When life gives you lemons make a lemon poppy seed cake. Most of the times…
The ultimate challenge: eating a whole cheesecake by yourself. Challenge accepted.
Cheesecake is the favourite dessert of Alkis (Alkis is my husband) and last Friday he asked me to make one. There wasn’t something that could make me say no to his request. It was an inner desire for me too.
When I started exploring the magic world of my kitchen I was following a very basic recipe for making cheesecake, the one in which you just mix cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk and refrigerate. It was tasty until the moment I tried the baked cheesecake. Three letters. OMG. It was like eating a cloud made by cream cheese and sugar.
Back on the days of the no-bake cheesecake I couldn’t even think that I could serve a cheesecake without a topping. But with this recipe, in which there is a perfect balance between cream cheese and sweetness, I keep everything as it is, just the cheesecake and me. Besides, less is more.
So, to come back on Alkis request. He asked me to bake a cheesecake and the answer of course it was yes. On Saturday morning, I went to the market in order to buy the needed ingredients (they are still looking for me since I have bought all of the cream cheese) for the cheesecake. I came back home and I realized that Alkis was taking a nap. I didn’t bother him, I started cooking my cheesecake. I have just placed the cheesecake into the oven when Alkis woke up and told: Are you baking a cheesecake? I am afraid that you have to eat it all by yourself. I am suffering from fever. SAY WHAT? The first thing that crossed my mind was to call an ambulance since my heart was ready to break. A whole cheesecake for me? Are you kidding me? Just kidding. The first thing to do was to check Alkis temperature, giving him all the necessary care for his cold and visiting again the market in order to buy ingredients for making a chicken soup and making fresh orange juices. Besides, I had to wait a lot for eating a piece of the cheesecake.
If you want to make this paradise dessert and before starting have in mind that the cream cheese should be at room temperature (not like Alkis) and that you will need a break-apart pan. Also, cheesecake needs its time, do not rush. If you want to bake it for a special occasion it’s better to bake a day in advance.
New York cheesecake
New York cheesecake ingredients
For the crust:
- 350 g graham crackers
- 150 g melted butter
- extra melted butter for brushing the pan
For the cake:
- 1200 g full fat cream cheese
- 250 g granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 3 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 eggs and 2 yolks
Making the best New York cheesecake
STEP 1: Making the crust
First, you have to preheat your oven to 160* C Fan. In a small pan, melt the butter and then in a food processor, beat first the graham crackers and then add the melted butter.
Brush some melted butter along the sides of a 28 cm break-apart pan, so that the cheesecake won’t stick. Spread the cookie mixture on to the bottom of the pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
STEP 2: Making the cake
Increase the temperature of the oven to 230* C Fan. Put the cream cheese in a mixer and beat until it becomes light, fluffy and creamy. You will need around 2-3 minutes. Then, add half of the sugar and beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, so that all the cream cheese is mixed in.
Add the remaining sugar, salt, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the 2 yolks, Beat on low, until all the ingredients become fully incorporated.
Scrape down again and then add the eggs, one at a time. Once it has all been combined, transfer to the pan.
Have in mind that while mixing the ingredients together you don’t have to over beat as this will cause the cheesecake to crack when cooking.
Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the heat down to 100* C Fan and bake for 1 ½ hours. While baking, there is no reason to open the door, your cheesecake won’t leave. But if you open the door of the oven you will change the temperature and cause the cheesecake to sink and crack. You don’t want that.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a knife with a very thin blade, cut, very carefully around the pan. This will release any parts where the cheesecake may have stuck to the pan and prevent it from having a slight crack on top as it cools. Remember not to remove from pan, it is not ready to face the world yet. You have to let it cool completely (2 hours).
Keep your cheesecake into the fridge (still in the baking pan).
You can top your cheesecake with fresh blueberries, strawberries, jam or just nothing! I prefer it straight, its flavour is simply amazing.
As you can see from the photos there are some marks on the top of the cheesecake. I blame the plastic wrap that I have put on the baking pan when placing the cheesecake on the fridge. I hate plastic wrap, I always did.
I hope to like my post and to share your favourite dessert recipe!
P.S.: At the end, Alkis managed to eat a slice. Literally at the end.