This INCREDIBLE vanilla fudge cheesecake is something special and designed especially for the upcoming Christmas season. It has vanilla cream caramels melted within the cheesecake as well as a 12 year old aged whisky for a little kick. There's a top layer of sour cream and this wonderful baked cheesecake is topped with vanilla fudge squares! Serve with a dram of whisky or a honey highball cocktail! I called her Martha.
This cheesecake is based on the classic New York Cheesecake with a base layer of biscuits or cookies, a middle layer and a top layer with sour cream. To me, it's the perfect classic baked cheesecake. I just added some vanilla, cubes of vanilla fudge and whisky to the centre layer which gives it a bit more flavour. This recipe was developed for Aberfeldy whisky which is what I used in the cheesecake.
8 Tips to Prevent Cheesecake Cracking! There's nothing more disappointing when you bake a cheesecake and cracks appear on top. While it will still taste great (and realistically you can add fruit on top), it's easy enough to prevent cracking on top of a cheesecake if you follow these tips:
1 - Take your cream cheese out of the fridge hours before you need it so that it comes to room temperature. Cold cream cheese is more likely to crack or split due to the temperature difference when placed in the oven.
2 - Add the eggs right at the end (eggs tend to hold or trap air when beating) and don't over beat them in. I pulse the mixture so that I have control over how much it is beating (I find that if I leave it on to blend it's easy to overblend the batter).
3 - Which brings me to a tip I've discovered when baking cakes. I always leave me cakes to rest for 5 minutes after mixing before baking them. It works for regular cakes as it allows the gluten to relax and it also works for cheesecakes as the beating can agitate the mixture and create bubbles and these can contribute to the cheesecake cracking. I also gently tap the tin against the counter to remove any air bubbles.
4 - Make sure to line the sides as well as the base of the cheesecake. At first the mixture will cling to the sides and then it will pull away. You want to make sure that it's easy to pull away from the sides or it will split when it can't pull away easily.
5 - Bake a cheesecake in a water bath. You wrap your cheesecake twice in good quality or heavy duty foil (because springform tins aren't watertight) and then place it in a bath of water that reaches halfway up the side of the tin. Water baths can be a bit of a minor bother and there is a way around it.
6 - If you bake your cheesecake at a lower temperature like 140C/284F then it cooks it gentler than at 180C/350F and you won't need a water bath. Trust me, I've baked my New York Cheesecake so many times and there's never a crack.
7 - Don't overbake your cheesecake. It is has a centre wobble that is fine. Turn off the oven then.
8 - Also once your cheesecake is cooked enough, turn the oven off and leave it in the oven to cool for a couple of hours. This prevents cracking as it allows the cake to cool off gradually.
I don't know about you Dear Reader, but to me, this last week of November it feels like Christmas is about to happen. I feel as exhausted as I do the week prior to Christmas and we've still got a month of Christmas season to go. At the moment I just want to lie around semi comatose and rest for a while, like a good month. Mr NQN who has been going at breakneck speed all year at work is taking his holidays off work for a month and he's very excited about that.
It has been so busy that even Nina and I have had to shift our podcasting to fortnightly just for the end of the year and will resume recording weekly once the holidays are over. But I did want to say thank you for the lovely comments on my podcast Your Cake Dealer. It has meant so much to me that I get messages almost every day about how people are enjoying it. Nina and I both love recording it and have agreed that it only works when we both enjoy the process, otherwise what's the point in pursuing something that you don't enjoy. Like blogging, baking cheesecakes and hosting Christmas dinner really!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you try and cut out things that you really don't enjoy? How are you tracking this year? Are you exhausted or ok?
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Vanilla Fudge Whisky Cheesecake
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus 15 minutes cooling time
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
- 175g/6ozs. plain digestive cookies (I used a mixture of leftover plain biscuits)
- 3 tablespoons raw sugar
- 60g/2ozs. butter, melted
- 200g/7ozs. vanilla caramel fudge cubes
- 125ml/4flozs. cream
- Pinch of salt
- 500g/1.1lbs cream cheese, room temperature
- 250ml/8.8ozs sour cream
- 1/3 cup/75g/2.6ozs. caster or superfine sugar
- 3 tablespoons whisky
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 250ml/8.8flozs sour cream
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 200g/7ozs vanilla caramel fudge cubes
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160C/320F and line the base and sides of a 20cm/8inch springform tin. Process the digestive biscuits until you get very fine crumbs and place in a bowl. Add the raw sugar and melted butter and stir to combine and press into the base of the prepared tin. Bake for 10 minutes.
Melting vanilla fudge caramels with cream and salt
To produce a salted caramel sauce
Step 2 -Heat the cream with the vanilla fudge cubes and salt on medium heat until melted. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Clean out the food processor and beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, whisky, flour, vanilla and caramel mixture until smooth- pulse this so that it doesn't get overbeaten. Add the eggs and pulse the mix together until just combined. I let this mixture rest for 5 minutes so that the bubbles disappear and gently tap the cake tin on the counter to remove air bubbles.
Get rid of those pesky air bubbles by resting the mixture and gently tapping the tin against the counter top
Step 3 -Lower oven temperature to 140C/284F. Pour the filling carefully over the cooked base and bake on a tray for 1 hour and 10 minutes. You don't need a water bath at this lower temperature.
Step 4 -While it is baking whisk the sour cream, caster sugar and vanilla together in a bowl until smooth and loose. When the cheesecake has had its time and is set on top, smooth this sour cream mixture over the top and bake for an additional 20 minutes until set. Turn off the heat on the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for a couple of hours (this also prevents cracking). Set completely in the fridge overnight. Top with extra fudge pieces and serve.