Woolworths’ TASTE is the only magazine I buy. Food-forward visual thrills aside, the publication celebrates a culture of heartfelt home cooking. Their recipes are achievable and not much of what is featured lives beyond the realm of the domestic kitchen.

I came across this recipe for baked cheesecake in their September 2011 edition and I’ve since married it. I will never feel the need to explore any other recipe for a classic, creamy baked vanilla cheesecake. This is it. This is the one.

For the crust:
100g melted butter
150g crushed Tennis biscuits
(I add a bit of powdered cocoa for a chocolatey dimension to complement my ganache topping.)

For the cheese mix:
750g smooth cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
4 free-range eggs
112g caster sugar
1 TBSP cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
seeds of half a vanilla pod

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Mix melted butter, crushed biscuits and cocoa, if using. Press into a greased 24cm springform tin.
Beat the cream cheese until smooth and gently mix in the sour cream, eggs, caster sugar, cornflour, vanilla extract and vanilla seeds.
Spoon into the tin and bake for 30 minutes.
*If using a water bath (and well you should), waterproof the base of your springform tin by wrapping the outside in sufficient aluminium foil.
Switch off the oven, leaving the cake inside for 2 hours before removing it from the tin.

TASTE Mag tips:
Use the best quality cream cheese available.
Bring all ingredients to room temperature before using.
Don’t overbeat ingredients. This will incorporate too much air and could cause the cake to crack.
Bake the cake in a water bath.
Resist over-cooking. The cake should still be slightly wobbly inside.

Decorate as desired. I amp this up by topping with hazelnut chocolate ganache and fresh berries. I also think pureed roasted balsamic strawberries would do something spectacularly special to a slice.