The Classic New York Cheesecake

Preparation time: 30 to 35 minutes, Cooking time: 40 to 55 minutes, Extra time: 6 hours chilling. Ready in 7 hours and 35 minutes. Serves 12.

Ingredients 

  • 150g (5 1/2 oz.) digestive biscuits crushed into crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 75g (2 1/2 oz.) butter, melted and with some for greasing a cake tin
  • 800g full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 200g (7 oz.) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and one of these as a yolk only. Best if just lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • 400 – 475ml (14 fl. oz.) soured cream
  • 2-3 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C /350F/ Gas 4.
  2. To prepare the biscuit crumbs, place in a hard wearing plastic bag and bash to crumbs with a rolling pin.
  3. Melt the butter and add the biscuit crumbs. You can add some sugar if needed to sweeten the base otherwise.
  4. Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom and 1 cm up the sides of a 23 cm springform cake tin. I use a spoon for this rather than fingers as the base gets everywhere.
  5. bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden. Remove to cool whilst the filling then prepared.
  6. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and 200g sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Blend in the eggs slowly, with 1 tsps of vanilla and cream of tartar (optional). Pour over the biscuit base. In some cases 1 table spoon of vanilla essence might be needed for a very strongly flavoured cheesecake.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven until the centre is set, about 45 to 50 minutes. The cheesecake should have a slight jiggle with some creaminess on the top and a slight golden edge.
  8. Allow to cool in the oven slowly for 1 hour. Take out at room temperature and keep cooling for at least 5 minutes. The idea is to avoid cracking the whole setting base.
  9. Keep cooling in the fridge for at least 6 hours if not 8.

Rescuing A Cracked Cheesecake

  1. (optional) Mix together the soured cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 100g sugar in a bowl until smooth; carefully pour over cheesecake starting from the sides of the tin and working your way to the centre. This is designed to help with cracking as it can occur but I’ve rescued a cheesecake using this method.
  2. Return to oven for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.
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