Vanilla cheesecake with berries

Vanilla cheesecake with berries

Ben's BBQ Bible
Billy Law

Everyone loves a good cheesecake. Served with fresh berries, it’s a great pudding to pull out at the end of a barbecue. Use good-quality Anzac or sweet oat biscuits to make the base.

There is only one real cheesecake and that’s a cooked one, prepared in the traditional American style. Set cheesecakes just don’t have the same flavour and texture. This recipe is based on the method I learnt while cooking for Ruth Rogers at the River Café. I cooked quite a few meals at her home for some pretty amazing people and on one evening we cooked this particular dessert.

You can cook this cheesecake on a gas barbecue, but it’s safer to try it in the oven first. It needs to be prepared the day before you want to serve it so that it sets properly.


Quantity Ingredient
80g butter, softened
100g biscuit crumbs
1 vanilla bean, split
400g crème fraîche or sour cream
500g cream cheese
250g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra, for dusting
4 large eggs
400g raspberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C or prepare your barbecue for indirect cooking. Heavily grease a 25 cm springform cake tin with butter. Throw in the biscuit crumbs and roll the tin around to coat the sides. The excess crumbs should cover the base in an even layer.
  2. In a bowl, stir the seeds from the scraped vanilla bean into the crème fraîche until smooth.
  3. Beat the cream cheese with the icing sugar until soft and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the crème fraîche mixture and mix thoroughly, then pour into the prepared tin. Bang the tin down on the bench to remove any air bubbles.
  4. Transfer the cheesecake to the preheated oven or barbecue and bake on a baking tray on the lowest shelf for 50–60 minutes, until the centre just wobbles and the cake is just golden on top. Don’t worry if the top doesn’t colour very much; it’s more important that the centre is cooked so that it just wobbles, but doesn’t crack. Rest the cheesecake for at least 5 hours to cool and become firm.
  5. When ready to serve, turn out the cheesecake. Top with raspberries and a dusting of extra icing sugar, and slice into wedges.
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