In line with finishing up old blog posts, this cake can be dated by the occasion it was baked for: Marc's 30th birthday. That, my friends, was all the way back in May. I love baking but I try to restrict it to special occasions because with only two people in the house (and one tummy-sensitive puppy who can't eat anything besides dog biscuits), about 50% of anything I bake will end up contributing to my waistline. There's no occasion more special and more cake-suitable than a birthday.
For Marc, I kept it simple and baked his all time favourite cake, which is a plain cheesecake. We are both in agreement that when it comes to cheesecake, we want to be able to taste the creamy cheesiness. I don't like cheesecakes adorned with tonnes of stuff. A drizzle of berry coulis is fine but massive swirls of fruit and chunky chocolate bits and lemon toppings etc is just unecessarily distracting. That's not to say I would pass on a berry swirl cheesecake (it's still delicious) but it's not my preference.
I followed this recipe for New York cheesecake from Taste.com.au. Instead of raspberries, I used fresh strawberries as garnish, which I'm sure you'll agree isn't a huge leap of adventurism. I had an issue with the foil lining of my springform so the water bath leaked and my base became soggy in the oven but it sort of firmed up in the fridge. The original recipe doesn't actually suggest using a water bath so it might not be necessary here.
New York Cheesecake
Makes one 23cm cake (approx 10 servings)
- 1 x 250g packet of sweet biscuits (I used Arnott's Nice, as suggested)
- 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 750g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 x 300ml carton of sour cream
- fresh berries to decorate (I used strawberries)
1. Line the base of a 23cm springform pan with non-stick baking paper (I wrapped mine with foil too because I was using a water bath baking technique).
2. Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined.
3. Transfer the crumb mixture to the lined cake pan and press it firmly into the base and sides. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it to chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
7. Turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar for another 2 hours or until cooled completely. This step is supposed to prevent the cheesecake from cracking and thus, probably eliminates the need for a water bath.
8. Place the cheesecake in the fridge for 4 hours to chill.
Even though I messed up the base in this recipe, Marc loved the end result. I was suspicious that he was being nice just to make me happy but I noticed that the whole cake was gone only 3 days later. And there's only 2 people in our house. And I only had a couple of small slices.
It was a really easy cheesecake recipe to follow. I liked the simplicity of the result. The actual cheesecake filling was creamy and very rich without being too sweet. The lemon rind gave it a bit of freshness and the sourcream gave it a welcome tang. The biscuit crust (my favourite part of a cheesecake) was buttery and short. It really needs some kind of fresh fruit to balance it out and I thought strawberries were the perfect addition.