I’ve been using a Mary Berry recipe for baked vanilla cheesecake for years and I’ve always been perfectly happy with it. Last week though I decided on a whim to try Nigella’s New York version instead and my goodness it was so much better. The texture was smooth and creamy, it was not too sweet AND there were no cracks (probably due to the addition of cornflour).
In true Nigella style this is an expensive cheesecake to make (£11.46 based on my Tesco shop using branded items such as McVities and Philadelphia) but it’s huge and therefore ideal if you’re catering for a lot of people.
Nigella Lawson’s New York cheesecake
(from Nigel Slater’s ‘Real Food’)
Serves 12 generously
For the base
- 250g of digestive biscuits, crushed to fine crumbs with a rolling pin or in a food processor (89p)
- 150g of butter, melted (53p)
- 3 tablespoons of caster sugar (5p)
For the filling
- 2 tablespoons of cornflour (7p)
- 225g of caster sugar (28p)
- 750g of full fat soft cream cheese (£6.40)
- 6 eggs, serparated (£1.25)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (47p)
- 150ml of double cream (60p)
- 150ml of sour cream (60p)
- ½ teaspoon of salt (2p)
- The grated zest of 1 lemon (30p)
Butter the bottom and sides of a 24cm round, springform cake tin.
For the base, mix together the butter, sugar and biscuit crumbs and press firmly into the bottom of the tin. Chill for one hour.
For the filling, start by setting your oven to 170oC.
Mix together the sugar and cornflour. Beat in the cream cheese, egg yolks and vanilla extract by hand or with an electric mixer. Then slowly pour both the creams in, add the salt and lemon zest and beat some more.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff and then fold carefully into the cheese mixture using a metal spoon. Tip into the chilled base and bake for one hour and fifteen minutes (the recipe said for between one hour and one and a half hours so I went with the middle ground).
Turn off the heat (don’t open the door) and let the cake stand in the oven for two more hours.
Then open the door and let it stand for another hour.
Chill in the fridge and serve cold.
You can dust the top with icing sugar before serving if you like.
NOTE: This is lovely eaten just as it is but I served mine with a cheat’s raspberry coulis (basically a tin of raspberries in syrup whizzed up until smooth). I think it would also taste nice with any other fruit coulis, or a caramel or chocolate sauce.