American baked cheesecake

From James Martin, a cheesecake to die for - studded with bourbon-soaked sultanas and served with wonderfully sticky fried bananas
By James Martin
American baked cheesecake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 10
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: medium



  • 3 tbsp sultanas
  • bourbon whiskey
  • oil, for greasing
  • 25 cm sponge disc (cut from a large ready-made sponge flan case)
  • 200 g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp
  • 4 tbsp cornflour
  • 850 g full-fat soft cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 350 ml double cream
  • 10 small bananas
  • 25 g butter
  • caramel sauce or maple syrup, to serve
  • small sprigs mint, to decorate


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

2. Put the sultanas in a small bowl and cover with bourbon. Leave to soak for 15-20 minutes.

3. Lightly grease a 25cm spring-form cake tin.

4. Place the sponge disc in the base of the tin. Sprinkle with a little bourbon, if you like.

5. Drain the sultanas and combine in a bowl with the 200g of sugar and the cornflour.

6. Put the cream cheese in another bowl. Add the vanilla essence, then beat in the lemon zest and juice, the eggs and cream.

7. Stir the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture.

8. Carefully pour over the sponge base in the cake tin.

9. Pour 2-3mm of warm water into a baking tray, and sit the cake tin in the tray. (This will help create steam during cooking.) Bake for 50 minutes until the top is golden.

10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and set completely before removing from the tin.

11. Just before serving, peel the bananas. Melt the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sizzle the bananas, turning, until brown and slightly caramelised.

12. Serve the cheesecake in wedges with the bananas, a drizzle of caramel sauce and a mint sprig to decorate.

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