Who loves a good cheesecake here? You sure are going to love it! Maybe a bigger pair of pants will come in handy 😛
I’m sort of drooling already..
This cheesecake is so rich and velvety, almost like heaven in your mouth! I’m such a fan of cheesecakes! But again, a bite or two is quite sufficient for me. I generally don’t make a lot of baked cheesecakes considering it involves a lot of time and they are so moody. (Urgh!) However, I was sort of bored of making no-bake cheesecakes, and wanted to try the baked one. I had a lot of bananas lying in my refrigerator, and I LOVE a banana dessert. They are so smooth and velvety. So, I went ahead with a banana cheesecake. And when I tried looking for recipes, I couldn’t find ONE good recipe on it. I guess people don’t make a banana cheesecake generally. Anyway, I did some things and it turned out so well! 😀 It’s a modification of Nigella Lawson’s cheesecake.
So, lately I have been feeling very caramel-y. And this salted caramel goes soooo well with my banana cheesecake. The cheesecake is so smooth and velvety, and tastes delicious with the salted caramel drizzled on top. The saltiness of the caramel balances out the sweetness in the cheesecake, and you can feel the smoothness of the dessert in every bite. The biscuit base provides that much needed crunch at the end. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect dessert? 😀 It sure is a perfect dessert to have when you’re having a rough time, and all you need is your dessert to comfort you. 🙂
With a baked cheesecake, you have to be a bit careful while you’re cooking it. A baked cheesecake is cooked in a water bath to allow it cook gently and evenly. You want a smooth cheesecake, and cooking it directly will spoil that texture and might crack your cheesecake. A water bath is basically putting your springform tin in a roasting pan with hot water halfway up your springform tin. While cooking a cheesecake in a water bath, you have to be very careful as to NO water seeps in. For this, I generally prefer a three layer wrapping, just to be on a safer side. First wrap your springform tin with a cling film wrap, and then two layers of a strong foil paper. If you have an oven bag, that’s the safest.
Just a few points before we start:
- If you want a lighter cheesecake, make sure you beat the cream cheese well and gently. This is help in lightening the mixture. Do not over-beat it though.
- Make sure your tin is wrapped properly to prevent any water from entering the tin.
- Be careful while handling the water bath. Do not overfill it as the water might spill while cooking. Just halfway up the springform tin.
- If your bananas are very sweet, you can reduce the castor sugar a bit.
We are good to go!
For the base
- 150grams digestive biscuits (I used oats biscuits)
- 75grams softened unsalted butter
- 550 grams cream cheese
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 130 grams caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 ½teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
For the caramel
- 100 gms sugar
- 45 gms butter
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 60 ml heavy cream
- ½ tsp sea salt or to taste
For the base
- Process the biscuits until they are like crumbs, then add the butter and pulse again. Line the bottom of a 20cm / 8 inch springform tin, pressing the biscuits in with your hands or the back of a spoon. Cover with a cling film wrap and put the tin in the fridge to set. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Beat the cream cheese gently until it’s smooth, then add the sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, then finally the vanilla extract. In another bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon powder & mix. Finally add the banana mix into the cream cheese and mix well. Put a heavy bowl of water on boil.
- Line the outside of the chilled tin with strong foil so that it covers the bottom and sides in one large piece, and then do the same again and put it into a roasting pan. (I like covering it with cling film first and then cover with a strong foil twice to be on a safer side.) This will protect the cheesecake from the water as it is cooked in its water bath. It is very important to make sure no water seeps in.
- Pour the cream-cheese filling into the chilled biscuit base, and then pour the boiling hot water into the roasting tin around the cheesecake. Be careful! It should come about halfway up; don’t overfill as it will be difficult to lift up the tin. Put it into the oven for an hour. The centre will be a bit wobbly but the sides would be set. This is the trick to a good cheesecake.
- Take the roasting tin out of the oven, then gently lift the springform tin from the roasting tin, unwrap it and let it stand it on a rack to cool. When it’s cooled down completely, put it in the fridge for 3 hours at least. Take it out 20 minutes before serving to take the chill off. Unmould the tin, and dip the knife in hot water first to get a neat cut. Drizzle some warm caramel on top while serving. (Recipe below)
For the caramel:
- Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring using a heat resistant rubber spatula or a wooden spoon.
- Sugar will start to form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown amber colored liquid as you keep stirring. Do not burn the sugar or you will have to restart the process. It only takes a few seconds for it to burn.
- When the sugar has completely melted, immediately add the butter. Keep stirring. Be careful not to get your face too close to the heat as the sugar will bubble rapidly once butter is added. Stir until butter is completely melted, for about a minute.
- Slowly pour in the heavy cream and vanilla extract into the caramel. Be very careful because the caramel will bubble or even splatter because of the cold cream.
- Let the caramel boil for a minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sea salt. Allow to cool down completely before using. Caramel is ready!