The recipe is from Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home - which I've been using rather a lot recently and is really fantastic actually.
I usually ignore all instructions for cheesecake base and ALWAYS use ginger biscuits because in the great war of biscuits, gingers always beat digestives. However, with all the banoffeeness going on her I decided to obey Nigella and use digestives and Joe says it was the right thing to do - gingers would have been a step too far. I also mostly refuse to have unsalted butter in the house as it's just so depressing and sad BUT sometimes it is good and I used it here and it was fine - it's also fine in pastry but only if you are capable of adding enough salt by yourself. A lot of people aren't - what's the point in cooking something beautifully if you are going to ruin by not seasoning it correctly - ok rant over, now for the cheesecake.
for the base:
250g digestive biscuits
75g soft unsalted butter
for the cheesecake:
4 overripe medium-sized bananas
60ml lemon juice
700g cream cheese at room temperature
150g soft light brown sugar
for the toffee sauce:
100g soft unsalted butter
125ml golden syrup
75g soft light brown sugar
You will need to preheat the oven to 170C/Gas Mark 3 and have a 23cm springform cake tin and a large roasting tin to use as a water-bath. Unless you have the whole evening to make the cheesecake the night before you need it I find it easiest to take the unsalted butter and cream cheese out of the fridge in the morning and then it's all the right temperature and ready to go when you need it later.
1. Wrap the outside (underneath and sides) of the cake tin with a double layer of clingfilm, then cover thoroughly with a double layer of tin foil. You need it to be waterproof so the cheesecake is protected in it's water bath.
2. Whizz up the digestive biscuits with the butter in a mixer until you have a sandy rubble that is beginning to clump and press this into the bottom of the cake tin. Press it all down well and then put it in the fridge to cool. Wash your mixer thoroughly - you want no crumbs left at all for the next bit.
3. Mash the banana's well with a fork (or in my case get your husband to do it), add the lemon juice and set aside.
|My lovely assistant mashing the bananas|
4. Put the cream cheese in the blender and mix until smooth then add the eggs and the sugar. Blend together and then add the mashed banana and lemon juice and whizz until you have a smooth mixture.
5. Take the biscuit base out of the fridge and sit it in the centre of the roasting tin and then pour the cream cheese mixture into the cake tin.
|Cheesecake in it's roasting tin|
7. Cook for about 1 hour and 10 mins but check it after an hour (mine took 1 hour 5 mins). The very centre of the cheesecake should still have a bit of a wobble to it but be set on top.
8. Remove from the oven and take the tin out of it's water bath and put on a cooling wrack. Carefully remove the foil and clingfilm and let the cheesecake continue to cool on it's rack.
9. To make the sauce melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan over a gentle heat until it's bubbling. Let it bubble for 1-2 minutes until it's foamy and amber in colour. Let it cool slightly and then pour into a small jug and leave to cool. Cover it and leave it out of the fridge in a cool place overnight or however long you want. I found it useful to do this while I was waiting for the cheesecake to cool enough to go in the fridge.
10. Put the cheesecake into the fridge when it's fully cooled and cover once it's fully chilled (it was the covering after it had been in the fridge for a couple of hours that I was doing at 3.15am).Do not cover with anything that is going to touch the top as that will stick to it. I used a big plate. Leave overnight.
11. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge about half an hour before you want to eat it. Work a spatula gently around the top edge and then put it on a serving plate and release the springform bit of the tin.
12. Whisk the sauce in it's jug and drizzle some over the cheesecake leaving the rest for people to drizzle themselves on their slice.
|Ok so not quite as beautiful as Nigella's but pretty good I think|
What's great about this cheesecake is it's so impressive and you can make it up to 2 days ahead and have it waiting in the fridge. The sauce can be made 2-3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container in a cool place. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 month.