The town next to ours hosts an Amish market every weekend which we have visited on several occasions. The main thing that I’ve learnt from our trips here is that the Amish really know their way around a cheesecake! They are incredibly rich, soft and creamy, not at all what you can often come to expect from a baked cheesecake, which can sometimes be a little too dense and dry.
I think a lot of people are a bit scared of making baked cheesecakes but they are really very easy. There are a couple of things that you can do to help you achieve creamy cheesecake success. It’s very important that your ingredients are at room temperature when you use them or they won’t blend properly. Cook the cheesecake in a water bath to keep the heat gentle. It’s also a good idea to grease the tin too as this makes it easier for the cheesecake to pull away from the sides so it will be less likely to crack on the top. Always let the cheesecake cool at room temperature so that it doesn’t contract too quickly.
The raspberry in this keeps it quite fresh, so despite the overall richness of the cheesecake it isn’t in anyway overwhelming or sickly (so long as you don’t try to polish it off in one sitting!)
200g biscuits (I like to use something like bourbons but digestives or ginger nuts work well too)
15g icing sugar
500g cream cheese
50g white chocolate
Firstly make the base by crushing the biscuits, either in a food processor or by putting them in a bag and bashing them about with a rolling pin. Melt the butter and mix it with biscuit crumbs. Use the back of a metal spoon to press this into the base of a greased 8 inch loose bottomed tin. It’s even better if you have a spring-form tin. Put this into the fridge to chill and set.
Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Next make a raspberry coulis by gently heating the raspberries with the icing sugar in a small pan. This should only take a few minutes. Push the raspberries through a fine mesh sieve to create a thin, seedless puree. Set this aside to cool but don’t chill it.
Melt the chocolate, any way you like and allow this to cool too.
Using a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, ensuring that they are completely blended.
Divide this basic mixture into two even portions. Add the chocolate to one half and mix well. Blend the raspberry coulis with the other half, mixing well to give a uniform pink colour.
The ‘Tudor Rose’ pattern that I’ve done here is really easy but if you don’t fancy that then you can just marble the two mixtures together over the base.
To make the rose pattern just pour concentric blobs on top of the base, giving the tin a gentle shake every now and then to make the mixture spread evenly. Use a cocktail stick to drag from the center outwards at regular intervals around the tin. In between these lines drag from the outside towards the center.
Wrap the base and sides of the tin in foil and place it in a water bath. Cook for 35-40 minutes until the cheesecake is very softly set and still wobbles a bit in the middle.
Turn off the oven and open the oven door but leave the cheesecake in there to cool. Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature and then chill in the fridge before you remove it from the tin.