Saturday 15 December 2012

Sunday Baking: Christmas Cheesecake

I think I made this the first weekend in December.


I found this recipe on my current favourite baking blog, Sprinkle Bakes. "How pretty!" I thought, and ordered all the ingredients bar the sweets in my online grocery shop. Then I went round the local shops up the 'wood for the sweets. At that point I realised, we don't really do red and green sweets for Christmas here. Oops.

Luckily I found a few things. I spent a while picking out just the red and green jelly beans from the Wilkinson's pick'n'mix (a lady who was stood next to me with her daughter leaned over and said, "Oh thank goodness - I thought it was just me who was OCD enough to pick out the flavours I like!" and looked sheepish when I explained that it was for a particular purpose). I found a packet of leftover red, white and blue M&Ms from the Jubilee and removed the blue ones; and matched them with the red and green ones from a regular packet of M&Ms. I found some decidedly pastel red and green sprinkles, and then Asda came up trumps with Christmas tree shaped marshmallows. A few smashed up white chocolate jazzies and I was done!

I adapted it a little because I had digestives that needed using up, from my last Sprinkle Bakes recipe effort I think; and I added mincemeat because the M&S Christmas pudding cheesecake they used to sell at this time of year is a fond memory.

This went down extremely well at work and lasted a whole week. My tin was not waterproof, even with the double foil lining, but I really pounded the biscuits and packed them very tight so they did not disintegrate. I have bought a new tin now; well, I say tin: it has a ceramic base and a silicon removable ring so we'll see how that works.The cookshop where I bought it had some awesome red and green spirnkles - much better than the rather anaemic ones I used this time. So there will definitely be another outing for this over the holidays.

2 cups digestive crumbs
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2lb cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 heaped tablespoons mincemeat
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (16 ounces) full fat sour cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Christmas candies

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 9-inch springform or loose bottomed cake tin with two squares of foil (I say loose-bottomed, but see above - the water definitely got into mine so this might not be the way to go. But if that's all you have, give it a whirl, because not having the right tin should not be a barrier to eating cheesecake).

Melt the butter and stir in the rest of the base ingredients. Press onto bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of the spring-form pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack. Let cool completely.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and mincemeat until smooth. Add beaten eggs and mix on medium-high speed until incorporated. Pour into the base.

Place cheesecake pan in a larger baking pan and add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Reduce oven heat to 160°C and bake for 1-1/2 hours or until centre is just set.

Combine the sour cream and sugar and stir until smooth. Spoon the mixture over the surface of the hot cheesecake and spread with the back of the spoon to cover. Bake for 5-7minutes longer.

Remove the tin from the water bath and allow to cool on a wire rack until it is cold enough to go in the fridge. I may at this point have put it in a cake tin and put it outside to get it cold quickly. When it is well chilled, remove from the tin and garnish with your choice of Christmas candies.

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