Friends, you’re invited to help celebrate the 1st Birthday of Gather and Graze today! Hard to believe that a year ago, I pressed that ‘Publish’ button for the very first time, sending my heart and soul (along with a no-fail recipe for Perfectly Fluffy Scones) out there for all to see.
I realise that Gather and Graze is still very much in it’s infancy, but it feels like I’ve travelled a rather long way in this short period of time. I’d like to let you know how grateful I am to each and every one of you who read and comment on my posts… for your friendship, your humour and your kindness. So with 50 posts now published and a desire to continue this crazy journey (wherever it may lead), please know how happy I am to have taken the leap to become a part of this wonderful blogging community.
My celebratory cake is one that, year after year, is requested by both my children and husband for Birthdays and special occasions. The recipe was passed on to me by my dear friend Steph (a wonderful cook herself, who came across it in a Family Circle cookbook). We’ve adopted it whole-heartedly over the years, changing only the cooking time and temperature to ensure a silky smooth texture. It’s a joy to bake and an absolute indulgence to eat, so what better way to celebrate the first Birthday of my sweet little Gather and Graze!
Baked Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping
For the Base:
- 250g (9 oz) Butternut Snap Cookies
- 1 Teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 80g (2.8 oz) Unsalted Butter (Melted)
For the Filling:
- 500g (17½ oz) Cream Cheese (Softened)
- 160g (⅔ Cup) Caster Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 4 Large Free-Range Eggs
For the Sour Cream Topping:
- 250g (1 Cup) Sour Cream
- ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Caster Sugar
Pre-heat oven to 175°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 24cm springform cake tin.
Crush the biscuits in a food processor, then add the mixed spice and melted butter and stir until all the crumbs have been moistened. Press the mixture evenly into the base and sides of the cake tin (a dessertspoon comes in handy for smoothing and pressing). Refrigerate the lined tin for about 20 minutes.
While the base is chilling in the fridge, beat the cream cheese until smooth (in a food processor or electric mixer). Then, add the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and continue beating until completely incorporated. Now add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for about 35 minutes (until almost set).
While the cake is cooking, prepare the sour cream topping, by mixing together the sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar until smooth.
Spread the sour cream topping over the hot cheesecake and return to the oven for a further 7 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until firm.
Top the cheesecake with fresh fruit – halved strawberries or grapes work beautifully, as do raspberries or kiwi fruit… and if you like, add a glossy finish to the fruit by brushing on some warmed, strained raspberry or apricot jam.
* Recipe from a Family Circle Cookbook