This recipe has a long history - it apparently comes from one of the top chefs in Sydney and was passed around some distant family members before my cousin gave it to me. You can do lots of variations with it which makes it extra great.
Melt the butter. Crush the biscuit to fine crumbs (mortar and pestle makes this easy!). Combine with melted butter. Press hard into a 23cm springform pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Cream the cheese with the caster sugar (using a mix master or hand beater is easiest) until smooth, light, and creamy texture.
Whisk eggs and add gradually to cheese mixture while beating. Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat until creamy and fluffy consistency.
Pour cheese mixture into the biscuit base and bake for 30 minutes on preheated oven of 150 degrees C fan forced oven (or 160 degrees if un-fan forced).
After baking time turn off the oven and then partially open the oven door and leave cheesecake in the oven to cool (this will take several hours).
Refrigerate the cooled cheesecake overnight (cheesecake matures and is best eaten 2-3 days after cooking).
FOR PLAIN CHEESECAKE:
+ 200ml fresh cream and spices.
Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with ground nutmeg and/or cinnamon.
FOR RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE:
+ 2 punnets fresh raspberries (or 250g snap frozen), caster sugar.
Once cheese mixture is poured into biscuit base, but before baking, poke/push a punnet of fresh raspberries into the mixture then bake as normal. With second punnet, mash or puree the raspberries with 1/3 cup caster sugar then spread over cooled cheesecake just before setting in fridge.
FOR MARS BAR CHEESECAKE:
+ chocolate biscuits, 2 Mars Bars, 200g milk cooking chocolate, 100ml cream.
Use chocolate biscuits as substitute for plain sweet biscuits.
Once cheese mixture is poured into biscuit base, but before baking, poke/push chopped Mars Bars into the mixture then bake as normal.
Heat 100ml fresh cream with 200g milk cooking chocolate until melted and well combined (stirring as you go). When the ganache is cooled and thick, pour over cooled cheesecake before setting in fridge.
Altered ingredient amounts.
Improvement for chocolate biscuit base (or if you don't have quite enough biscuits) - Sift 1/2 cup flour + 1/4 cup cocoa + 1/4 cup caster sugar together. Crush 250g chocolate ripple biscuits to fine crumbs then stir through sifted flour. Melt 150g butter. Make well in centre of dry ingrediants, add butter, combine using a fork. Press into tin and refridgerate as usual. - 14 Feb 2011
Used different ingredients.
For a more caramelly ganache add 100g of mars bars to the cooking chocolate and cream when melting and continue to whip over medium heat until all the nougat is melted and the ganache is thick. This will take extra time but is absolutely delicious! - 06 May 2010