Thursday, 16 October 2008

New York Cheesecake

Wow. Two pudding posts in a row. This backs up my suspicion that I am increasingly a slave to my sweet tooth. In my twilight years my comfy chair is sure to be surrounded by a debris of cake crumbs. Back to the recipe - I kid you not, this is the only cheesecake recipe you will ever need.


For the crumb base:

85g melted butter
140g (approx 10) digestive biscuits
1/2 tbsp castor sugar
60g chocolate chips
1 tbsp cocoa powder

For the filling:

900g full fat soft cheese (E.g. Philadelphia)
250g castor sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of lemon (2tsp)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 large eggs plus 1 yolk
284 ml soured cream

For the soured cream topping:

142 ml soured cream (alternatively fresh cream and lemon juice)
1 tbsp castor sugar
2 tsp lemon juice


For the crumb base:

Melt the butter in a medium pan, add the biscuit and sugar. Remove from heat, add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips and mix well.

For the cheesecake filling:

Beat the soft cheese for a couple of minutes until soft and creamy, (this is easier if done in a food processor). Gradually add the sugar, followed by the flour and mix well. Whisk in the vanilla, lemon zest and juice then whisk in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Finally, stir in the soured cream and blend well (do not overbeat). Pour the mix into the prepared cake tin.

For sour cream topping:

Mix the soured cream, sugar and lemon juice together and spread over the cheesecake, cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for 8 hours overnight.

To put together cheesecake:

Position the shelf in the centre of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 200°C (fan assisted) or 240°C (conventional).

Line the base of a 23 cm spring form cake tin, with non stick parchment and brush the sides of the tin with melted butter. Place on to a baking tray. Press the mixed biscuit base down gently on the cake tin base until even (the crumb should not be pressed down too heavily). Pour in the filling and tap the sides of the tin to prevent any bubbles. Place the tin into the oven and cook for 10 minutes then reduce the temp to 90°C (fan assisted) or 110°C conventional or quarter of a gas mark and bake for 25 minutes.

Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool down slowly and gently for 40 minutes, this will help prevent any cracking. Gently remove from the oven and leave to cool. When cool, spread the soured cream mix over the cake and refrigerate preferably for up to 8 hours or overnight.

To serve the cheesecake, lightly run a round bladed knife around the cake tin edges and unlock the cake tin, slide away the parchment and cut into required portions.

Noted for gluttons

I prefer a little more base than in this recipe so try adding half as much again to the base quantities.

Digestive biscuits vary in salt content. The salt makes all the difference here so I recommend adding a pinch of salt to the base mix. It really gets the juices flowing.