My first experience of eating a baked cheesecake was a transcending one! It transcended all my expectations and soon became one of my (and my sister’s) most treasured guilty pleasures. It was a “black and white cheesecake” that I bought from a store in Christchurch, NZ a long time ago and it was a little on the pricey side (okay, a lot), but it set in motion a new love that has shown no signs of waning. My mum wasn’t too thrilled about us eating too much of it and consuming all those calories, so it soon went from being a guilty pleasure to a guilty secret for us. We would scrounge enough money to buy a small cheesecake, then come home and go straight to my sister’s room and dig in with two forks straight away, in true “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.” style! (except the cheesecake was in a box of course – not on the floor).
Having discovered something so incredibly good, I naturally started baking my own. The very first cheesecake I made, also became my signature cheesecake. I’ve made it many times since then, with slight variations, but the core flavours are always the same. It’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made and tasted and it would be a travesty to not share it with you guys! So I hope you too can try this deliciously creamy and tangy Balsamic Swirl Lime Cheesecake.
The first ever version of this that I made was a Balsamic citrus cheesecake with macerated strawberries. I remember the anticipation, the anxiety and the excitement of baking that first cheesecake and getting it right the first time around. The second one however turned out to be a disaster. It was a passion fruit white chocolate cheesecake and while it tasted amazing, I turned it out too early and the whole thing collapsed. Needless to say I was in tears but I recovered my confidence with my third one, a strawberry chocolate swirled cheesecake.
I actually became quite proficient at it, that I soon started using cheesecake as currency! There was a period of time when I was paying back for favours from friends with cheesecake. 🙂 True story. And considering how expensive baked cheesecakes can be, I’m inclined to think that they may have gotten the better end of the deal.
The balsamic cheesecake however, is where my heart is. A classic lime cheesecake paired with a balsamic swirl, I’ve made this more times than I can count. There is something absolutely divine about the molassy, tangy sweetness of balsamic syrup when paired with sweet and creamy, cream cheese. The balsamic syrup even has a beautiful chocolate-like complexity and I could (and I have) eat it by the spoonful! If you have never tried balsamic syrup with cheesecake, you are seriously missing out on an incredible flavour combo!
As incredible as it may sound, this is the first cheesecake post I’m doing on this blog! And what’s even harder to believe (for me at least) is that I wasn’t even planning on posting a cheesecake recipe for awhile. I made this after a friend of mine made a request for a cheesecake recipe and now that this recipe has seen the light of day, expect a few more in the future. 🙂
The base/crust of this cheesecake is only on the bottom (it doesn’t ride up the sides) and is made with Oreos, for two reasons. #1 – I love Oreos! I mean who doesn’t? #2 – since balsamic has an almost chocolate-like complexity, oreos perfectly complement that tangy flavour of the syrup.
This is a dense, smooth, super creamy, perfectly sweet, tangy, addictively delicious cheesecake (with a sour cream topping) that my husband loves so much, that he observes a moment of silence in respect, before eating the last piece, every time I make it now! 🙂 Not kidding.
Balsamic Swirl Lime Cheesecake
- 8.4 oz / 250 ml balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 24 Oreo cookies
- 2 - 3 oz melted butter just enough to help the oreos bind together
- pinch of salt
Balsamic Swirl Lime Cheesecake
- 24 oz/ 680g cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 7 oz / 200g white sugar
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- zest of 2 limes
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp corn flour
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp balsamic syrup
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp confectioner's sugar / icing sugar
Balsamic Syrup (make it a day ahead)
- Place the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a non stick saucepan and bring it to a boil on medium - high heat. (NOTE - the smell of vinegar gets quite strong as it boils and then reduces, so make sure to keep your windows open)
- Reduce the heat and simmer the balsamic vinegar, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to about ⅓ of a cup.
- Let it cool and store in a glass container until you’re ready to use it.
- Butter and line an 8 inch Springform round cake pan. Wrap the outside with foil. Preheat oven to 350°F/ 180°C.
- Pulse the Oreos in a food processor till they turn into crumbs.
- Add the melted butter, a tablespoon at a time until the oreos start binding together when you squeeze them between your fingers (I added about 2.5 oz of melted butter).
- Press the oreo cookie crumbs into the base of a prepared Springform cake pan. Use the back of a spoon or a flat base of a glass to press down. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
Balsamic Swirl Lime Cheesecake
- NOTE - Do not over beat the cheesecake batter, which can lead to cracks (if you do get small cracks on the top of the cheesecake however you can use the sour cream topping to cover them).
- Preheat oven to 275°F /135°C.
- Place the cream cheese, cornflour, sugar, cream, vanilla, lime juice and lime zest in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix all the ingredients until everything is just smooth.
- Add the whole egg, and then the egg yolks one at a time, mixing between each addition (but not too much!)
- Once the eggs have been incorporated, separate 1 cup of the batter into a bowl. Add the balsamic syrup to this and mix.
- Pour the plain batter into the prepared springform pan (with the baked crust). Drizzle the balsamic cheesecake batter all over the top and using a spatula or butter knife, create a swirl/pattern.
- Place the cheesecake in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour.
- Lower the heat to 250°F / 120°C and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until the surface has just started to brown and the center is just set (with a slight wobble).
- Turn off the oven and while keeping the oven door ajar, let the cheesecake cool completely.
- Once the cheesecake is at room temperature, run a sharp knife around the edges and carefully release the cheesecake from the springform pan (if you used parchment paper this will be very easy).
- Mix the sour cream and icing sugar together and spread this evenly on top of the cheesecake.
- Let the cheesecake chill in the fridge overnight before eating (this is the hardest part!)
- Cut with a warm knife, and serve with a drizzle of balsamic syrup. (optional - serve with some strawberries on the side).
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
I honestly don’t think I can stop telling you how much I love that balsamic vinegar taste paired with the lime cheesecake. An extra drizzle of balsamic syrup over each slice is optional, but totally recommended! Remember I told you that I’ve been known to drink that syrup by the spoonful, all on its own? It’s that good!
So go ahead and make this cheesecake your weekend project. Or make it the next time you have guests over. It’s insanely good and they will love it! 🙂 I promise! Will there be any leftovers when your guests are gone? I doubt it.
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