I have only had cheesecake once before the time I made this one. We used to have a bake off at work where each of us get to bake cakes and the others get to rate it. By the time the whole team got a chance, it would almost be 4 months or so. One of my colleagues had baked cheesecake and that is when I discovered that I kind of like them. Until then I was very unsure of cheesecake because I always associated cheese with cheddar and a cake made with that kind of cheese does not sound appealing. Later I found it is the soft cheese that gets used for cheesecake. If you have watched the sit com ‘Friends’, then you may recall how Chandler and Rachel would steal the cheesecake delivered to their neighbour and enjoy it and also describe it as moist, creamy yet not heavy. Well, as I have not tasted many cheesecakes, I would not know. I did try my hands on the lazy version of non baked cheesecake but it was a disaster as it did not set. This time though, I had another agenda of using up the box of mango pulp I had opened. I had ordered all the ingredients along with my regular groceries but had to wait until afternoon for it to arrive. I was getting worried as my energy level would keep going down as the day goes by and struggling with a completely new recipe would be too much for the evening. I got on ok as the groceries arrived slightly early. It was not until five minutes before the end of baking time that I realised I did not know how to check if a cheesecake is done. All the stuff that I had heard on a variety of cookery shows then gave me a hunch saying it needs to wobble in the middle. I listened to my instincts, turned the oven off and let it sit in the oven until I had to take it out for my next baking. I was very proud of the results because there was just a tiny crack in my first ever cheesecake. Cracks on cheesecake is said to be the most common problem and can be reduced by ensuring correct method is followed to cool the cake. I have written a few tips at the bottom of the recipe. I shared the cheesecake with my colleagues and as they are local and have had cheesecakes before and can actually comment on how mine is, I thought they will be good critics. It was all thumbs up for the wonderful mango cheesecake. Yum yum! Here is the recipe...
16 digestive biscuits
50gm butter, melted
2 tablespoon sugar
500g soft cheese at room temperature
1 ½ cups mango pulp
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons flour
For the base:
Crush the biscuits by putting them in food processor or in a Ziploc cover and beating them down
Mix this with melted butter and sugar so it can hold together and press this mixture down on the base of cake tin
Bake at 180degC for 6 minutes
Cream sugar and soft cheese together
Add the mango pulp and flour and incorporate until just mixed, do not overmix
Pour this filling on the baked biscuit base and bake at 180degC for 30-35 minutes. You know the cake is done when the edges are kind of firm but centre is still slightly wobbly when gently tapped on the side (picture below is before baking)
Cool this in the oven itself with the oven turned off, give it about an hour. Then cool this a room temperature before sticking it in the fridge for atleast one night.
Baking cheesecake in water bath is said to be effective in avoiding cracks as the steam ensures there is enough moisture in the oven. To do this, place the cake tin on a baking tray and pour hot tap water on the baking tray and bake
If transferred out of the oven too quickly, the cheesecake could crack so allow it to sit in the oven (turned off) for sometime
Try using a knife to pull outer edge away from the tin as this may cause crack. I just ran a knife on the sides after putting it outside to cool
Rest the cake atleast overnight in the fridge before serving
Cracks do not usually affect taste and can be hidden by decorating with coolie or fruits.
The cheese should be at room temperature for best results