One of the things I found most difficult when I moved out of home was that I no longer had instant access to my mum's slightly-faded, much-loved copy of The Australian Women's Weekly cookbook. While there are plenty of recipes that make my stomach turn (gelatinous tomato ring, anyone?), there are also some real gems. Case in point: the classic Baked Cheesecake.
I found this recipe on the web - some kind soul posted the lemon version here and I am forever grateful. I have printed it out and it now lives on the side of my fridge, for easy access. Do yourself a favour and make it as soon as possible.
Classic Baked Cheesecake:
* 250g plain sweet biscuit crumbs
* 125g butter, melted
* 3 eggs, lightly beaten
* ½ cup castor sugar
* 500g cream cheese, softened
* 250g ricotta cheese
1) Lightly grease a 22cm spring form tin.
2) Combine biscuit crumbs and butter in a bowl (I make the crumbs by crushing biscuits with the bottom of a glass).
3) Using a glass, press crumb mixture evenly over base of tin.
4) Refrigerate crust for 1 hour (I often skip this step, and no dramas).
5) Beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and thick.
6) Add cream cheese and ricotta. Beat until mixture is smooth and creamy.
7) Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes.
8) Cool in oven with door ajar, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
*n.b. make sure door is ajar, not closed! I made a belated birthday cheesecake for my brother a few days ago and left it closed. Hello, baby-brain! Result: burnt (though still fairly edible) cheesecake.
9) Decorate with cream and strawberries, or as desired. Sometimes I make a thick caramel with water, brown sugar and a bit of thin cream and smooth that over the top for a caramel cheesecake. I've also been known to add blueberries. Happy days.