I'm not a big fan of cheesecakes. All my life I thought that the best ones are those Polish: heavy, dense, made from homemade cheese. My grandfather's cheesecake was so intense that there was a layer of butter forming itself at the bottom. Unfortunately (sorry Dad!), I only liked this buttery layer because it was super creamy. And I dreamed of a cheesecake like that. One time, I read that those English and American are so delicate, creamy and melting in one's mouth. But my first attempt with a New York Cheesecake from Roger Pizey's book "Small Cakes. From Fondant Fancies to Florentines" was a complete fiasco. So I made a decision that I don't like cheesecakes and I wouldn't be making them at all. Until I heard about a water bath! I tried one time a cheesecake baked in a water bath at one of the restaurants in my home city. I was in shock - it was unbelievably creamy and delicate! Since it's a season for cranberries, and Dorota from Moje Wypieki blog posted a cheesecake with cranberry topping, baked in the wather bath, there was no other option but make the same one :) The cheesecake is incredibly creamy, even, and a sour taste of the cranberries ideally harmonize with the vanilla base. Bakesaurus and I both agree it is amazing!

P.S. Can you see how Bakesaurus was helping me with the decorations?!

The recipe (delicately modified) is from "Moje Wypieki" blog where you can also find information about baking cheesecake in the water bath.

Creamy cheesecake with cranberry topping

22cm diameter springform

Ingredients for the crust:

160g Oreos

30g melted butter, unsalted

Ingredients for the cheesecake:

500g your favourite cheese for cheesecakes (I used Polish cottage cheese)

1 cup heavy cream

3 large eggs

3/4 cup fine sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp flour

Ingredients for the topping:

300g fresh or frozen cranberries

freshly squeezed juice from a lemon half

1/2 cup sugar

2-3 tsp gelatin*

300ml heavy cream

+ fresh cranberries and mint for decoration

Preparation:

1. Prepare the crust. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Finely crush Oreos and add melted butter to them. Stir and pour onto the bottom of a springform pan lined with baking paper. Press to make it even and bake for 10 minutes. Let it cool.

2. Prepare the cheesecake. Boil water (for the water bath). Preheat the oven to 150oC. Place cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, flour and cream in a big bowl. Mix thoroughly on medium-low speed so you don't add too much air to the mixture. At the very end, add one egg at a time, each egg already stirred a bit. Cover the bottom of the pan with foil, two or three times, to protect it from water from the water bath. Pour the cheesecake mixture in and make it even. Put the cheesecake in a bigger, tight pan (I used ovenproof glass pan) and pour hot water in 1/2 full. Bake for approximately 50 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the pan with water and let it cool.

3. Prepare the topping. Pour cranberries, sugar and lemon juice into a thick-bottomed pan. Cook on a medium heat until cranberries start to pop and become visibly liquid. Press through a sieve so it becomes a smooth paste. *This is the moment when you decide about the amount of gelatin. If you have to refrigerate the cranberry paste until the next day, prepare 2 tsp of gelatin for the mousse. You won't be able to heat cranberries back to a liquid form if the stay in the fridge for such a long time, because of the sugar that works the same way as if making a jelly - it thickens the fruit mixture. But if you're making the topping straight away, use 3 tsp of gelatin. It's going to be a bit more liquid and you don't want the topping to be too loose. So pour hot water over 2 or 3 tsp of gelatin and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir it thoroughly so it dissolves completely (or heat it up, but don't let it come to a boil!) and then add to heated or still warm cranberry paste. Whip the cream and gradually add to the cranberry mousse. Stir thoroughly and pour over chilled cheesecake. Refrigerate for 10 to 12 hours. Decorate with fresh cranberries and mint. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Enjoy!

Look how he's trying to help decorate! :)

And he's naturally first to eat!

Karolina & Bakesaurus

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