Ah, cheesecake. Undoubtedly the perfect dessert to follow a steak. Here’s Heston Blumenthal’s cheesecake recipe that we served for dessert after making Heston’s In Search of Perfection Steak recipe.
So, the 10pm Supper Club was serving Heston’s Perfect Steak and Salad recipe, and we needed the perfect dessert to go with it.
Yeah, yeah. There’s Sticky Toffee Pudding or Chocolate Peanut Shortbread with Salt Caramel Ice Cream. But we’ll accept no disagreement on this: Cheesecake is the ultimate classic dessert to follow a steak with.
This cheesecake is actually Heston’s mum’s recipe, a nostalgic childhood favourite for the Fat Duck chef.
Oh, and to make it that bit more special we’ll show you how to make Heston’s Chocolate Sauce recipe or Heston’s Fruit Coulis recipe to go with it.
Recipes: Mrs Blumenthal’s Cheesecake recipe by Heston Blumenthal
Special Equipment: Springform cake tin
Special Ingredients: None
Time: 2 ½ hours plus cooling (approx. 4 hours – 1 day)
Serves: 6 – 8 (or 3 greedy people)
- 75g unsalted butter
- 12 digestive biscuits
- 1 tsp salt
- 375g cottage cheese
- 375g cream cheese
- 5 eggs, seperated
- 1tsp vanilla
- 65g cornflour
- 210g soured cream
- 160g caster sugar
- 200g fresh / defrosted berry fruit of your choice
- 50g fructose
- 250ml water
- 50g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 90g unrefined caster sugar
- 30g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped
- Melt butter
- Crush digestives
- Combine butter and digestives and mix well. Press into cake tin. Chill in fridge.
- Preheat oven to 150°C (avoid using a fan oven if possible)
- Check eggs are separated
- Push cottage cheese through a sieve or ricer
- Beat in cream cheese until smooth
- Add egg yolks, vanilla. Stir to combine then add soured cream
- Sieve over cornflour and mix in
- Add sugar and stir to combine
- Whisk egg whites to soft peaks (DO NOT over whisk)
- Take ¼ egg white mixture and beat into cream cheese mixture
- Gently fold remaining whites into cream cheese mixture in 3 stages
- Pour mixture onto chilled biscuit base. Shake gently to level the surface
- Bake cheesecake in oven for 1h 15 minutes – KEEP DOOR SHUT DURING COOKING
- At end of cooking time turn oven off but leave cake to cool inside with door closed
- When the cake is cool (2 – 4 hours) remove from oven.
- For best results place in fridge overnight. Take out 1 hour before seving
- Stir the fructose into the fruit and leave for 30 minutes
- Blend thoroughly with a stick blender until smooth
- Pass through a fine sieve (optional)
- Combine water, cocoa powder and salt in a pan. Bring to a simmer then set aside
- Place sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat to make caramel. Sir when half the sugar has melted
- Pour the cocoa water onto the caramel (stand back as it may spit / steam)
- Stir the mixture on heat to dissolve any sugar that has seized
- Beat in the chopped dark chocolate
- Pass through a fine sieve (optional)
Step 1: Biscuit Base
Heston’s Cheesecake recipe starts the way most of his other recipes end: with lots of melted butter.
No fancy tricks, you just melt the butter and pour it on to crushed digestives. The best way to prepare the biscuits is to stick them in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Start by bashing with the end of the rolling pin (fun) then roll over them to crush to a finer consistency (tender).
Mix em together. Vanilla seeds, citrus zest or chopped nuts would be a good addition here. (NOT popping candy as it’ll just melt in the oven and lose its pop).
Press down into the tin. We like Gordon Ramsay’s tip of using a potato masher to get a flat, even surface.
Step 2: Cottage Cheese
Ugh. I dream of the day when a Heston Blumenthal recipe doesn’t ask for some laborious, soul-sapping task. There’s few jobs more tedious than pushing food through a sieve. It wrecks your sieves too, as the force required pushes the mesh away from the rim.
Chunky cottage cheese needs exactly this treatment, so it’ll be smooth enough to disperse into the final cheesecake mixture.
Step 3: Cream Cheese, Eggs and Vanilla
Like all baked cheesecake recipes Heston Blumenthal’s works best if your ingredients are at room temperature. No problem for us with the amount of time it takes to snap all these pictures.
Beat the cream cheese into the pureed cottage cheese until smooth, then add eggs and vanilla extract (we’d have used bean paste if we’d had it as, like General Melchett, we like all things speckled).
Sour cream and sugar go in at this point.
Careful when folding in the cornflour, it’s easy to end up turning half of it into a kitchen-filling cloud.
Step 4: Egg Whites
Whisk some egg whites (soft peaks).
Step 5: Baking
With the whites gently folded in you can pour the mixture onto the biscuit base.
This cheesecake rises quite a bit due to those whisked egg whites. As a safety measure we lined our baking tin with a tall bit of baking parchment (we’d tried this recipe before, half spilled onto the oven floor).
Send it to the oven for one-and-a-quarter hours. If you can focus beyond our filthy glass door you can sort of see it happily baking.
When time’s up turn the oven off and leave it alone until it’s cooled. We took cheesecake out after about 2 hours and it was still lukewarm. It needs a good 2 or 3 hours more to fully cool, though Heston says the recipe is best made a day in advance (not possible for us as Heston’s In Search of Perfection Steak had commandeered the oven for all of the previous day).
Like all good baked cheesecakes Heston’s Cheesecake recipe has a bit of a crack in the surface.
Heston’s Baked Vanilla Cheesecake recipe is a marvellous thing all by itself. But, to add a bit of sparkle to it we thought we’d make a sauce to go with it. Two sauces, in the end:
Step 6: Fruit Coulis
This fruit coulis is adapted from Heston’s Ice Cream Sandwich recipe, and it’s super-simple: macerate your choice of fruit with a bit of fructose. We’re using some raspberries we found in the back of the freezer.
After about 30 minutes to an hour blitz them with a hand blender. That’s it.
Step 7: Chocolate Sauce
Or you could make this rich, dark chocolate sauce recipe. It’s slightly more involving.
Whisk salt, water and cocoa powder together.
Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat and leave for five minutes.
Meanwhile make a light caramel in a second pan. Stir all the sugar when its halfway melted.
Pour in your cocoa water (stand back, it might spit) and then reheat – some of the caramel might have seized, so just keep stirring on the heat until it’s melted back into the sauce.
Now add some chopped chocolate and sieve the mixture into a jug.
It’s a bit more effort than the fruit coulis but produces a very rich chocolate sauce. It may be quite bitter so add a little more salt at the end to taste.
Good lord. This is everything we’d ever hoped a baked cheesecake recipe would be.
It’d look a bit weird if all of our reports about Heston Blumenthal recipes were nothing but fawning praise. Certainly some of his recipes have been absolute turds (we’re looking at you, Perfection Roast Chicken recipe).
But we’ve no choice but to say this is the best cheesecake we’ve ever made, and one of the finest we’ve ever tasted.
The fruit coulis was excellent, the chocolate sauce we found slightly too runny. Also far too bitter and dark. We think it’d taste nicer made with single or double cream in place of water.
Heston Blumenthal’s Cheesecake recipe is slightly fiddly, a bit pricey and fairly time consuming. But then what Heston Blumenthal recipe isn’t? For all that, and especially if you fancy a treat, Heston Blumenthal’s Cheesecake recipe is well worth making.
The leftovers probably freeze well, although we can’t know for sure as we scoffed the whole thing.
There’s almost nothing about this cheesecake that needs changing. We’d:
- Add lemon zest to the mixture for a better flavour
- Combine chopped nuts into the biscuit base for more texture
- Make the chocolate sauce with single or double cream, if using
- Replace the caster sugar with vanilla sugar, if you have it
Do you have a better cheesecake recipe than this? Is cheesecake the perfect dessert to follow a steak, and if so what are you perfect cheesecake recipe tips? Please tell us in the comments section…