The Perfect Cheesecake

Hi guys!

I thought I would share with you the cheesecake recipe that my family and I absolutely love, and it's one that I have been making for years.

We made a couple of these yesterday on Good Friday (or 'Even Better Friday' when a cheesecake is involved) and gave one to my brother and his girlfriend, and they are the perfect post-Easter Sunday Roast Dinner desserts.

The recipe originated from the Waitrose website, but over the years we have taken out ingredients and added others in, and have customised them to no end.

This time around we went for an Eton Mess cheesecake and it was bloody beautiful!
But for now, I will give you the standard base and cheesecake topping recipes and then tell you how to add and embellish them at the end!

For the base you will need:
 - 175g Digestive biscuits
 - 75g unsalted butter (melted)
 - 25g demerara sugar

And for the cheesecake topping:
 - 200g full-fat soft cheese
 - 150g light authentic Greek strained yoghurt
 - 142ml fresh double cream
 - 1 1//2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the base, you will need to crush up the biscuits and mix in the demerara sugar before combining with the melted butter. Place this into a lightly greased 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin and press down until compact and firm.
You will then want to pop this into the fridge to help set it whilst you carry on with the rest of the cheesecake topping.

For the cheesecake topping, place the soft cheese, yoghurt and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix (either with an electric whisk or a hand balloon whisk) until it is all combined. In a separate bowl whip the cream so it is a thicker consistency without being TOO thick (slightly resembling stiff peaks) again with either type of whisk and then gradually incorporate this into the cheese/yoghurt/vanilla mixture.

Then, take the base out of the fridge and carefully add the topping, I suggest doing a small amount first and just covering the base to stop any crumbs from the biscuits escaping and making your topping mixture from looking grainy (as if you were crumb coating a cake) before adding the rest of the mixture.

Then, pop this all back in the fridge and leave to set for at least 4 hours. I always told my brother is had to be left to set overnight so he wouldn't eat it all while I was out so I could guarantee I would have a slice.

Eton Mess Cheesecake. The process of placing the strawberries along the wall of the tin is fiddly but so worth it!


Eton Mess
There are many ways to add variation to this cheesecake recipe, my favourite being Eton Mess.

To do this, half some strawberries so you have enough to line the circumference of the tin, on top of the biscuit base. Add the cheesecake topping onto this, and then top with an assortment of meringue kisses (with a pink stripe up the side, done by painting a line of fruit puree on the inside of the piping bag), crushed meringue and some finely chopped and whole strawberries.

Doing this will make the whole appearance of the cheesecake even better, as when you remove it from the cake tin you will have a wall of strawberries facing you.

For this, simply swap out the normal digestive biscuits for chocolate ones, crush up a mini bag of Maltesers (not too finely) and chuck in a few (4-5) tablespoons of a malt powder (Horlicks will do, if you can't get your hands on anything else) and add these into the cheesecake topping mix.
Decorate with some more Maltesers and if you feel like going that extra step, melt some chocolate and drizzle that on too!

For this, either make some honeycomb or roughly chop up a crunchie (JUST make some honeycomb she says, HA!) and incorporate this in the cheesecake mix, and then add some melted chocolate in rings on the top and drag out with a cocktail stick to make it look a bit fancier (drag the stick in opposite directions, start from the middle and drag the chocolate out on one, and then the next line drag it onwards, starting outside) and finish off with more bits of crushed honeycomb