ALMOST NEW YORK CHEESECAKE

Recipe from My Little SoHo Kitchen by Michelle Tchea

Guest recipe – bringing New York to the rest of us who want a bite out of the BIG APPLE

Image – My Little SoHo Kitchen – buy the book 

Almost New York Cheesecake

If using a springform cake pan, be sure to line the crust all the way to the top.

Makes one 22-cm (9-in) round cake

Cream cheese 750 g (1 lb 10 ½ oz)
Sugar 200 g (7 oz)
Eggs 3
Mascarpone cheese 225 g (8 oz)
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
Vanilla extract 1 tsp

Crust
Sweet Biscuits 200 g (7 oz)
Almonds 2 Tbsp
Butter 6 Tbsp, melted

Caramel Shards
Caster sugar 225 g (8 oz)
Water 2 Tbsp

  1. Place a small tray of water on the lowest rack in the oven. Preheat oven to 230˚C (450˚F).
  2. Prepare crust. Blend biscuits and almonds in a food processor until they are crushed and resemble a sandy texture. Alternatively, pound with a mallet. Add half the butter and mix until you get a wet sandy consistency. Add remaining butter and mix until it comes together when you squeeze it between your hands. Press the crumbs firmly onto the bottom of a greased cake pan, or all around the springform pan. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. Prepare filling. In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to mix well after each addition. Add mascarpone cheese, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Scrap the sides of the bowl and continue to mix until just combined and smooth.
  4. Pour filling into prepared crust and smooth the top with the back of a spatula.
  5. Place cheesecake on the rack above the water bath and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce the temperature to 150˚C (300˚F) and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the cheesecake jiggles when moved.
  7. Leave to cool at room temperature before refrigerating.
  8. While waiting for cheesecake to chill, simmer ingredients for caramel shards over low heat until it turns a nice amber-gold colour. Drizzle hot liquid caramel onto a lined baking tray. Leave to cool until it hardens into crunchy caramel shards.
  9. Break caramel shards into pieces and use them to garnish cheesecake before serving.

Note: Depending on the weather, the caramel shards may melt if left at room temperature, so prepare them only when ready to serve.

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