I have made many cheesecakes over the years but this one is my current favourite. Part of its charm is that it’s a little bit wobbly at the end of the cooking time and goes on firming up as it cools and chills. This makes it extra specially soft and luscious.
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
For the base:
200g shortbread fingers
50g block butter, melted
For the filling:
300g full fat cream cheese
175g golden caster sugar
25g plain flour
350ml creme fraiche
3 large eggs, beaten
1 dessertspoon vanilla extract
For the caramel sauce:
250g white granulated sugar
3 tablespoons hot water
150ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2
A 20cm by 4cm round sponge tin, greased and lined, plus a medium heavy-based saucepan
First blitz the biscuits into crumbs in a food processor, then tip them into a bowl, add the melted butter and give it a thorough mix.
Next press the crumbs evenly into the base of the lined tin using the back of a metal spoon to give it a smooth surface.
Now make the filling. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, caster sugar and flour. Then stir in the crème fraiche, beaten eggs and vanilla.
Pour half the mixture over the biscuit base and place it on the lowest shelf of the oven, then pour in the other half.
Bake for 55 minutes, by which time the cheesecake will be barely coloured; it should be just set firm on the edge but still slightly wobbly in the centre.
Now turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool completely, before placing in the fridge for several hours to firm up.
Once chilled, the cheesecake can be removed from its tin and placed on a serving dish.
To make the caramel sauce: put the granulated sugar into the saucepan over a very gentle heat. While the sugar is heating (which will take about 7 minutes) shake the pan every now and then to move it around and prevent it caramelising in patches before all the sugar has had time to dissolve.
When all the sugar has melted, turn the heat up to high so the liquid begins to bubble and darken.
Stir and simmer until the mixture becomes the colour of dark honey (but watch it carefully as it only takes a few seconds to turn from caramel to burnt sugar!).
Take the pan off the heat and add the hot water – this will make it splutter but this will soon die down.
Now add the cream and vanilla, and stir to combine well.
Leave to cool, and store in a lidded container.
Serve in a jug to pour over the cheesecake at the table.