Thanks to Mum’s birthday which passed recently, I developed a sudden craving for cake – all that online shopping for flowers and cake didn’t help ONE bit at all! I didn’t want to go for something with chocolate, nuts and dried fruits even though the pantry is stocked with almonds, dried cranberries, cocoa powder, cooking chocolate and all.
So after consulting the recipe books and such, I finally settled on cheesecake even though Nil doesn’t really like the stuff – in fact, he doesn’t like cake at all. But too bad for him since I’ve been dying for cake and not just any other cake for the past few days. So we stocked up the fridge with the necessities for a nice cheesecake, one that isn’t chilled 100%. Yes, I usually avoid baked cheesecakes because I find them to be a hassle but I thought what the heck, why not try this one.
As with all my baked goods, I cut down on the sugar content by reducing the amount and then substituting refined sugar with raw cane sugar. I am not too sure if other people out there feel the same but I noticed that when I use refined sugar (which is white), it tastes too sweet even though I’ve reduced the amount whereas with cane sugar it’s just either right or not sweet enough. (Could I be wrong on this one?) Hence why I prefer consuming raw cane sugar – less sweeter.
Anyway, it’s no different with this cheesecake – less sugar and less fat. Instead of regular cream cheese, I opted for the low fat one – raw, it doesn’t taste quite as rich as the original block of cream cheese but after adding the eggs and such, it was just as good. The original recipe called for a blueberry topping which basically is jam but with more liquid to it. I didn’t really fancy the idea of putting on jam which is sweet on top of something which is already sweet so I pulled out the bucket of fresh strawberries. Of course, I could have added chunks into the sour cream itself but I forgot all about it until it was too late. O’well, that’s what happens when you’re pregnant – you tend to forget stuff all the time!
Oh, just in case you’re wondering, I didn’t exactly bake this in a bain marie. I just placed this on the rack and poured some water into the roasting pan sitting below the rack. The result was a very moist and steamy oven, and the cake turned out quite well, I might add. No cracks and such. 🙂
Strawberry Manhattan Cheesecake
Adapted from The Cook’s Companion by Lisa McCormick
6 tbsp butter
200 gms graham crackers – crushed
1 3/4 cups cream cheese
2 large eggs
Slightly less than 3/4 cup cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
Fresh strawberries – quartered
- Preheat the oven to 190 C and brush a 9-inch springform pan with butter or line with baking paper.
- Melt the butter over low heat and once ready, stir in the crackers and spread out in the pan evenly.
- Place the cream cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a bowl and mix until smooth. Pour over the cracker base and smooth the top. Bake for 20 minutes until set (add some water to the oven – see explanation in the notes before the recipe). Remove from the oven and leave for 20 minutes. Leave the oven switched on.
- Mix the sour cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and spoon over the cheesecake. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, then remove to let it cool and then chill in the refridgerator for 8 hours, preferably overnight.
- When needed, remove the cheesecake from the pan, arrange fresh strawberries over the top and serve chilled as is.