I'm a BIG cheesecake fan! I mean, if there's someone who doesn't like cheesecakes, then I'm sorry I don't want to know that person!
The luscious, creamy, smooth, and utterly delicious treat that Cheesecakes are, I can have them every single day of my entire life. Which is why, it's kind of a surprise that it took me so long to do this.
Maybe because I was shit scared of making them on my own. The first time I made a cheesecake was ages ago and it hadn't out out that good. Instead of a creamy, airy, cheesy yet light melt-in-your-mouth feel it should give, mine somehow turned out to be super grainy and with a real bad mouth feel. Come to think of it, maybe I beat the mixture for too long, or maybe one of the ingredients was bad ti begin with.
Anyhoo, that scared me for life. Or so I thought.
Recently after I recovered from Covid-19, I was looking forward to start baking again in the Dohful studio. And I wanted to have something really out of this world, so I decided to give our old friend - the Cheesecake - another try.
What is a Cheesecake?
As the name suggests, a Cheesecake is a cake made primarily of Cheese. The 'Cheese' being used here is called Cream Cheese and it is a fresh pasty, creamy cheese that is perfect for use in desserts.
A cheesecake usually consists of three layers -
- The bottom most crust layer of crushed biscuits mixed with butter for a crumbly, crunchy texture.
- The middle and the thickest layer containing that luscious, creamy, to-die-for cheese filling.
- And the topmost layer of fresh fruit/compote (optional).
If you ask me, this is a perfect amalgamation of tangy, sweet, creamy, smooth, soft, biscuity, fruity, and overall D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S dessert that no one can pass!
Cheesecakes come in different categories - Baked, No-Bake, and Burnt. Yes, that last one is a category in itself too! And we happened to have made the first Eggless Basque Burnt Cheesecake on the Internet. Do check it out, if you haven't.
But today, we are going to be making probably the most commonly known cheesecake in the world - New York Style Cheesecake.
What is a New York Style Cheesecake?
A New York Style Cheesecake is typically a Baked Cheesecake with the biscuity crust extending up on the sides. Personally, I'm more of a crusts-should-only-be-at-the-bottom kinda gal, so my version of the New York Baked Cheesecake does not have a crust on the sides. But you can always take a call on that one!
Another classic identification of the New York style cheesecake is the beautiful caramelised top that you get in this one. Though just classic to these specific kinds of cheesecakes, let me tell you I love that slight golden hue on all baked cheesecakes.
In fact, IMO, that is how you differentiate a cheesecake Baked from the No-Bake one.
New York Style Cheesecake Recipe (Eggless)
Baking Equipment Needed
Springform Cake Pan - I have used a 7 inch cake pan here, but since I didn't have a springform one, I used my removable cake pan.
Electric Whisk- Though it can be done with a hand whisk as well, I find that electric whisk is more adapt to make the mixture all smooth and creamy without too much mixing taking place.
Mixing Bowls - Take a medium sized mixing bowl to mix everything properly and to prevent any fallout.
Mason Jar - To make our Sour Cream in.
Silicon Spatula - For mixing & folding by hand.
Parchment Paper - Lining the pan so that the bars come out properly.
- Digestive Biscuits - 5-6 biscuits
- Melted Butter - 30 g
- Cream Cheese - 230 g
- Fresh Cream (~25% Fat) - 100 g
- Heavy Cream (~35% Fat) - 70 g
- Condensed Milk - 70 g
- Sugar - 40 g
- Cornflour - 10 g
- Lemon Juice - 15 g
1. Preheat your oven to 170℃.
2. We start with preparing our Sour Cream. This is what gives our cheesecake a more deepened tangy flavour along with the lemon juice. Sour cream is easily available in many countries, however in India its not available to buy directly. Therefore we use fresh cream to make our Sour Cream.
We take 100 g fresh cream (Amul cream) and mix it with 5 g lemon juice (about half a lemon) and vigorously shake both these together in a mason jar. This will be kept on your counter undisturbed for minimum of 15 min or till its needed again.
3. Now, we first make the crust of the cheesecake. For that, crush 5-6 digestive biscuits in a food processor/grinder till they are evenly ground. Add melted butter to the crushed biscuits and mix properly. The mixture should not be too wet but should come together when pressed. This will form the bottom crust of the cheesecake.
4. In a lined springform baking pan (lined both at the bottom and the sides), put the biscuit and butter mixture and press it down using a spatula or the bottom of a glass to form a tightly compacted crust at the bottom. Keep it aside.
5. Take Cream Cheese in a bowl and whisk it up for just 15 sec. This is to loosen it up a bit. Add Sugar and whisk again for 30 secs. Do remember to use all ingredients from here on at room temperature!
6. Next we add the condensed milk (milkmaid) to the bowl and mix again for 20-30 secs. We are not mixing too much at a time because we don't want to infuse air into the mixture. Also, apart from mixing with the electric mixer, also fold mixture and scrape the sides of the bowl using a spatula from time to time.
7. Then goes in the Sour Cream and Heavy Cream, mixing after add each of them.
8. Next, we put the cornflour and mix again, making sure no lumps remain at the end.
9. Lastly, goes the lemon juice and mix for just 15 seconds. We do not mix the batter too much after putting the lemon juice in. The consistency of the batter would be on slightly on the thicker side, not free flowing.
10. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the biscuit and butter crust that we had made earlier and tap it out thoroughly. We want the batter to even out in the pan and remove any air bubbles so formed during the mixing process.
11. This cheesecake will be baked in a water bath. Because the baked cheesecake loves a medium hot & humid environment to be baked in. To create the water bath, we put the cake pan in a baking tray with some water in it. But before we put it in the water bath, we need to make sure that the cake pan is sealed properly and water will not seep inside the pan.
So I usually place my cheesecake pan in another cake pan of similar/larger size which is then put on the tray with water in it.
12. Bake the ensemble at 170℃ for 40 mins without opening the oven door even once. Then after 40 mins, switch the oven off and let it cool down inside the oven itself for 40 more mins. Please do not open the oven door even once.
13. After 40 mins, take the cheesecake out of the oven. It's okay if it's still a bit wobbly at this point. Place the cheesecake on a wire rack and let it come to room temperature.
14. After it reaches room temperature, refrigerate the cheesecake for 3-4 hrs or overnight before serving cold. Phew! I know, it takes a lot of time for us to enjoy this cheesecake even after its done baking, but trust me its worth all that wait.
The cheesecake stays in your refrigerator for 4-5 days easily. Enjoy!