Tuesday, 6 September 2011

New York Deli Cheesecake

New York speciality, maybe, but this particular recipe comes via my niece in Sydney; she emailed it to her Mum (my sister) who then made this delectable confection and brought it with her when she came round for lunch on Sunday. It was absolutely stunning; so stunning, in fact, that I’d cut into it and we’d all had a piece before I realised I hadn’t taken a picture of it in its entirety – duh!

Along with being one of the most delicious desserts ever, it's quite possibly one of the most calorific, too! It’s just the sort of thing I can see being banned by the Government because it’s too unhealthy for us. (**Newsflash** for the Food Police: All food is healthy; it’s just that some foods are better eaten in smaller portions….OK?) I wouldn’t suggest making this on a regular basis, but for a special occasion it’s hard to beat.

Don’t let the size of the piece in the picture fool you – this is a cheesecake of prodigious proportions that would easily serve 12-16 people. If you want it a little more manageable, halve the ingredients and cook it in a 20cm tin.

375g digestive biscuits
175g melted unsalted butter
500g cream cheese at room temp
220g caster sugar
3 eggs, separated, at room temp
1 tbsp cornflour sifted
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
500g sour cream at room temp
60ml fresh lemon juice

Heat oven to 150C.

Crush digestives finely and stir in the butter; press the biscuit mixture evenly over the base and sides of a greased 26cm springform tin. Stand tin on a baking tray and refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Beat the cream cheese, 150g of the sugar, egg yolks & cornflour in a large bowl with electric mixer until smooth; add the vanilla paste, sour cream & lemon juice, beat until just combined

Beat the egg whites to soft peak stage; gradually add the remaining sugar, beating well until sugar dissolves. Fold the egg white mixture into the cream cheese mixture with a large balloon whisk.

Spread the filling into the biscuit base and bake the cheesecake for about an hour or until just set. Turn off the oven, and leave the cheesecake in the oven, with the door ajar, until cool – this will help to stop the top cracking. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with a spoonful of fruit compote.

(Recipe for Plum, Cinnamon and Orange Compote to follow)

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