I’ve only made two cheesecakes in my life and, luckily, this most recent one came out wonderfully. The first were actually cheesecake bites and they were flat and lifeless. Not sure what went wrong there, but that was many years ago. I’ve moved on…
This NY cheesecake recipe comes from Michel Roux’s “Desserts” book. I can honestly say I’ve been successful with every recipe I’ve tried from him.
- 4 1/2 tsp melted butter, plus enough to butter the pan
- 9 oz. of graham crackers
- 2 1/4 lb. softened cream cheese
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- finely grated zest of one lemon
- finely grated zest of one orange
- 5 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean (or, in my case, 3/4 tbsp. of vanilla essence)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 8 1/2 – 9 1/2 inch springform cake pan, 2 – 2 1/2 inches deep. Place the pan on a baking sheet.
Butter the pan and crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs in a food processor. Transfer them to a bowl and combine with the melted butter. Press the crumbs firmly against the sides and bottom of the pan.
Bake the crust until firm (about 12 minutes). Cool on the baking sheet.
Raise the oven temp to 425. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, milk, flour, sugar and zests together until smooth and creamy. On low, add the eggs one at a time followed by the yolks. Last, add the vanilla and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally for an even mix.
Pour the mix into the crust.
For added interest (and because I like to decorate things), I mixed about 1/2 cup of the cheesecake mix with raspberry jam in a separate bowl. I piped concentric circles on the top and feathered the lines.
Bake on the baking sheet for 12 minutes to set the top.
Lower the oven temp to 212 degrees and cook for another hour. Turn the oven off and cool for an hour with the door slightly ajar. I’ve since heard that wedging the door open with an oven mitt works. The slower it cools, the less chance of cracking (mine cracked, by the way. I didn’t use the oven mitt trick and I think my door may have been open too wide).
Finally, transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely before refrigerating the cake for at least 6 hours.
Actually, we couldn’t wait the recommended 6 hours so we cut into it after about 4 and it was just delicious.
For clean cuts, it helps to cut with a knife dipped in hot water. Re-dip your knife between each cut.
I topped my cheesecake with blueberries and raspberries. I stewed about 1 cup of berries over heat with 1/2 cup sugar until I had a syrup, then added the fresh berries.
Here’s the extra bit:
Michel Roux’s recipe left me with extra cheesecake mix which is just too good to be thrown out! So the next day, I made brioche dough. When it had risen and rested properly (overnight), I rolled it out into a rectangle that I cut into approximately 2″ wide strips.
I spread the cream cheese mix over the strips and rolled them gently into spirals, incorporating a couple raspberries into each roll.
I put the spirals in a baking pan, brushed them with egg wash and covered them. I let them rise for about 30 minutes before baking.
I baked my rolls at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, I melted some white chocolate to drizzle over the tops.
OMG! These were even better than the cheesecake, if I do say so myself! I’m a sucker for pastry already but add to that cream cheese, raspberries and white chocolate?!?!
If you try this recipe (either one), give me a shout. I’d love to hear from you!
As always, happy baking!