) add the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar and mix thoroughly
  11. Gently whisk the eggs in a measuring jug before adding them to the cheese mixture in 3 stages, mixing well after each addition
  12. Add the puréed blueberry & lemon juice mixture followed by the lemon zest, making sure it's well incorporated
  13. Boil a kettleful of water
  14. Before pouring the cheesecake mixture into the tin, wrap the tin in foil to make it water tight
  15. Put the tin into an oven tray (at least 5cm/1-inch deep)
  16. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin and put the oven tray & cake into the preheated oven
  17. Fill the oven tray to about ½cm/¼-inch below the rim with the boiled water
  18. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes
  19. When cooked, turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven, with the door ajar
  20. When completely cool, top with the other half of the blueberries and put in the fridge
Print
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Italian cheesecake with almond crumb base

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Slice of home-made Italian cheesecake with almond crumb base | H is for Home

Lidl had a ‘Taste of Italy‘ special this week so I stocked up on a few Mediterranean bits & bobs when I popped in. I bought a couple of tubs of ricotta, not quite knowing what I was going to do with them. Of course… Italian Cheesecake!

Ground almonds, sugar and butter in a saucepan

I fancied making it with a crunchy base using amaretti biscuits but I couldn’t find any in the shops. No need to panic, I improvised and made my own almond crumb base.

Almond crumb cheesecake base

ricotta and sugar mixture

I’ve made a fair few different cheesecakes in the past. I think this is almost up there with the all-time favourite Gordon Ramsey version.

making Italian cheesecake mixture

uncooked Italian cheesecake

It’s best served cold, straight from the fridge, perhaps with an after-dinner espresso.

Italian cheesecake straight from the oven

Home-made Italian cheesecake

Fancy giving it a try? Pin the recipe for later!

Italian cheesecake with almond crumb base
Serves 6
Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
For the base
  1. 40g/1½oz butter
  2. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  3. 30g/1oz caster sugar
  4. pinch of salt
For the cake
  1. 500g/1lb 2oz ricotta cheese
  2. 150g/5oz caster sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  5. juice from ½ lemon
  6. 25g/1oz plain flour
  7. 15g/½oz flaked almonds, toasted (optional)Italian cheesecake with almond crumb base ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF
  2. Grease an 18cm/7-inch loose-bottomed cake tin
  3. In a medium saucepan, add the butter and put over a low heat until melted
  4. Remove from the heat add the almonds and sugar and combine well
  5. Tip the mix out into the cake tin and press uniformly into the base using the back of a spoon
  6. Bake the base for 10 minutes, set aside and allow to cool
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta and caster sugar until smooth
  8. Gently beat the eggs in a measuring jug before adding gradually to the cheese & sugar mix. Stir well after each addition
  9. Mix in the vanilla extract and then the lemon juice
  10. Sift the flour into the mix and combine well
  11. Pour the mixture on to the almond crumb base and bake for a hour
  12. After the hour, turn the oven off and leave the door ajar allowing the cake to cool in the oven
  13. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the toasted flaked almonds over the top
  14. Allow to cool in the tin completely before removing
Print
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

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Slice of triple chocolate cheesecake | H is for Home

I consider myself something of a greedy chocoholic (who edges the cake knife round a few millimetres when no ones looking to get a bigger piece). But faced with this triple chocolate cheesecake, a small slice was sufficient… even for greedy old me!

Triple chocolate cheesecake ingredients | @hisforhome

It is is the richest, most decadent chocolate fantasy I’ve ever made or eaten. A quick tally of all the ingredients brings it in over 2 kilos!

Oreo cookie cheesecake base | @hisforhome

There’s a base made from crushed Oreo cookies…

Melting dark chocolate in a glass bowl | @hisforhome

Melted dark chocolate and cheesecake mixture | @hisforhome

…a thick, intense dark chocolate middle layer…

Adding melted dark chocolate to cheesecake mixture | @hisforhome

Uncooked triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

…and a sweet, white chocolate ganache topping (with dark chocolate flakes to decorate of course!).

Triple chocolate cheesecake | @hisforhome

It was a real winner with everyone who tried it… and there’s now a note in my recipe file for ‘must make again!’.

Triple chocolate cheesecake
Serves 10
For the biscuit base
  1. 2 x 154g packets Oreo cookies
  2. 60g/2oz unsalted butter
For the cheesecake filling
  1. 3 x 280g tubs cream cheese (at room temperature)
  2. 165g/6oz icing sugar
  3. 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 300g/10oz dark chocolate
For the ganache topping
  1. 180ml/6 fl oz double cream
  2. 175g/6oz white chocolate
  3. Extra dark chocolate for garnishingTriple chocolate cheesecake ingredients
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  2. Put the Oreo cookies into a food processor and pulse until they have turned to fine crumbs
  3. Put the butter into a microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften
  4. Combine the butter with the Oreo cookie crumbs and spoon the mixture into the base of a 28cm/11inch spring-form cake tin pressing it firmly & evenly with the back of the spoon
  5. Bake for 10 minutes then set aside to cool
  6. Break the dark chocolate into pieces, putting them into a glass or pottery bowl
  7. Put the bowl into a saucepan of water (just enough so that the bottom of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water) and heat on a low flame until the chocolate has melted
  8. While waiting for the chocolate to melt, put the cream cheese, icing sugar and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl and combine well
  9. Break the eggs into a measuring jug, whisk lightly until just combined before adding little by little into the cheese/sugar/cocoa mixture, stirring after each addition
  10. Add the melted dark chocolate to the mixture and combine well
  11. Pour the mixture on to the biscuit base and bake in the oven for 60 minutes
  12. Switch off the oven, leave the oven door slightly ajar and allow the cake to cool for half an hour
  13. Put the cake on a wire rack until it has cooled completely
  14. Break the white chocolate into pieces, putting them into a glass or pottery bowl with the double cream
  15. Put the bowl into a saucepan of water (just enough so that the bottom of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water) and heat on a low flame
  16. When the chocolate has begun to melt, stir the mixture well and allow to cool until it has thickened but still pourable
  17. Pour evenly over the top of the cake allowing some to drip down the edge
  18. Serve at room temperature or refrigerated
  19. Keep refrigerated and consume within 3 days
Print
Adapted from Oh My God Chocolate Desserts
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Japanese cheesecake

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Slice of Japanese cheesecake with preserve

Last week we shared a Taiwanese bread recipe; this week we’re staying in that general geographical area with this Japanese cheesecake.

Japanese cheesecake ingredients | @hisforhome

Separated eggs | @hisforhome

This cake is also known as a soufflé cheesecake – it gets this airy texture from the separated eggs.

lining a cake tin with parchment paper | @hisforhome lining a cake tin with tin foil | @hisforhome

Cheesecake mixture after adding the cream and eggs | @hisforhome

A stiff meringue is made from the whipped egg whites and sugar, and is then folded into the mixture at the end.

Japanese cheesecake mixture after adding the flour, rum and lemon juice | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake meringue | @hisforhome

To finish the cheesecake, the recipe calls for an apricot glaze. We have all manner of home made jams & jellies in the cupboard, so I decided to make a plain version of the cake – then experiment with the different flavours of jam for each slice.

folding meringue into Japanese cheesecake batter | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake batter in cake tin | @hisforhome

Apricot might indeed be perfect, but you never know…

Japanese cheesecake | @hisforhome

Japanese cheesecake with jars of jam and jelly | @hisforhome

…it could be blackcurrant, wild raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry or quince!

Japanese cheesecake
Serves 8
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
For the cheesecake
  1. 400g/14oz cream cheese
  2. 60g/2oz caster sugar
  3. 60g/2oz butter, cubed
  4. 6 egg yolks
  5. 200ml double cream
  6. 10 ml/2 tsp lemon juice
  7. 1 tbsp dark rum
  8. 80g/3oz plain flour
  9. 3 tbsp apricot jam + 1tsp water (to glaze)
For the meringue
  1. 6 egg whites, refrigerated
  2. 100g/3½ granulated sugar
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Before you start, bring all your ingredients to room temperature
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into the fridge
  3. Grease & line the bottom and side of a 25cm/10inch diameter spring form cake tin with parchment paper
  4. Cover the base & up the side of the tin with tin foil, making it water-tight
  5. Place the tin in an oven proof dish large enough that it can sit flat & level
  6. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/320ºF/gas mark 3
  7. Put the cream cheese and caster sugar into the bowl of an electric food mixer
  8. Using the K-beater attachment, mix on a medium speed for about a minute until there are no lumps
  9. Add the softened butter and mix, again on a medium speed, until there are no lumps
  10. Add the egg yolks a little at a time before adding all the double cream. Combine
  11. Add the lemon juice and rum. Combine
  12. Sift the flour before adding to the mixture. Combine
  13. Put the mixture into a large bowl, before thoroughly washing and drying the food mixer bowl
  14. Put the cold egg whites into the mixer bowl and, using the whisk attachment on a high speed, whip them into stiff peaks
  15. Slow the speed to medium and (while still moving) add the granulated sugar a little at a time to the egg white
  16. Boil half a kettle-full of water
  17. Carefully fold the meringue, half at a time, into the batter using a large metal spoon
  18. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and level the top with the back of the spoon
  19. Carefully pour the boiling water into the large oven-proof dish containing the cake tin before putting it into the oven
  20. Bake for an hour at 160ºC/320ºF/gas mark 3 before lowering the temperature to 150ºC/300ºC/gas mark 2 and cooking for another 30 minutes
  21. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar, leaving the cake in the oven for 20 minutes
  22. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely in its tin on a wire rack
Print
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Baked Banana Cheesecake

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Home-made baked banana cheesecake | H is for Home

Our favourite dessert to make for a dinner party is a freshly-baked, light & airy vanilla cheesecake. The recipe we posted, one of Gordon Ramsay‘s, is by far the most popular of our Cakes & Bakes series.

This week, I suggested to Justin that I’d make a baked banana cheesecake for a change. Being a traditionalist, he wasn’t as enthusiastic about the idea as I was. I went ahead and made it anyway – I thought that if it was put in front of him, he’d eat it anyway. And so he did!

The secret to a light & airy banana cheesecake is to whisk the mixture to within an inch of its life. Using an electric food mixer makes the job a lot less laborious. However, doing it by hand with a balloon whisk will burn off a lot more calories and tone up the bingo wings! 🙂

Baked Banana Cheesecake

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: makes 6-8 slices

Baked Banana Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • for the base
  • 150g/5oz ginger nut biscuits
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 25g/1oz Demerara sugar
  •  
  • for the cake
  • 400g/14oz cream cheese
  • 125g/4½oz low fat plain yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 medium-sized, very ripe bananas
  • 180g/6½oz caster sugar
  •  

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/Gas mark 3
  2. Grease a 20cm/8in deep, spring-form cake tin
  3. In a food processor, grind the ginger nut biscuits making sure there are no lumps
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan on a low heat, add the butter & Demerara sugar and stir until the butter is melted and sugar has dissolved
  5. Remove from the heat, add the ground ginger nuts and mix
  6. Put the mixture into the cake tin and press firmly & evenly into the base using the back of a spoon
  7. Put the tin into the fridge while you make the cake mixture
  8. In a food mixer, using the balloon whisk attachment, mix the cream cheese and yoghurt on a high speed setting for 3 minutes until aerated
  9. In the food processor that was used for grinding the ginger nuts (no need to clean it out between the two stages), purée the bananas
  10. Add the banana purée to the cheese & yoghurt mixture and whisk on a low speed for a minute
  11. In a measuring jug, whisk the eggs before adding it to the cake mixture in 2 stages, whisking after each addition
  12. Add the vanilla essence to the mix then add the caster sugar and whisk until well blended, light & airy
  13. Remove the cake tin from the fridge and cover the bottom & sides with a double layer of tin foil
  14. Pour the cake mixture into the tin, over the ginger nut base and place the tin into a deepish baking tray
  15. Add water to the tray, to a level about 1.5cm below the rim
  16. Carefully put the tray containing the cake tin into the oven and bake for 75 minutes
  17. Remove from the oven, take the cake tin out of the water bath and allow to cool for 10 minutes
  18. Remove the cake from the tin, allow to cool for a further 20 minutes before chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
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