The most simple, yet delightful dessert: a New York style cheesecake!
I always look for the complicated and involved dessert recipes (as if I’m some professional baker) and then get frustrated that it doesn’t turn out exactly like the Pinterest photo. Then I realized, why not try an easy classic recipe? That’s when I landed on cheesecake.
The best part of cheesecake is that you can dress it up as you like. I love chocolate sauce and fresh cut strawberries on mine. Others prefer a fruit coulis, or perhaps a caramel sauce. Feel free to add whatever you like on your cheesecake, but enjoy the ease and simplicity of this dessert.
Ingredients: Crust 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 2 tbsp sugar, ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the pan. Cheesecake 4 pkg 250 gram packages of cream cheese at room temperature (full fat), 1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest, 3 large whole eggs, 1 large egg yolk, 1 ½ cup sour cream (full fat) divided, 2 tsp lemon juice.
Instructions: Crust: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Stir the graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter until evenly combined and press this into the bottom of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan. Bake this for 10 minutes, then cool. Brush the sides of the pan with a little melted butter. Cheesecake: Increase the oven temperature to 400ºF. Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the 1 ¼ cups of sugar a little at a time, and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl often. Beat in the cornstarch, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat in the eggs one at a time, on a lower speed, and scraping after each addition, then beat in the yolk. Still on low speed, beat in ¾ cup of sour cream. Scrape this over the cooled crust. Bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes at 400ºF and then reduce the oven temperature to 225ºF and bake for 25 more minutes. Turn off the oven, and leave the cheesecake in for an hour, cracking the oven door after 30 minutes. While the cheesecake is baking, prepare the sour cream layer. Stir the remaining ¾ cup of sour cream with the remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar and the lemon juice. Spread this over the top of the cheesecake as soon as it has come out of the oven. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely to room temperature, then carefully run a spatula around the outside of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan, then chill the cheesecake for at least 6 hours before slicing and serving. The cheesecake will keep, refrigerated, for up to 4 days.
Like I said, you can serve this dessert with whatever you like. Here’s the recipe I used for the chocolate sauce.:
Ingredients: 8 ounces semisweet chocolate (finely chopped), 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup light corn syrup
Instructions: Place the chocolate in a metal bowl. Combine the cream and corn syrup in a small heavy nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour the liquid over the chocolate and allow it to sit for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted. Whisk to combine. Allow the sauce to cool slightly, then pour into a bowl or other container. (Stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, the sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks.) To serve, warm the sauce gently in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave.
Serve with coffee, tea, or a glass of riesling icewine.