Vanilla cheesecake

All the credit goes to BBC Good Food, however my daughter took one bite of this cheesecake and said “Mummy, you’re a genius” so I’m going to pretend that I made it up (at least when she’s around). Stewed plums are entirely optional, but I feel that some kind of fruit is necessary to try and compensate for the sheer decadence of the cheesecake. It’s really, REALLY, yummy.

Ingredients

Cheesecake:

250g digestive biscuits

100g unsalted butter

450g full fat cream cheese

1 vanilla pod

85g icing sugar

250ml double cream

Stewed fruit:

1 punnet plums

2 tbsp caster sugar

3 tbsp water

Method

  1. Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 20cm springform tin. You really need a removable base here.
  2. Put the biscuits in a large sealable bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they’re reduced to small crumbs. Or, if that doesn’t sound like fun, whizz them up in a food processor. Tip into a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter then mix it into the biscuits. Scoop the whole lot into your prepared tin, and press down firmly with your hands until compact.
  4. Put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
  5. Make the topping by putting the cream cheese, vanilla pod seeds (use the tip of a knife to cut lengthwise through the pod, then scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon, or use vanilla paste, or even extract), and icing sugar into a large bowl and beat together using an electric handheld whisk.
  6. Pour in the cream, and beat some more until it thickens. But don’t over whip it into butter, that wouldn’t be good.
  7. Scrape onto the chilled buttery biscuit base, level with a spatula, and pop it back into the fridge for at least 4 hours, better yet overnight.
  8. When its time to serve it up, remove the sides of the tin, then gently battle to move the cheesecake onto your serving plate. I often leave the greaseproof underneath the biscuits intact to avoid disaster.
  9. Serve with cooled stewed fruit, compote or fresh fruit.
  10. To make the stewed plums, cut off the flesh from around the stone, roughly chop and fling into a pan with the sugar and water. Stir, heat, and leave to bubble away for 10 minutes until completely soft. Same deal for any kind of fresh fruit really, but I wouldn’t advise bananas!

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