Thursday, 10 May 2012

ITTP Prague TEFL: Weekly Recipe

(Click on photo to enlarge)

New York Cheesecake

Whenever we take the trip over the pond to NY we always try to visit the Tick Tock Diner, located on the Ground floor of the New Yorker Hotel (481 8th Avenue). They serve up a delicious strawberry cheesecake which is by far the best I've had. Inspired by recent memories of NYC, I decided to make a cheesecake from scratch for this week's recipe. The Tick Tock Diner adds whole strawberries to their cheesecakes. I decided instead to go with a strawberry sauce with grated dark chocolate on the top:


For the cake:

15 crushed digestive biscuits (Graham crackers will also do)
2 tablespoons butter
4 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese (approx 900 grams in total)
1 and a half cups of sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all purpose flour (I used Hladka flour)
A standard packet of dark chocolate (I used one with a 74% cacao ratio).

For the sauce:

2 pints fresh strawberries
Half cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons brandy (I used Caribbean Coconut Rum instead)


For the cake:

Preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F). Grease a 9 inch springform pan (I used butter). In a medium bowl mix the biscuit crumbs with melted butter and press onto the bottom of the springform pan.
In a large bowl mix the cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing enough to incorporate (don't overdo the mixing). Mix in the sour cream, vanilla, flour until smooth. Pour filling into the prepared crust of biscuits.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and let the cake cool in the oven with the door closed for around 6 hours (this prevents cracking). Transfer to the fridge and chill until serving.

Straight from the oven and ready to chill (please click on image to enlarge)

For the sauce:

Cut the strawberries into quarters. In a pan combine with the sugar, water, zest, lemon juice and cook on a medium heat until the berries are soft and the liquid is almost thick (approx 30 minutes). Stir in the brandy a minute before taking the pan off the heat.

Before serving, grate the dark chocolate over the top of the cake.

(Click photo to enlarge)

Cooking tip:

For the cake:

You should definitely be careful not to over beat the mixture or you might mess up the consistency of the cake. Also, over beating may lead to a cracking of the cake in the oven. For this cake I used a metal spoon to mix the cream cheese with the sugar, and used a wooden spoon from then on. It is also hugely important to cook the cake for ONLY the suggested 60 minutes and when the hour is up DON'T open the oven door. Leave it. Just turn off the heat and leave it in there until the 6 hours are up and when it is then fine to take the cake out for chilling.

When you grate the chocolate, make sure to grate from a height so that the cake is evenly covered.

Leave the cake in the fridge for a day before eating, so that the cake has time to mature.

Pimp it up:

Next time I'm going to reserve some strawberries and place them halved on the cake for decoration. Other than that, I really don't feel that this cake needs a pimp up. Alternatives to this recipe would be to add different toppings because the beauty of this purists NY cheesecake is that it is so versatile with other flavors.

Hope it helps!

Dobrou chut!/Bon appetit!

Neville :-)