Most of my best baking has been done following a conversation with my wife. I got in to baking New York Cheesecakes following a request from her to bake one for her birthday. Last night we were talking about family favourite recipes and, as it seems no cookery blog is complete without a long introduction to the recipe, here goes. My late father-in-law loved brown bread ice cream. Such a gorgeous malty taste with a nice bit of crunch from the breadcrumbs. Could I replicate that taste and texture with cheesecake? Probably…
Quick bit of research and it turns out the breadcrumbs aren’t that difficult to do, the malty taste can come from the Horlics (*Other malt beverages are available), and I reckon Malted Milk biscuits will make the perfect base.
Right. Quick spin around the ingredients, Clive, then back to me.
Oven to 180C.
- 250g brown bread. I’ve a really good deli a couple of miles away, their date and walnut bread hit the spot perfectly. Blitz it up into largeish crumbs. Not a fine powder, not chunks.
- 50g butter. Melted. Then cooked a bit more so it goes brown and nutty, just like they needed for the Financiers on the Bake Off last night.
- pinch of salt
- very generous pinch of cinnamon.
Melt the butter in a largeish pan, once it’s foamed and started to go nice and nutty, stir in everything else. Mix well, spread on a baking tray, bake it for half an hour, stirring every 10 minutes so it doesn’t go burnt on the top, uncooked on the bottom. Leave to cool while you get on with…
- 175g (ish, err on the side of generous) Malted Milk biscuits, crushed to an even, breadcrumb consistency.
- 50g butter, melted.
The usual cheesecake base here, no tricks, nothing unusual. Though you could sling in some more cinnamon if you wanted. Mix butter with biscuits, spread across the base of your 23cm diameter, spring-sided cheesecake tin, bake for 10 minutes at the 180C the oven is already set to.
And this is where the story really starts…
- 720g Philadelphia cream cheese. Full fat. No substitutions, alterations, swap-outs, or store’s-own-brand-alternatives. This is the good stuff, this never fails.
- 250g marscapone. Any old marscapone will do. No elitism here.
- 300ml soured cream.
- 75g each of
- Caster sugar
- Soft dark brown sugar
- Horlics or other malted beverage powder
- 4 eggs
- Half the breadcrumbs you made earlier
I’ve been doing this a while now, and I think this is about the right order
Put the Philly, the marscapone, the sugars, and the Horlics in a bowl and mix. You might have some lumps of soft dark brown sugar in the mix, don’t panic about that. All adds to the texture of the cheesecake in the end.
Crack in the eggs, all at once, then mix – carefully so you don’t over-mix it – until they’re blended in. Go around the edge of the bowl with a spatula, make sure you’ve got everything. Add the soured cream and mix that in. Finally, add in the breadcrumbs, stir so they’re evenly distributed, then pour onto the base.
Bake for 45, 46 minutes at the aforementioned 180C. Open the oven a crack, switch it off, let the cheesecake cool in there for a while before transferring to a fridge to chill overnight.
Serving tip? Run your knife under boiling water before making each cut. They’ll be razor-smooth.
I don’t know whether it tastes like brown bread ice cream, but it is wonderfully caramelly, slightly crunchy from the breadcrumbs, and is just plain delicious.
Share and enjoy!