vanilla cheesecake with vanilla syrup berries

vanilla cheesecake final

5 tablespoons / 70 grams unsalted butter
1.5 cups biscuit crumbs (graham crackers, digestive biscuits, any sweet biscuit)
1.25 cups sugar
2 pounds / 900 grams cream cheese, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
pinch salt

Preheat oven 180C/350F.
In a small saucepan, melt 5 tablespoons butter.
In a medium bowl, combine biscuit crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar.
Stir in melted butter until crumbs are moist.
Pour mixture into a 9inch springform pan. Press firmly, forming a 1/2inch / 1.25cm crust up sides of pan.
Bake until set, approx 12-15 minutes. 
Transfer pan to a wire rack.

Reduce temperature to 135C/275F.
Process cream cheese until smooth in a food processor.
Add remaining cup of sugar and process to combine.
Scrape in vanilla seeds (reserve pod for syrup). Process until well combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, processing until combined with each addition.
Add sour cream and salt. Process until well combined.
Pour batter into crust.
Bake for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, until sides have set but centre appears soft.
Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool. Run a paring knife around the outside of the crust, loosening it from the pan.
When cool, cover tightly with plastic. Let set in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.

Vanilla syrup
1/3 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup water
Place sugar, water and reserved vanilla pod in a small saucepan. Dissolve sugar over low heat then simmer for 5 minute or until it is a light syrup. Cool.
Add mixture to mixed berries and leave to infuse overnight.

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