Guest judge for Stylist Cake Off’s Baked Cheesecake Week, Tarek Malouf, reveals his secrets on how to make a show-stopping baked cheesecake
How do you make the perfect baked cheesecake?
"It all starts with a good crumbly base. At the Hummingbird Baker, we normally make the cheesecakes with a dough base, but it depends on preference. The worst thing you can do is over-bake a cheesecake; they should be wobbly in the middle when they come out of the oven. Also, be careful not to over-whip the mix. Just gently blend the ingredients together because you don’t want to add to much air to it and make it rise."
"Once it’s baked, take it out of the oven and let it sit at room temperature until it has cooled down. Then, take it out of its container and cover it in cling film before popping it in the fridge."
What is your favourite cheesecake?
"A good old-fashioned American New York cheesecake with a biscuit or dough base, Philadelphia, eggs, sugar and vanilla. A common mistake among bakers making baked cheesecake is that they whisk the mixture with an electronic whisk when they actually should be using a paddle or mix it by hand."
How many cakes do you eat a day?
"It’s hard to say but we test 25 new special cupcake flavours each year but, of course, not all at once — that would be unpleasant. When we’re testing, we normally eat five or six cupcakes at a time but one time I ate 14 in one day and had to go home because I felt sick and dizzy."
If you had to choose a favourite cake, what would it be?
"A chocolate fudge cake. I’m not shy about sugar."
Here's how to make your own Hummingbird Bakery Raspberry Brownie Cheesecake
Makes 12 portions
Total time required: 1 hr 10 mins
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
200g dark chocolate , roughly chopped
200g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar , (250g for the brownie, 150g for the cheesecake and 100g for the cream topping)
5 eggs, (3 for the brownie and 2 for the cheesecake)
110g plain flour
400g cream cheese
½ tsp vanilla extract
300ml whipping cream
150g raspberries, plus extra to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
- For the brownie: Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth. Put the butter and sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Gradually beat in the flour, mixing well after each addition, then turn the mixer up to high speed and beat for a little longer until you get a smooth mixture.
- Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared baking tray and smooth over with a palette knife.
- For the cheesecake: Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until smooth and thick. Add one egg at a time, while still mixing. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. The mixture should be very smooth and creamy.
- The mixer can be turned up to a higher speed at the end to make the mix a little lighter and fluffier, but be careful not to overmix, otherwise the cheese will split. Spoon on top of the brownie and smooth over with a palette knife.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the cheesecake is firm to the touch and light golden around the edges. The centre should still be pale. Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight if possible.
- For the cream topping: Put the cream, sugar and raspberries in a freestanding electric mixer with a whisk attachment and beat until firm but not stiff. Turn the brownie out onto a board and turn the right way up. Spread the topping evenly over the brownie and decorate with more raspberries.
Recipe taken from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf and The Hummingbird Bakers available here
You can order your Hummingbird Bakery cakes from here