This is the first cheesecake that I made. I don’t know why but it took me a long time to discover the joy and satisfaction of making a cheesecake from scratch. I think I was just enjoying experimenting with baking cakes and cupcakes too much to pay attention to other varieties of baked desserts, but once I made this I was eager to start a new relationship with cheesecakes and I started having fun with different flavours to incorporate.
I never had pecan and raspberries together in a dessert, so I thought I would mix them up. I first made it for my family as a special weekend dessert. There were 5 of us at the time and although this cheesecake can easily feed up to 12 people (depending on how big you like your slice!), I have to be honest in saying that there was nothing left of it by the end of the evening. The sweet and sour raspberries highlighted the pecans beautifully and all of this is then enveloped with the luscious creamy cheese centre in your mouth – it truly is heaven on a plate. It is even more tasty to eat the next day once it has been chilled in the fridge overnight but we couldn’t wait that long to eat it when I first made it!
This recipe is based on the traditional New York style with it being twice-baked with sour cream on top. I would love to visit New York one day and taste the real thing, but I am really proud of how this one turned out.
6 level tbsp butter
200g digestive biscuits, crushed in a food processor
1 cup of pecans, crushed in food processor
450g cream cheese
2 large eggs
140g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
350ml sour cream
2 large packs of fresh raspberries
white chocolate, melted (optional)
To make the biscuit base:
Melt the butter over a low heat. Add the crushed biscuits and pecans and stir until all are coated with the melted butter. Spread the mixture in a 24cm springform baking tin lined with a circle cut-out of baking paper.
Preheat oven 180°C/Fan 160°C/gas 4. Whisk 400g cream cheese, eggs, 100g sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence until smooth and creamy. Pour this over the biscuit base and ensure that it is smooth and levelled out. Place the tin on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and bake for 30 mins. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 20 mins. Leave the oven on.
To make the filling:
Whisk the sour cream with 40g cream cheese with the remaining sugar and vanilla essence. Pour over the cheesecake and put it in the oven for a further 15 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool. Chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or ideally overnight.
Once ready to serve, top the cheesecake with fresh raspberries. Drizzle melted chocolate on top (optional). Instead of the melted chocolate, you could dust icing sugar over the raspberries which will look equally stunning.