When I lived in Tokyo I would usually pick up breakfast on my way to uni. If there is one thing I miss the most about Japan it is the convenience stores, or conbini, they were just brilliant! You want a kitkat, a bottle of mikan juice and a bowl of hot macaroni cheese at 3am? Done! Japanese food was just amazing in all ways, even the rubbish, but I digress. Every morning for a good few months I would stop off at a particular store on my trip to uni and I would buy myself a carton of cafe latte and a cheesecake bar. It was just a simple stick of baked cheesecake. No biscuit, no flavouring, just cheesecake plain and simple.
For Christmas I got a silicone baking mould that forms 12 bars. I had asked for a 9 hole mini loaf tray but such a creature does not exist it would seem and the closest “Mother Christmas” could come was a 12 hole bar tray from France. The first thing I thought of when I saw this tray was, “Well that’d make funny shaped loaves.”, the second thing I thought was, “But I could make cheesecake bars!” And so last night, when I was in serious need of some baking therapy having just watched Doctor Who, I did.
This cheesecake recipe is the simplest thing in the world only 5 ingredients! I think I first saw this recipe in a supermarket magazine as a project for kids but it is now one of my emergency recipes as it takes so few ingredients. I like to make it after dinner because then you can just leave it and forget about it while it cools in the oven overnight and it’s not taking any time away from other things. Also you get to breakfast on cheesecake and what’s better than that?
Makes 12 bars. If you don’t have a fancy mould like mine then you could probably just use a brownie or square cake tin and cut it up.
2 large eggs
400g soft cheese
125g caster sugar
4 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tsp vanilla extract
the seeds from half a vanilla pod
Step 1: Assemble your ingredients.
[I changed my mind about the orange half way through and decided to keep it pure with the vanilla but you can easily substitute the vanillas for the zest and 3tbsp of juice from an orange, lemon or lime. We keep our vanilla pods in the sugar jar, as you can just see, it gives a light hint of flavour to the sugar and stores the vanilla well.]
– Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease your mould, tin or tray with melted butter.
– In a medium sized mixing bowl beat the eggs.
– Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
It will look like this but keep beating...
...and it will look like this!
– Add the sugar, vanillas and creme fraiche and beat until well combined.
– Pour into your chosen mould and bake for 30 minutes.
– Turn off the oven and leave overnight or until completely cool.
– Turn out, and slice if necessary, and serve!