Sweet success: New York Cheesecake

This cheese cake thing has been a mystery to me for long. I’ve read dozens of recipes in books and online. Even attended a cooking class. Nothing gave me the confidence to go ahead and make the cheese cake at home. It seemed daunting. The cheesecake we get in the market looks too sophisticated therefore difficult. The recipes  I found  online called for ingredients that were hard to find or if available, were expensive. Some asked for ingredients I didn’t think went well with  cheesecake (amul cheese spread, really?). There seemed no recipe that sounded right.

After many months of procrastination, it was time to give a recipe, any recipe a shot. I was prepared to overturn a whole tin of (terrible) cheesecake into the bin, but the cheesecake had to be tried.

I zeroed in on Anita’s recipe and tried it out after work yesterday. It was simple with ingredients within my reach and didnt seem to be time consuming. Much to my surprise, it was successs at first attempt!! Very unexpected. Very delightful. 🙂

I tweaked the original recipe a bit, increased the lemon content and halved the recipe.  Here it is for your reference. Ingredients modified are in italics.

New York Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake
Serves 4-6 ( if you eat only one wedge each !)

For the Crust

2 T melted butter
50 gm crushed Britannia digestive biscuits
1 T powdered sugar

For the filling
300 gms hung curd at room temperature (original recipe suggests hanging the curd overnight. I didnt have time for that so I hung it for 2 hours only. I used store bought curd.)
100gms powdered sugar
1 T plain flour
pinch of salt
1 t vanilla essence
zest of 2 lemons
2 t lemon juice
1 T plain flour
1 eggs
75  ml soured cream (Anita suggests you can make sour cream at home by adding a teaspoon of yoghurt to cream and leave to set for a few hours. I had no time for sour cream so I used regular Amul cream)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180 C .
  • Grease a small pan/tin with butter.
  • Crush biscuits, combine with sugar and butter and lay out in an even layer at the tin /pan base.  If you would like to have crumbs of the side of the cheese cake, reserve 2 T or so. Bake for 10 mins at 180 deg C , till the crumbs brown a bit. Keep aside.
  • Take the hung curd and whisk it well till it is smooth in consistency.  You can use a hand beater for this. I did it manually. Slowly add the sugar,salt, vanilla essence, flour, lemon juice and zest. Ensure it all incorporates well.
  • Add the egg and whisk some more.
  • Finally add the sour cream and whisk.
  • Brush sides of the tin with butter and  sprinkle the crushed biscuit crumbs, if you’ve reserved some biscuit crumbs for the side.
  • Pour the filling and put the tin in a preheated over to bake for about 20 mins at 150 deg C. ( I tried baking at 110 deg c for 10 mins as the original recipe suggested but since I had not hung the curd overnight, mine was  moist and needed to bake more). When the cheesecake is done, it will be firm from the centre.
  • Remove from oven and cool (preferably refrigerate) before serving.

The cheese cake was smooth, creamy, lemony. What I learnt was that  I needed to hang the curd for longer. Its higher moisture content made the biscuit crust a bit soggy. .. not that anyone complained!

If you’ve been intimidated by cheesecake (like I was), I suggest you start your cheesecake journey with this one!