Looking for a luxurious pudding for a celebration? Then you’ll love my baked New York Cheesecake with a glossy Strawberry sauce. It’s easy to make, and tastes delicious!
Whenever I’m asked about my dream travel wishlist, New York always features highly. I think it’s because of all of those years of watching TV shows like Friends or Sex and the City, and favourite films like You’ve Got Mail and Home Alone 2. It’s always seemed like such an exciting, vibrant city with so much to see and do.
When I dream of visiting New York, I also dream of the food and drink. Just imagine those huge slices of pizza, the iconic Chinese takeaway boxes, fresh bagels loaded with pastrami and pickles, massive hotdogs topped with fried onions and mustard. And of course, the big mugs of coffee!
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‘Everything can change in a New York minute’, or so the song goes. Well, Netflights have been crunching the numbers and the’ve worked out exactly what happens in a New York Minute. 7296 coffees are drunk, and 1003 hotdogs and 150 pizzas are eaten – that’s every single minute!
The other New York food that I dream of, is the classic New York cheesecake. Remember that Friends episode when Rachel and Chandler are sharing a huge cheesecake?
It was fine. It had a buttery, crumbly, graham cracker crust, with a very rich yet light, cream cheese filling…
That’s what I was aiming for with my New York Cheesecake, and I think I’m pretty much there. It’s based on a Jamie Oliver recipe, but I’ve done some tinkering with the recipe to make sure there’s no hint of dryness. I’ve also paired it with a luscious, glossy strawberry sauce, but it’s pretty much perfect on its own or with a little extra cream!
New York Cheesecake with Simple Strawberry Sauce (Serves 10-12)
Although this recipe doesn’t take long to prepare or bake, the cheesecake needs to chill for at least 24 hours before serving. So make sure you get started on it well ahead of time!
You will need a 23cm Springform tin.
For the Cheesecake:
250g Digestive biscuits
150g unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing the tin
115g caster sugar
3 tbsp cornflour
900g full fat cream cheese (at room temperature)
2 large eggs
115ml double cream
1 vanilla pod or 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
For the Strawberry Sauce:
60g caster sugar
80ml cold water
1 tsp cornflour plus 2 tbsp cold water.
To Make the Cheesecake Base
Preheat the oven to 160C/140Cfan. Grease the cake tin and line with baking parchment.
Blitz the digestive biscuits into crumbs using a food processor. Alternatively you can put them in a food bag and use a rolling pin to bash the biscuits into crumbs. It takes a little longer, but it’s more fun and quite therapeutic. Pour the crumbs into a large bowl.
Melt the butter and pour it over the digestive biscuit crumbs. Mix together thoroughly, and then tip the mixture into the cake tin. Use the back of a spoon to level out the crumbs and press them down thoroughly.
Put the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minute. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack until cold.
To Make the Cheesecake Filling
When you are ready to make the cheesecake filling, preheat the oven to 190C/170Cfan.
Put the cornflour and caster sugar into a large bowl, and mix together thoroughly. Add the cream cheese, and use an electric whisk to beat them together until the mixture looks creamy.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until well incorporated. Then pour in the cream and whisk again. You should end up with a light, creamy mixture.
Use a sharp knife to cut open the vanilla pod lengthways, and scrape out the seeds inside. Add these to the mixture, together with the lemon zest, and mix again. You can use vanilla extract if you prefer, but I love the look of the vanilla seeds speckled throughout the creamy mixture.
Carefully pour into the cake in, and use the back of a spoon to level out the mixture. Place into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. It’s important to make sure that you don’t open the door for the first 40 minutes. You can check then and see if your cake needs a few minutes longer. If you’re worried about it browning too much on top, you can put a sheet of foil loosely on the top of the tin.
The cake has finished baking when the edges look lightly browned and the middle has just a hint of a wobble left. Don’t cook it til it is solid throughout, as it will continue to cook for some time after you turn the oven off. If it is overcooked, you will end up with a dry cheesecake.
When your cake reaches this point, you can turn the oven off. Prop the oven door open, and leave the cake in the oven like this for one hour. Then carefully remove the tin from the oven and leave it to cool thoroughly on a cooling rack. Try to avoid any cold draughts – you want the cake to cool gently to avoid too many cracks.
When the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, you can then transfer it to the fridge to chill – still in its tin! It needs to chill for at least 24 hours, and preferably 36 hours.
To Make the Simple Strawberry Sauce
On the day that you are planning to serve the cheesecake, you can make the strawberry sauce. This also needs some time to cool down, so be sure to get a head start on it.
Wash the strawberries and remove the hulls. Cut the smaller strawberries in half, and the larges ones into quarters. Place them in a saucepan with the sugar and 80mls of water, over a medium heat. Stir together for a few minutes til the sugar melts into the water and the strawberries start to release their juice.
When the sauce is gently simmering, mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water together in a cup or small bowl. Pour this into the saucepan, and stir in well. The sauce will go opaque and bright pink, but don’t panic! Continue to stir for another 3-4 minutes til you have a thick and glossy deep pink sauce.
Transfer the sauce to a bowl and leave to cool. Once it has lost some of its heat, feel free to add half a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a splash of alcohol if you wish. I
To Serve the New York Cheesecake
When you are ready to serve the cheesecake, remove the tin from the fridge and undo the clasp. The sides of the tin should lift away easily. Gently peel off the side lining paper, and then use a knife to slide under the biscuit base before carefully transferring the cheesecake to a plate.
The sides should be gently browned, and hopefully you have avoided too many cracks on the top of the cake. They can always be hidden with icing sugar if you wish! The cake should slice fairly easily by now, and you can serve it with the strawberry sauce drizzled over the top.