My neighbours got together recently for a shindig to celebrate Christmas and to mingle and mix with each other. Seven of the households got together and planned the party. We held a meeting a couple weeks before the chosen date and we planned a menu and created a guest list. My household was responsible for the fish cakes, fruit cocktail, wine and cheesecake.
I was going to get a friend to make the cheesecake for me, but i decided that I could do it myself. I had made cheesecakes before and it was not that hard. I found an easy recipe online which I altered slightly and all I had to do was to take a trip to the supermarket. I had always planned to make two cheesecakes – one with a cherry topping and the other without. But when I saw the ridiculous price of the topping, I knew that I had made the right decision. I was going to buy ready made crusts, but the price of those scared me into the biscuits aisle. The recipe also included how to make the crust, so it was a win-win situation. I also found another recipe which gave me some good tips after I had some fears about damaging my pans.
The ingredients needed to make one cheesecake are:
- 1/3 cup of butter melted – I melted this in a small saucepan over low heat and measured it in a measuring cup
- 1 1/2 cup of digestive biscuits – These were reasonably priced. One 8 oz. package will give you the desired quantity. I put them into a plastic zipper bad and crushed them with a cup.
- 2 1/2 packages of cream cheese – I used Philadelphia cream cheese and softened by mixing it with a spoon
- 1 can 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons mixed essence
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
- Combine crushed digestive biscuit crumbs and butter
- Line a 9 inch pan with foil and fold over the edges
- Press crumbs and butter mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan
- Put the crust in the oven for about ten minutes and then remove it
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy
- Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth
- Add vanilla and eggs and mix well
- Pour into the prepared pie pan
- Bake for one hour, but turn off oven but leave the cheesecake in the oven for about half an hour (it might be a bit jiggly, but do not panic, that is normal)
- Refrigerate until the cake is firm
At the last minute before serving, I decided that I would cut the two cheesecakes into little squares so that I would have more than enough for everyone. I opened the can of cherry topping and poured it into a bowl. Then I spooned two to three cherries and syrup onto each square. I was able to use one can of topping on two cheesecakes!