Wednesday, 10 September 2008

london cheesecake

A request from a friend at work, for her last day, and I was more than happy to oblige. This cheesecake is from Nigella Lawson and is incredibly simple and delicious.
I was mystified for years about the infamous 'Bain-Marie', it sounded so exotic and like something I could never of course felt rather a plum when I realised it is just a water bath...D'oh.
I make a larger version of this cake using a 24" springform pan and the recipe below shows the volumes for this.
For the base...
200g digestive biscuits or ginger nuts
100g unsalted butter - melted
For the filling...
800g cream cheese (I use light just to make you feel a bit better!)
200g caster sugar
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the topping...
200ml sour cream
1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. Process the biscuits until they are fine crumbs; if you don't have a food processor pop them in a bag, cover with a tea towel and bash to bits with a rolling pin.
2. Melt the butter and stir this into the crumbed biscuits, press this into the bottom of the springform pan using your hands (I do not line mine, but do so if you are worried about sticking); pop this in the fridge to chill
3. Preheat the oven to 180C
4. Beat the cream cheese in a food mixer until smooth, then add the sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, then the vanilla and lemon juice. Scrape round the bowl with a spatula at regular intervals to make sure all the cream cheese is mixing with the rest of the ingredients
5. Put a full kettle on to boil
6. Take the chilled tin from the fridge and double wrap the bottom and sides in strong tin foil in two large pieces
7. Place the tin in a roasting dish, and pour in the lemon filling mix
8. Pour the boiling water into the roasting tin so that it comes half way up the sides of the cake tin
9. Most incredibly carefully place this into the middle of the oven and cook for 50 minutes
10. After 50 minutes it should feel set, but not completely, just enough to pour the topping over. Whisk together the sour cream, vanilla and sugar and pour over the cheesecake - return to the oven for 10 minutes
11. Remove the roasting tin from the oven, and super carefully remove the springform tin. Unwrap it and leave on a cooling rack to cool, I place an old tea towel underneath to catch any drips of melted goo that might eek out. When cooled completely place in the fridge, remove 20 minutes before unmoulding and serving and heat a knife with boiling water to cut.
I added halved strawberries to the top of mine, and then made a coulis with the rest of the punnet for pouring over the slices...

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