I am not very big on cooking and hardly ever get motivated to do that, even if my husband offers the simplest of recipes, which even make you laugh. Those who are wondering how cooking can be simple and humorous, check out his blog – The Skinny Chef.
Having said that, I do bake once in a while and ever since I have shifted to the UK, I have started to bake more often. Partly because as I work from home, I can address my sweet cravings without having to ask for someone’s “permission” to take a break, and partly because I spend a lot of time holding the refrigerator door open, looking for answers. And the answer is mostly a dessert.
So, last weekend I thought of trying something I never did – New York Cheesecake! I never tried baking it earlier because I was too afraid of the outcome that what if I failed! But this time I finally gathered the courage to bake this world a better place and so I began.
- Do not use refrigerated butter. Make sure you leave it at room temperature for at least half an hour before you start baking.
- Put the baking powder and soda back in that cupboard, you won’t need it.
- It’s okay if you are scared of the outcome. More often than not, we perform extremely well under pressure. So, throw your hair open in the air and begin.
What you need (and in order):
- 250 g digestive (unsweetened) biscuits – that’s about 10 Marie Gold size biscuits.
- 100 g butter – approximately a big square block
- 400 g Philadelphia cheese or any other cream cheese or soft cheese
- 250 g sugar – that’s about a full bowl (the one we use daily at home)
- Pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons of plain flour – I have used self raising flour to make the cake little fluffy
- 2 small spoons of vanilla essence
- 4 medium size eggs
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- 200 ml sour cream – it usually expires within three days of opening it. So, make sure you don’t buy a big can
- Loads of time – preferably 2 hours
Let’s make it:
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
- Blitz the digestive biscuits in a mixer until fine
- Mix butter
- Line the tin with butter and set this mixture
- Keep it in the oven for 20 minutes
- Take the Philadelphia cheese and whisk it for a minute
- Add sugar and mix properly
- Add a pinch of salt
- Add plain flour, one spoon at a time
- Take out the tin from the oven and leave it to cool
- Add vanilla essence
- Add eggs, one by one
- Add lemon zest (you could use the juice as well to give it a slight hint of lemon)
- Add sour cream
- Taste it for sugar and adjust.
- Pour the mixture on the biscuit base. Make sure it is not too liquidy. Add another spoon of flour if it is.
- Put it in the oven at 200 C for 20 minutes
- At 150 C for another 25 minute (if you check, it must still wobble from the middle.)
- At 90 C for another 30 minutes. I left it for 10 minutes extra here.
The reason for leaving it at three different temperatures is so that it doesn’t become brown from the top. Needless to say, put it in the middle rack so that it gets baked properly from all sides. Do not refrigerate it right after taking it out of the oven. Set it cool at room temperature for some time.
The result 🙂
- Slow baking is the key here. It not only gives you an amazing New York Cheesecake, but also makes you patient 🙂
- Resist the urge to over-bake
- Resist the urge to over-mix or it will create bubbles inside, causing your cake to crack later
- Do not fake “room temperature”. Don’t lie to the cheesecake 🙂
- Keep it covered because it will absorb the taste of everything else in your fridge. You really don’t want to eat an Achari flavored cheesecake!
As greedy as I can sometimes get, I thought of eating it over the course of next seven days, piece by piece but the sour cream started to become even more so after 4 days. So, unless you are freezing it, try to eat it within 4 days of baking it.
Go, try it and bake someone happy today!
Don’t forget to leave comments. 🙂