About my baking challenge

I discovered the joy of baking for the first time ever in 2013, shortly after my dear mum passed away from cancer. During 2014 I tried to bring these two things together in a positive way , have fun and raise some money for Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield where my mum passed away. Throughout the year I tried out new techniques and recipes from time to time ... and then sold some of my bakes for charity in my workplace. Since then I have continued to bake with some ups and downs .. and this blog charts my baking experiences, good and bad!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

My first baked cheesecake - tastes better than it looks!!

I love cheesecake, but before I started my baking adventures it would never have occurred to me to make one! I decided that it was time to rectify this oversight, so I was determined to have a go this weekend.

I didn't have a suitable cake tin, and debated whether to by a springform cake tin or one of Lakeland's non-stick "pushpans" which are supposed to be leakproof so can be used in a water bath without wrapping in foil. After quite a bit of deliberation I decided to purchase  20cm and 23cm pushpans, and I was ready to go!

Blueberry Ripple Cheesecake

Taken from: Step-by-Step Baking, by Caroline Bretherton

Serves: 8

50g (1.75 oz) unsalted butter
125g (4.5 oz) digestive biscuits
150g (5.5 oz) blueberries
150g (5.5 oz) caster sugar, plus 3 tbsp extra
400g (14oz) cream cheese
250g (9oz) mascarpone cheese
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp plain flour, sifted

20cm (8inch) springform cake tin or Lakeland non-stick pushpan
Food processor with blade attachment

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Grease the base and sides of cake tin.
2. Put the biscuits into a food bag and crush with a rolling pin to make fine crumbs.

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat, then add the biscuit crumbs and stir until they are coated in butter.
4. Remove from the heat and press the crumbs into the base of the tin, pushing them down with the back of a spoon.

5. Put the blueberries and 3 tbsp of sugar into a food processor and whizz until smooth. Boil in a small pan and then simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened and jammy. Set aside.

6. Place the remaining sugar plus the rest of the ingredients into mixer and beat until smooth and well combined.

7. Spoon the mixture onto the biscuit base and smooth the top with a palette knife.

8. Drizzle over the blueberry compote and swirl with a metal skewer.

9. Boil a kettle and place the cake tin in a water bath using a deep sided dish. Note: if using a springform cake tin wrap it in tin foil to stop leakage - this isn't necessary with a pushpan as they are leakproof.

10. Bake for 40 minutes until set but a bit wobbly. Turn off the oven and wedge the door open.
11. After an hour remove cake from oven and remove sides from tin. Slide a cake lifter or fish slices between the base of the cake and the tin, and slide onto a serving plate. Allow to cool completely before serving.

I found my  cheesecake pushed out easily from the pushpan. However I did take the precaution of testing it in a water-bath before use and it DID leak the first time: I had to try again ensuring I had pushed the base down very firmly inside the pan.

I had to bake this in my second (non-fan) oven as the timing overlapped with cooking the dinner in the main fan oven. Due to the size of the oven it wasn't so easy to keep an eye on, and when I took it out after 40 minutes the top was burnt!! Hence the final picture doesn't look great (but I did say at the outset this was a "warts and all" blog!!).

After cooling for an hour in the oven with the door open the cheesecake wasn't very well set and was pretty difficult to slide off the base of the cake tin, resulting in some cracking - think I need a bit more practice with that!!  I also realized afterwards that I had forgotten my 2 tbsp of flour - not sure what difference that made as most of the cheesecake recipes in my cookbook didn't have any flour in them!!

Despite my tribulations I'm happy to report that it did taste excellent despite the over-browned top - light and fluffy :-)   I guess next time I will bake in my fan oven, and I may also try one or two different combos of recipe and temperature. Hopefully next time I post a pic it will be rather prettier!

That's all for now.


  1. Looks yummy to me Pauline...'tis a pity I wouldn't be able to try it though...I am lactose intolerent...SO UNFAIR as I love dairy foods.

    Jennifer. x

  2. mmmm yum, send some over to Australia for me lol...have joined your blog as a new follower.xxAnnie