Sunday, 20 May 2007

New York Cheesecake

I ate a cheesecake just like this in New York once - Nigella Lawson

Wanting something that husby's family will like (for our mother's day lunch) I decided upon cheesecake. Husby's mother has made it in the past and I know his brother likes it too, so this was a safe option (although m-i-l doesn't make a baked cheesecake but rather a refrigerated one, if that makes sense).

looks a little dark on top I know - it wasn't that dark in real life!

The verdict
Unusual or substituted ingredients: Nothing unusual, except I have to say, I was slightly grossed out when I realised that the recipe calls for over 1 kg of cream cheese/sour cream/double cream all together - oh my that's a lot of dairy and a lot of fat...and that doesn't even count the butter used for the base!!!
I did choose low fat cream cheese and low fat sour cream, and just used thickened cream (my corner store didn't have double cream at 7pm on a Saturday night, which is when I did the shopping for this!). Fortunately, it did have proper digestive biscuits - they aren't really an Australian thing - I usually use Arnott's Marie biscuits, but in this case, used actual digestives, and I think it really did make a difference to the base, which was not crumbly at all (which has been my experience in the past with cheesecakes).

Special utensils or bakeware: You do need a springform tin for a cheesecake, make sure it is the right size, as this is a big cheesecake - my tin was full to the brim of mix once I got that kilo of cream cheese mix into it!
I used an electric hand mixer to mix the filling. Do leave yourself enough time to make it though (I had to get up at 7.30am on a Sunday - a SUNDAY! to make this and I still couldn't leave it in the oven for the suggested cooling time (1.5 hours to cook, 2 hours to cool with oven door shut, 1 hour to cool with oven door open)). It's best made the day before I think if that is possible.

Repeatability: I would make this again. It is, for a baked cheesecake, incredibly light and fluffy. Nigella says the secret is in the whipping of the egg whites (shhhh don't tell!) and folding them into the filling mix.
Sauciness: There are a few dishes with this one, separate bowls for making the base, the filling and the beating of the egg whites. In terms of the eating, it is not too rich, and not too solid or dense (as some baked cheesecakes can be). My 9 yo niece (who "doesn't like cheesecake") loved it - yay!
Overall pleasure level: Hmmm. I think this is an 8.5. Pretty much everyone likes cheesecake so you can't go wrong. Would be good served with berries or coulis (heh, coulis!) or both, and is equally delicious on its own.