Baked cheesecake is a special occasion in Camerino Bakery – our customers love it. We do all kinds of variations depending on what’s in season and what’s on hand. We use our own chocolate chip cookies for the base, but Rich Tea and Digestives work really well too. When choosing your cream cheese, go for good quality, firm and full fat from a reputable brand, like the one Bruce Springsteen sings about, or that moving film starring Tom Hanks circa 1993
For the base
- 200g rich tea biscuits, crushed and crumbed
- 200g digestive biscuits, crushed and crumbed
- 100g melted butter
For the cheesecake
- 950g good quality, firm full fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 320g granulated sugar
- 4 large free range eggs
- 200g chocolate, around 50-60% cocoa, melted and cooled slightly
For the chocolate ganache topping
- 200g chocolate chips or chocolate, around 50-60% cocoa
- 200g double cream
- Preheat your oven to 160ºC/gas mark 2V. Butter a 23cm round springform tin. Line the bottom and sides with parchment baking paper.
- Mix the crushed biscuits and the melted butter until the cookie crumbs stick together. If the crumbs can hold a ball shape when you squish the mixture, they are sticky enough.
- Press into the base of your tin and bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are golden. Keep the oven on.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
- No pressure, but this next step is the most important when baking a cheesecake: add the eggs one at a time. Beat each egg in before adding the next egg, but only just until the egg is blended with the cream cheese batter. The danger is if you beat the batter too much when the eggs are added, the cheesecake will puff up in the oven, and crack. Which, let’s be real, isn’t all that dangerous. One baker’s cracked cheesecake is another baker’s canyon to be filled with chocolate ganache.
- Add about 4 tablespoons of the cream cheese mix into your bowl of melted chocolate. Mix it all up and pour what is now a chocolatey cream cheese mix into your white cream cheese mix (this helps the chocolate mix in smoothly).
- Pour your batter on your baked base and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 100ºC/ gas mark W for 1 hour. Keep the cheesecake in the tin.
- For the topping: melt the cream and chocolate together slowly – if you’re not using chocolate chips, chop the chocolate into small pieces first. The microwave works perfectly here. Blast the mix 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each blast. Hoorah – you made chocolate ganache. You’re so fancy.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over your baked cheesecake, still in the tin, and chill for at least four hours in the fridge. Garnish with berries, nuts, mint or whatever your heart desires before serving. We used dried rose petals from the tea section in Asian supermarkets, and chopped pistachio nuts.
TIP - Take your cream cheese out of the fridge an hour before you plan on baking so that it comes up to room temperature. If your cream cheese is the same temperature as your eggs, it will help prevent lumps in your batter.
Recipe credit: Caryna Camerino of Camerino Bakery