Sunday, 9 February 2014

Classic Baked Cheesecake

Am not sure how it is possible that I have completed two years of writing a baking blog without having done a single post on a cheesecake. Well, when better than a lazy Sunday afternoon to rectify matters.
Cheesecakes hit the Indian food scene a few years back and it became the de rigueur dessert to order when one stepped out. Of all the variations put out, the no-bake blueberry avatar was the crowd favourite. I have lost count of how many times I have had the one at CafĂ© Moshe in Bombay. And then just like that, I think I had one too many and haven't had another slice since then. Maybe, that's why it took me so long to get it on the blog. So, for my first time baking it, I thought I stick to the classics. I went with a classic, baked cheesecake.
There are literally a trillion cheesecake recipes on the Internet. But, I stuck to the tried and tested Donna Hay who hasn't yet disappointed till date. Her recipes are straight forward and easy to follow. My advice, follow her recipe to the last word and the end result will be as promised.
Most of the ingredients are regular pantry items except for the two cheeses mentioned. The recipe uses cream cheese and ricotta, both fairly expensive cheeses, here in India. Moreover, they are not easily available all over the country. Luckily for me, I got my hands on a tiny packet of Philadelphia cream cheese but the ricotta I made at home. I recommend that you do the same. It took me half an hour with only ten minutes of work to get the ricotta the recipe needed.
Once you have the cheeses sorted, its all smooth sailing. Its one of those one-bowl recipes where you simply dunk everything in the food processor, whiz it and your filling is ready to be baked. Again, just follow the recipe and you can't go wrong. Pay attention to your mise-en-place and the rest hardly takes time.
And what a beauty the end result is. The cheese filling bakes into a layer that is creamy and light and not claggy and dense. It has a hint of lemon that is refreshing and a sweetness that is not cloying. It is one of those deceptive desserts that easily tempts you into a second helping.
Pair it with a fruit compote and I went with a strawberry one. It complements the citrusy undertones of the cheesecake perfectly. But, this cheesecake is so light and fresh, that if had on the day that you have baked it, owing to its freshness, you might even be ready to forgo the compote. It is delightful just as it is.
I'll go as far as to say that this cheesecake that you make at home will rival some of the best that you've eaten. So, what you waiting for?? Hope you had a lovely weekend!!
Classic Baked Cheesecake

Serves 4-6. Makes one 8-inch cheesecake. Adapted from this recipe by Donna Hay.


For the base:
  • 20 gms (2 tablespoons) almond meal
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup plain all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, chopped
For the filling:
  • 165 gms creem cheese, softened
  • 250 gms ricotta (I used homemade, with the help of this recipe)
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 gms caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 3/4 teaspoon water
  • Pre-heat oven to 150 deg C.
  • To make the base, place the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until a rough dough forms.
  • Line the base of a 8-inch springform tin with non-stick baking paper. Press the base mixture into the base and level and smoothen it out with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden. Set aside.
  • To make the filling, place the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and rind and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor. Combine the cornflour and water until smooth and add to the cheese mixture. Process the mixture until smooth.
  • Lightly grease the sides of the tin and pour the filling over the base.
  • Tap the tin lightly to remove any air bubbles.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and stand the cake for 1 hour, leaving the door closed.
  • Refrigerate until cold and serve with fruit compote of your choice. 


  1. This looks so delectable! Loved the photography :)

    1. Thank you so much Nandita!! My first time baking one.. For some reason I thought it would be really technical.. but it was simple!! Absolutely loved it..

  2. Like, like, like!!! I want a piece of this baby now!!!!

    1. Come come come!!! I have kept an extra piece just for you!!! :))

  3. Like the fact that this has ricotta cheese in it, beautiful pics!

    1. Thank you! I think the ricotta was responsible for it not being claggy or one of those cheesecakes that coat the tongue.. instead it was just the right kind of creamy...if you get what I am trying to say!! :)

  4. Sounds like is it different?

    1. It is a lot like paneer.. except if you read the recipe.. its not only made from milk.. but you also use cream or malai.. so, this is a creamier version of paneer!!

  5. That cheesecake looks AMAZING. Seriously gorgeous.

    1. Thank you!! I must be honest.. I impressed and surprised myself as to how good this looked and tasted!!! Come again!


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