Cakes & Baking

The ultimate cheesecake guide

How do you like yours — baked or chilled?

Peach melba cheesecake

Serves 12
Ingredients
For the crumb case
300g malted milk biscuits
150g butter, melted
125g raspberries
For the filling
4 sheets leaf gelatine
4 ripe peaches, stoned
100g caster sugar
200g cream cheese
250g ricotta
150ml double cream
For the topping
2 sheets leaf gelatine
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
2½ tbsp caster sugar
3 ripe peaches
125g raspberries

Method
1 Grease and line a 23cm round springform cake tin. Make the crumb case by crushing the biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor or place in a clean plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter.
2 Press the crumbs into the base and sides of the prepared cake tin firmly using the back of a spoon. You need the crumbs to come up about 3-4cm high on the side of the tin so that they make a case for the filling. Sprinkle the raspberries over the base.
3 For the filling, soak the gelatine leaves in water until they are soft. Purée the peaches until smooth in a blender or food processor.
4 In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, cream cheese and ricotta until light and creamy.
5 Put the double cream in a heatproof bowl, then set it over a pan of simmering water and heat until it is just warm. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and add them to the warm cream, stirring until dissolved. Pass the cream through a sieve to remove any undissolved gelatine pieces, then whisk into the cheese mixture. Fold in the peach purée, then pour the filling into the crumb case and smooth level.
6 If using a packet glaze, prepare according to the given instructions. If making your own glaze, soak the gelatine leaves in water until softened. In a saucepan, gently heat the lemon juice and sugar with 250ml water until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is warm, but not boiling. Squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves and add them to the pan, stirring until dissolved (do not boil the liquid as this will cause the gelatine to lose its setting properties). Pass the glaze through a sieve, then leave until just cool but not set.
7 Cut the peaches for the topping into thin slices and arrange on top of the cheesecake. Sprinkle on the raspberries and then carefully pour over the cooled glaze. Leave to set in the refrigerator overnight.

Baked Greek baklava cake

Serves 10
Ingredients

9 large sheets filo pastry (about 400g)
120g butter, melted
3-4 tbsp runny Greek honey
Pistachios, for sprinkling
For the cheesecake filling
225g quark cheese
150g cream cheese
1 small egg, plus 1 egg yolk
50g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
75g ground almonds
For the nut filling
100g pistachios
50g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4, and grease and line a 23cm round springform cake tin.
2 For the filling, whisk together the quark cheese, cream cheese, egg and egg yolk, sugar, lemon zest and almonds in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag with a small round nozzle.
3 For the nut filling, blitz the pistachios with the sugar and cinnamon in a food processor until finely chopped.
4 Cut the filo pastry sheets in half so that you are left with 18 smaller sheets. Cover with a damp tea towel, which will prevent them drying out. Lay one sheet of filo on a clean work surface and brush with the melted butter using a pastry brush. Cover with a second sheet of filo and brush with butter again. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of the nut mixture so that the whole sheet is covered in a thin layer of nuts, then cover with a third sheet of filo and brush again with butter. Pipe a line of the cheesecake filling along one of the long edges, then roll up so that the filling is in the middle of each tube.
5 Place the filo tube around the edge of the prepared cake pan.
6 Repeat with the remaining pastry until you have made six tubes of cheesecake pastry in total. Continue to arrange them in the pan in a spiral so that the ends of each tube touch, then brush the top of the pastry with a little more butter and bake in the preheated oven for 20–30 min, until the top of the pastry is crisp and golden.
7 Heat the honey in a saucepan until it becomes easily pourable then spoon over the baklava and leave to cool completely. Sprinkle with bright green pistachios and a little sugar, to serve.

Lemon and ginger cheesecake

Serves 12
Ingredients
For the crumb case

300g ginger biscuits
150g butter, melted
For the topping
60g butter
3 lemons (juice and grated zest)
100g caster sugar
3 large egg yolks
For the filling
6 sheets leaf gelatine
300g cream cheese
250g mascarpone cheese
100g caster sugar
4 balls preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
60ml ginger syrup (from the preserved stem ginger jar)
250ml double cream

Method
1 Grease and line a 23 cm round springform cake tin. Then prepare the lemon curd topping. Put the butter, lemon juice and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk in the egg yolks and lemon zest, then return the bowl to the pan of water and stir continuously, until the curd thickens. Leave to cool completely.
2 For the base, crush the ginger biscuits into fine crumbs in a food processor, then mix with the melted butter.
3 Press the buttery crumbs into the base and sides of the prepared cake tin firmly using the back of a spoon. You need the crumbs to come up about 3-4cm high on the side of the tin.
4 To make the filling, soak the gelatine leaves in water until they are soft.
5 In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar until light and creamy, then add the chopped ginger.
6 Put the ginger syrup and 120ml water in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and heat gently. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and add them to the warm ginger syrup, stirring until the gelatine has dissolved. Carefully add the ginger syrup to the cream cheese mixture, passing it through a sieve as you do so, to remove any undissolved gelatine pieces. Add the double cream and whisk together until the mixture is smooth and slightly thick.
7 Pour the filling into the crumb case and tap it gently so that the mixture is even, then chill for 3 hours, or overnight.
8 Before serving, swirl spoonfuls of the lemon curd on top of the cheese filling.

Baked strawberry cheesecake

Serves 12
Ingredients
For the base

55g butter, softened
55g caster sugar
1 large egg
55g ground almonds
For the filling
200g strawberries, hulled
225g clotted cream (or crème fraîche)
600g cream cheese
120ml double cream
100g caster sugar
4 eggs
For the topping
250ml double cream, whipped to stiff peaks
200g strawberries, halved

Method
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Grease and line a 23cm round springform cake tin.
2 For the base, cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and creamy. Add the egg and whisk again. Fold in the ground almonds, then spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
3 Bake for 10-15 min, until golden brown, then leave the base in the tin to cool.
4 When you are ready to prepare the filling, preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Wrap the outside of the tin in clingfilm and place in a roasting pan half-filled with water. Set aside.
5 For the filling, blitz the strawberries, clotted cream, cream cheese, cream, sugar and eggs in a blender until smooth. Pour the strawberry cream over the sponge base, then transfer the cheesecake, in its waterbath, to the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 min until the cheesecake is set, but still wobbles slightly in the centre. Remove from the waterbath and slide a knife around the edge of the tin to prevent it from cracking. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.
6 When you are ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the cheesecake, then arrange the strawberries over the cream. Serve straight away or chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Creamy white and dark chocolate cake

Serves 12
Ingredients
For the crumb case

300g ginger biscuits
150g butter, melted
For the filling
650g cream cheese
600ml crème fraîche
4 eggs
100g caster sugar
200g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
6 balls preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger syrup (from the preserved stem ginger jar)
150g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp plain flour, sifted
For the topping
150g white chocolate
30g dark chocolate

Method
1 Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Grease and line a 23cm round springform cake tin
2 For the crumb case, crush the biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor then mix with the melted butter.
3 Press the buttery crumbs into the base and sides of the prepared cake tin (about 3-4 cm high on the side). Wrap the outside of the tin in cling film and place in a roasting pan half-filled with water. Set aside.
4 For the filling, whisk together the cream cheese, crème fraîche, eggs, sugar, melted chocolate, finely chopped ginger, syrup and chopped chocolate. Sift the flour over the mixture and stir in, then pour the mixture into the crumb case. Bake in the preheated oven for 1-1¼ hours until set but still with a slight wobble. Turn off the heat and leave to cool completely in the oven, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
5 Once chilled, melt the white and dark chocolate for the decoration in separate heatproof bowls set over 2 pans of simmering water. Leave to cool slightly, then spread the white chocolate in a thin layer over the top of the cheesecake. Spoon the dark chocolate into a piping bag with a small round nozzle and pipe swirls over the top of the cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set.

Tropical coconut baked cheesecake

Serves 12
Ingredients
For the crumb case

300g coconut ring biscuits
150g butter, melted
50g soft shredded coconut
For the filling
6 sheets leaf gelatine
300g cream cheese
250g mascarpone cheese
100g vanilla sugar, or 100g caster sugar plus 1 tsp vanilla extract
400ml coconut milk
250ml double cream
1 tbsp coconut rum (such as Malibu)
For the topping
1 pineapple, peeled
60ml coconut rum (such as Malibu)
50g coconut flakes, toasted

Method
1 Grease and line a 23cm round springform cake tin. Crush the coconut biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor. Mix with the melted butter and shredded coconut. Press the mixture into the base and sides of the prepared cake tin; the side should be about 3-4cm high on the side of the tin.
2 For the filling, soak the gelatine leaves in water until they are soft.
3 In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, mascarpone and vanilla sugar until light and creamy.
4 Gently heat the coconut milk and cream in a heatproof bowl on a saucepan of simmering water. Squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves and stir into the warm cream to dissolve. Pass the cream through a sieve to remove any undissolved gelatine pieces, then whisk into the cheese mixture with the rum. Spoon the filling into the crumb case; refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
5 For the pineapple topping, first preheat the oven to 120C/gas ½.
6 Slice the peeled pineapple very thinly and lay the slices on a sheet of baking parchment. Bake for 1-2 hours until the pineapple is dried but not brown.
7 Leave to cool, then place in a shallow dish and pour over the coconut rum and soak for an hour.
8 Drain the pineapple of any excess liquid, arrange over the top of the cheesecake, then sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes around the edge.

Please wait...

Don’t miss my top cooking secrets.

Sign up and get my ebook “Your Kitchen ABC” right to your email