A classic New York Cheesecake is a stellar dessert that can sometimes scare people, but it honestly couldn’t be easier to prepapre and even better, this can happily feed a bunch of people.
260 grams / 2 cups graham crackers, finely crushed
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
70 grams / 2.5 ounces butter, melted
700 grams/ 1 1/4 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
250 grams / 1/2 pound mascarpone, room temperature
250 grams / 1 1/4 cups superfine/caster sugar
4 medium eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
160 milliliters / 2/3 cup whipping cream
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350F.
- Prepare your cake tin as tightly and carefully as possible with aluminum foil (see notes regarding preparing a springform cake tin), to ensure no water can get in, every side of the tin should be well covered with the foil.
- Place the finely crushed graham crackers, sugar, salt and melted butter into a bowl and stir together until it holds together.
- Press into the cake tin firmly in an even layer.
- Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and place in the center of a large and deep roasting tray and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, lower the oven to 160°C/325F.
- For the filling, place all the cream cheese and mascarpone in a bowl and beat on medium with a hand mixer for 4 minutes, a stand mixer for 3 minutes or by hand for 6 minutes, until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Add 1/4 of the sugar in installments, beating to incorporate until it is fully combined and smooth.
- Add in the vanilla extract and pinch of salt and whip for a further minute.
- Add 1 egg and beat until well combined for approximately 30 seconds, repeat with the remaining eggs.
- Add in the pouring cream and whip for a further 4 minutes, until smooth.
- Pour the creamy filling into your cake tin and prepare your boiling water (you want the water to come half way up the tin, so this amount of water may vary according to your roasting pan, I recommend at least 4 cups).
- Place the cake tin set inside the roasting tray into the oven as soon as your water is boiling. Allow 1/4 of the roasing tray to overhang the oven tray and carefully and slowly pour the boiling water into the roasting tray until it comes half way up the sies of your cake tin.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until golden on top.
- Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool in the oven with the door ajar for 1 hour.
- Remove the cooled cheesecake from the oven and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Slice and serve with a little coulis on the side.
Preparing your cake tin for the water bath: A New York Cheesecake bakes in a water bath, so if you are using a springform cake tin you will need to ensure you prepare the cake tin before doing anything else, this is best done by wrapping at least three or four times with aluminum foil (dependent on the size of your foil), making sure it comes up to the edges of your cake tin on all edges, folding over and pressing firmly on all edges so water cannot get into the gaps and ruin the cheesecake.
Aluminuim foil shouldn’t fold inside the cake tin: Do not overlap the aluminium foil into the inside of your cake tin, but instead pinching firmly to maintain it holds on the outside, this will ensure that as the cake rises during baking (it usually does so about 1/4 inch) it will maintain the smooth top.
Size of cake tin here: This cake was baked in a 20cm or 8 inch cake tin.
Graham cracker sub: If you do not have access to graham crackers, a perfect sub is digestive biscuits.
Mascarpone sub: If you cannot source mascarpone you can absolutely use cream cheese for the full cream filling, but mascarpone does add a lightness to this.
Don’t overbake: No time for cracks here! Once golden on top and the cake has baked for the recommended time, do not be tempted to test out how firm the cheesecake is by tapping on the roasting tray or touching it…let this rest in the oven with the door ajar and this will turn out perfect every time!
Homemade coulis: 2/3 cup mixed berries and 3 tablespoons sugar, simmered covered in a saucepan for 5 minutes will create enough berry coulis for 1 tablespoon per slice.
Keeping your cheesecake: This is best consumed within 2 days of making, however, left covered and refrigerated, this will last up to 5 days.
Adapted from Simply Recipes