Every once in a while you come across a recipe that’s perfect. Just bloody perfect. Well, it is when you hit the Mk IV, anyway. And my New York cheesecake was just that. Or so I thought. Sure, I’ve added a few ingredients, dropped some crystallized ginger into the biscuit base, added half a jar of marmalade in the main cheesecake mix. And yet, I figured it was pretty much spot on.
“Can you make a chocolate cheesecake?” I was asked. One quick discussion with my technical advisor (my wife, baker par excellence, and source of most of my good ideas) and yes. Yes, I think I can…
- 7oz Bourbon biscuits (or as near as you can get, better over than under), blitzed to a fine crumb
- 3oz butter, melted
Mix those 2 together, press into the base of your 9inch (23cm) spring-sided pan and bake at 180C for 10 minutes.
Then you’ll need 2 bowls. Into 1…
- 750g full fat cream cheese (2 x 375g pots)
- 250g ish Marscapone (1 1/2 of the Tesco 180g pots, I can’t usually find them in Sainsburys)
- 9oz caster sugar (see how I’m mix and matching grams and ounces? It’s the consistency that matters and this works every time)
- 4 eggs
- 3oz cocoa powder, sieved to remove lumps.
Mix together the cream cheese, the Marscapone, and the caster sugar. Once you’ve got a nice smooth, even mix, add in the eggs one at a time. Mix thoroughly but don’t over-beat it (that’s one of my notes from the Mk II). Finally, mix through the cocoa powder.
In the 2nd bowl…
- 300ml soured cream
- 40g cornflour, sieved
Mix those two together to a smooth blend. Then fold that into the main cheesecake mix.
By about now, the 10 minutes should be up and the base baked. Leave the oven on, you’ll need it in a mo.
Pour the mix into the spring-sided tin, smooth over the top. You should have something that looks like this:
Into the oven it goes, middle shelf, bake for 45 minutes and this is where it gets techincal…
Switch off the oven, crack the door open a fraction, and leave it to cool down for a couple or 3 hours. Take it out of the oven, run a blunt knife around the inside of the tin to separate it from the metal. Take the spring-side away. Now make the ganache…
- 150ml double cream, heated to near-boiling
- 140g dark chocolate. Bourneville is perfect, chopped into tiny little bits.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in a bowl, stir until it’s all melted together, then place the whole thing into a large tub of cold water to cool it down and thicken it up.
Once it’s cooler and thicker, pour it over the top of the chesecake, whack the whole thing in the fridge overnight to chill. This is what turns it from an excellent dish into something truly amazing. Something happens with that overnight chill that gives it a final creamy texture, really finishes the job properly. It’s amazing.
Then cut yourself a slice and enjoy the breakfast of champions.