Always a winner: New York cheesecake

New York CheesecakeWho doesn’t love New York cheesecake? It never last very long in my fridge anyway. When in doubt on what to bake next, this is always in the top 3 of suggestions made. So here’s a really delicious recipe from one of my trusted GoodFood magazines:

Heat the oven to 200 C and line the base of a 20 cm round springform with parchment paper. For the crust, crush 200 g speculaas and press into the bottom of the tin. Set aside as you make the filling. If you don’t have speculaas, mix 140 g crushed digestive biscuits with 85 g melted butter instead and pre-bake for 8 min.  Crushing the biscuits is easiest in a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can put them in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin, but I find that the bag easily rips leaving crumbs all over the place. So I have yet another solution: put the biscuits in a bowl and use a potato masher, works a treat!

Prepare the filling: in a bowl, beat 500 g full-fat soft cheese (I used Campina, but Philadelphia is good too) at low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Continue beating and gradually add 210 g sugar, then 2 and 1/2 tbsp flour and a pinch of salt. Continue by adding 1 an 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Whisk in 3 eggs plus 1 yolk, one at a time. Continue on low speed and add 200 ml soured cream (if you don’t have soured cream, use regular cream and add a good squeeze of lemon juice instead). Whisk to blend, but don’t over-beat. The batter should be smooth, light and somewhat airy.

Brush the sides of the springform tin with some melted butter and put on a baking sheet. Pour in the filling – if there are any lumps, sink them using a knife – the top should be as smooth as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 90 C and bake for 25 minutes more. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble. Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that’s creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture. Let cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.

Put the cheesecake in the fridge to cool completely. Before taking it out of the tin, run a knife around the sides to loosen any stuck edges. Unlock the side, slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate, then slide the parchment paper out from underneath. Enjoy while listening to Cheesecake by Louis Armstrong.

Use up left-over cream cheese in a blueberry crumble cheesecake or to frost a carrot cake or a blueberry cheesecake gateau.