Ingredients

Ready to hit the oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooked –before it falls

Falling nicely

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who can resist this?

Cheese cake in its many forms is part of almost every cuisine and has been for millennia, the Greeks apparently having recipes way back when. I have eaten cheese cake from New York to Istanbul, through most of Europe and right here, an avid fan you might say. There are baked ones—by far my favourite—and fridge ones, depending on your palate, but the traditional ones are all baked. This particular one is by far the BEST I have ever eaten, rich and satisfying, just sweet enough to lift the cheese, just tangy enough to hold it all together. The scorched caramel like topping is heaven, the result of the sugar melting at the high temperature at which it bakes. Whether eaten warm or cold it is fabulous. It can last in the fridge about four or five days but never makes it to that in our house. Try it and see for yourself. Don’t skimp on the ingredients—they make a generous cake which will feed many a hungry mouth. It’s also easy to make –and it’s not supposed to look perfect!!!

This cheesecake is the alter ego to the classic New York–style cheesecake with a press-in cookie crust. Inspired by a Basque version, this is the cheesecake that wants to get burnt, cracked, and cooked at high heat. Which also means this is the cheesecake that’s almost impossible to mess up.

Ingredients

Makes one 25cm cake

Unsalted butter (for pan) – salted works fine too

900g cream cheese, room temperature

1½cups sugar

6large eggs

2cups heavy cream

1tsp. kosher salt

1tsp. vanilla extract

⅓cup all-purpose flour

Sherry (for serving; optional)

 

Equipment – 25cm springform cake pan

Preparation

Step 1

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 200°C. Butter pan, then line with 2 overlapping sheets of parchment, making sure parchment comes at least 5cm above top of pan on all sides. Because the parchment needs to be pleated and creased in some areas to fit in pan, you won’t end up with a clean, smooth outer edge to the cake; that’s okay! Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 2

Beat cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl, until very smooth, no lumps remain, and sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Step 3

Increase speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating each egg 15 seconds before adding the next. Scrape down sides of bowl, then reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add cream, salt, and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

Step 4

Turn off mixer and sift flour evenly over cream cheese mixture. Beat on low speed until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl (yet again) and continue to beat until batter is very smooth, homogenous, and silky, about 10 seconds.

Step 5

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cheesecake until deeply golden brown on top and still very jiggly in the center, 60–65 minutes.

Step 6

Let cool slightly (it will fall drastically as it cools), then unmold. Let cool completely. Carefully peel away parchment from sides of cheesecake. Slice into wedges and serve at room temperature, preferably with a glass of sherry alongside.

Step 7

Do Ahead: Cheesecake be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Be sure to let cheesecake sit for several hours at room temperature to remove chill before serving.. Frankly I LOVE it chilled.