This is something I’ve been wanting to make for a while but I kept putting it off because I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out.
IT DID. It worked out so well. The flavours in this cheesecake were amazing!
What makes this a tiramisu cheesecake?
If we think about tiramisu, it’s essentially a dessert that is made up of 3 different parts; a mascarpone cream, sponge fingers soaked in coffee, and then a dusting of cocoa powder.
So for this recipe, my goal was to take these 3 different parts and add them to my cheesecake recipe.
So for this cheesecake, I replaced half of the cream cheese with mascarpone. Then I added some coffee to the batter, to give the cheesecake a little stronger coffee flavour.
I also added coffee soaked sponge fingers in between the cheesecake before baking. Once it was baked and chilled, I dusted cocoa powder on top.
These changes gave the cheesecake such a good flavour, one that is very similar to an actual tiramisu!
Ingredients for the cheesecake
Most of the ingredients for this cheesecake are pretty basic, there are just a few I wanted to talk about:
The double cream
I get asked about double cream a lot. If you’re from America, you probably call this heavy cream.
If you’re from a place that doesn’t have double/heavy cream, whipping cream will work too!
The corn flour
Also known as corn starch.
This is added to help thicken the cheesecake. Plain flour/all purpose flour does work too, but I really recommend just using corn flour. It gives a much better result!
The white chocolate
I get asked about this a lot. The white chocolate in my cheesecake helps thicken it, as well as helps the cheesecake set.
It doesn’t make the cheesecake white chocolate flavoured at all, you can’t taste it. It is just there for the texture.
I mixed 1 tablespoon of instant coffee into the double cream.
The amount of coffee you use in this recipe is totally up to you. If you want a stronger coffee flavour add more, if you want a milder flavour, add less!
The sponge fingers
You can’t have tiramisu without sponge fingers, so I added a layer of them in between this cheesecake.
It’s hard for me to say how many you need exactly, the ones you buy might be a different size to the ones I used.
In the recipe I wrote that you need 25, but I recommend getting a few extra just in case you need them!
Baking the cheesecake in a water bath
I bake all of my cheesecakes in a water bath.
If you’ve never done this before, it’s just a tray of water that the cheesecake bakes in.
The reason why a water bath is used is because the water regulates the temperature of the cheesecake as it bake; it essentially stops the cheesecake from getting too hot.
This does 2 things, it prevents the cheesecake from cracking on top and it also helps give it a smooth creamy texture. So I recommend not skipping this step!
To bake a cheesecake in a water bath all you need to do is place the tin that has the cheesecake in, into a large roasting tray or baking tin that has high sides.
Then just fill this roasting tray with some boiling water until it reaches about halfway up the sides of cheesecake tin.
That’s it, just make sure to be careful when placing this into your oven!
Springform or regular cake tin?
Most baked cheesecake recipes tell you to use a spring form or loose bottomed cake tin. I prefer to just use a regular cake tin though.
Because this cheesecake is being baked in a water bath, if you are using a springform or loose bottomed tin, you need to wrap the outside with tin foil a few times, so that no water goes inside of the cheesecake.
So I use a regular cake tin, just to skip this step, that’s the only reason.
To take the cheesecake out of the tin, I flip it upside down, heat the sides and then just shake it until it comes out.
It is a lot easier to take a cheesecake out of a springform/loose bottomed tin, so it is totally up to you which one you want to use. Just use whichever you think will be easier or just whichever you have.
Side note, I used an 8 inch cake tin. A 9 inch tin will work perfectly too!
Here a few questions I get asked a lot about my cheesecake recipes:
There are no eggs in this, why is it baked?
Most baked cheesecake recipes have eggs in it, which is one of the main reasons why the cheesecake is baked.
I don’t use eggs in my cheesecake recipes…so yes technically it doesn’t need baking.
But trust me, baking the cheesecake makes a huge difference. It gives you a richer, creamier texture.
I don’t know the science behind this, I don’t know why baking it makes a difference but it does, so don’t be skipping this step!
Why did you leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour after baking?
Cheesecakes are dramatic. They don’t like sudden changes in temperature.
So if you take it out of the oven straight after baking, there is a high chance of the cheesecake cracking on top.
Therefore, after it has baked I like to turn the oven off, open the door slightly and then leave the cheesecake in there for an hour.
With that being said, a crack in your cheesecake is not a huge deal, so you could skip this step. But if you want a cheesecake that is smooth on top, leaving it in the oven for an hour after baking will help.
Does the cheesecake need to chill in the fridge overnight?
YES, you want to leave this to chill overnight before taking it out of the tin.
The cheesecake will be jiggly after it has baked, so it needs time to set up but also the texture is better the next day.
4-6 hours in the fridge is good enough, but overnight is so much better.
The whipped cream
I piped some whipped cream on top of this cheesecake, this was just for aesthetic purposes you don’t need to do it.
But if you want to, all I did was get 100ml of double cream, I added 1 tablespoon of icing sugar into it and then just aggressively whipped it until I got firm peaks.
Just add this into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe it on top of the cheesecake!
Here are some other cheesecake recipes you might like:
- For the biscuit base:
320g biscuits (any work, I used digestives)
100g unsalted butter, melted
- For the cheesecake:
400g cream cheese
200g granulated sugar
60g corn flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
300ml warm double cream, mixed with 1 tablespoon instant coffee
160g white chocolate, melted
- For the sponge finger layer:
Around 25 sponge fingers
150ml hot water mixed with 1 tablespoon instant coffee
Plus some cocoa powder to dust on top
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 170c/325f. Also grease and line the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9 inch cake tin.
- Making the biscuit base:
- Start by crushing your biscuits until you get fine crumbs. You can either do this in a food processor, or just put them in a food bag and hit them with a rolling pin.
- Mix these into the melted butter, then pour this into your prepared tin. Press this down until you get a smooth, even layer. Leave this aside.
- Making the cheesecake:
- In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, corn flour and vanilla together until smooth.
- Add about 1/4 of the warm cream/coffee mixture, mix until incorporated, then add more and mix again. Keep repeating until all the cream has been added.
- Now mix in the melted white chocolate.
- Add half of this batter into your tin and spread this out.
- The sponge finger layer:
- Dip the sponge fingers into the coffee. You don't want to soak the sponge fingers, just do a quick dip on both sides.
- Arrange these over the cheesecake until you have an even layer of sponge fingers, you might need to cut some in half. At this point, I also dusted some cocoa powder over the sponge fingers but this is optional.
- Add the rest of the cheesecake batter on top of this layer, spread this out.
- Baking the cheesecake:
- Place the cheesecake into a large roasting dish that has high sides.
- Pour some boiling water into this dish until it reaches about half way up the sides of the tin with the cheesecake in.
- Carefully place this into your oven and then bake for around 45-55 minutes. It is done once the sides are set but the centre is still slightly jiggly.
- Once baked, turn your oven off, open the door slightly and then leave the cheesecake in there to cool for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, take it out of the oven and then leave the cheesecake to chill in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, take the cheesecake out of the tin and then dust the top of it with some cocoa powder. I also added some whipped cream on top, but you don't need too.
- Now just cut into it and enjoy!