A true New York classic, this simple and sophisticated baked cheesecake is the perfect make-ahead dinner party dessert.
I’ve had a weakness for cheesecake since my first visit to America as a little girl. I tracked down a recipe on the Internet, but it wasn’t quite what I remembered. Over time, I’ve tweaked it to be a bit lighter so I can eat more! Cutting the cream cheese with a bit of mascarpone and yoghurt makes the filling incredibly smooth and soft rather than overwhelmingly dense. You could serve this topped with fruit if you want, but honestly, I think it’s perfect as is. In fact, the first time René and I went to New York I insisted on going to a diner for a piece of authentic cheesecake, and he said mine was better!
|For the crust:|
|90 g (3 oz)||digestive biscuits|
|40 g (1. oz)||sugar|
|55 g (2 oz)||salted butter, melted|
|For the filling:|
|340 g (12 oz)||cream cheese, at room temperature|
|For the filling:|
|120 g (4. oz)||plain Greek yoghurt|
|110 ml (3. fl oz)||mascarpone, at room temperature|
|2||large eggs, at room temperature|
|15 g (. oz)||salted butter, melted|
|⅛ tsp||fine sea salt|
You will need: a 23 cm (9 inch) springform tin.
1. Preheat the oven to 150C (130C Fan).
2. Make the crust: Crumble the biscuits into a medium bowl and use a pestle or the bottom of a heavy bottle to crush them into fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir until very well combined. Press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 23 cm (9 inch) springform tin. Bake until the crust looks a little darker and smells sweet and toasty, 10 to 12 minutes. You can grind the crumbled biscuits and mix them with the sugar and butter in a food processor if you prefer.
3. While the crust bakes, make the filling: Combine the cream cheese with the yoghurt and mascarpone in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. One at a time, beat in the eggs, followed by the melted butter. With a small, sharp knife, split the vanilla pod lengthwise and use the tip of the knife to scrape the seeds into the bowl. Add the salt and mix just until smooth. Do not overbeat the filling. For a smooth filling, the cream cheese and mascarpone must be at room temperature; set them on the work surface an hour or two before you start cooking.
4. Pour the filling into the hot crust and smooth the top. Tap the tin on the work surface a few times to release any air bubbles in the filling. Bake until the filling is nearly set in the centre, about 25 minutes. Move the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool completely. The filling will continue to cook even after you take it out of the oven, so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem completely set. You don’t want to let it get brown.
5. When the cheesecake has cooled, cover the tin with cling film and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, run a sharp knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cheesecake and then remove the sides. Cut the cake into wedges with a thin, sharp knife. Dip the blade of your knife in cold water and wipe it clean between cuts to keep the slices neat.