This is my best-ever cheesecake. The cooking time looks short, but this works perfectly, giving you a pale, light and softly set centre. It needs to be chilled well before serving so if you can, make it the day before you want to serve it. This is lovely served as is or with fresh berries or ripe fruit.
180g digestive plain sweet biscuits (about 10)
100g butter, melted
900g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
200g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
3 large free-range eggs, plus 1 yolk
200 ml (3/4 cup) sour cream
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice
200ml (3/4 cup) sour cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Grease a 23 cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper. Place the biscuits and melted butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together. Press the mixture into the base of the tin. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake in a preheated 180C (160C fan-forced) oven for 12 minutes. Allow to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 200C (180C fan-forced). Place the cream cheese, sugar and flour in a bench-top electric mixer and beat until creamy and well combined. Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, and then beat in the sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Beat for 2–3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Pour the mixture onto the cheesecake base and smooth the top. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 120C (110C fan forced) and bake for a further 25 minutes or until just set in the middle. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven. When cool, combine the topping ingredients and spread over the top of the cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. Serves 8
3 free range eggs, separated
200g (6 1/2oz) dark chocolate, chopped
185ml (6fl oz) double cream, lightly whipped
2 tbsp caster sugar
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of hot water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and gradually add the beaten yolks, mixing until smooth. Fold through the cream and stir until combined.
Whisk the egg whites with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and whisk briefly. Fold a little of the egg white mixture into the mousse to slacken it, then quickly and lightly fold in the remainder. Continue mixing until there are no streaks or pockets of egg white.
Spoon the mixture equally into 6 small cups or glasses, cover with cling film and chill until firm.