A basic cheese cake recipe made with the addition of mascarpone cheese for that dense super rich texture. If you prefer more traditional, you can certainly use a different cream. The secret to any good cheese cake is not to over whip it. Also by cooking it a long time at a low temperature you get a better result and reduce any likely hood of cracks. Garnish with fruit, cream or a berry coulis, either way you will enjoy this amazing cheese cake. See my berry coulis recipe below.
9oz- 250g digestive or shortbread biscuits
3 tbsp - 60g unsalted butter, melted
2.2lb – 1kg cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cup – 300g sugar (plus one tbsp for crumbs)
1/3 cup - 50g corn flour
3 eggs, plus 3 extra egg yolks (room temperature)
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 ½ cup 350g mascarpone cheese (or use sour cream or heavy cream)
Begin this recipe 1 day ahead. You will need a 9 inch – 23 cm spring form cake pan or similar.
Preheat the oven to 300°F – 150°C. Lightly butter a 24cm spring form cake pan and line the base with parchment paper. Make a cartouche or place the paper between the spring form bottom.
Place the biscuits in a Ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin or by hand to have uneven crumbs. You can also do it in a food processor for a more even look. Place in a mixing bowl, add melted butter and 1 tbsp sugar. Press the biscuit mixture into the base of the prepared pan and flatten using a spoon then pack tight using a glass. Blind bake 10 minutes at 300°F – 150°C for slight toasty flavour.
To make the filling, place the cream cheese, sugar and corn flour, in a mixer using the beater (not the whisk) at medium speed until smooth (no granular sugar left) about 2 to 3 minutes.
Break the eggs in a jug, ensure there are no egg shells. Turn mixer on medium low and pour the eggs one at a time, until well combined.
Add the mascarpone (or other cream), vanilla extract, lemon zest, juice and a pinch of salt. Mix well on medium speed until well combined. Tap bowl on bench several time s to remove any air bubbles.
Butter the top of the cake pan above the biscuit crumbs. Pour the filling over the prepared base, spread out evenly with a spatula. Give the cake pan a few taps and turns for even spread. Flatten and smoothen with a spatula.
Wrap the bottom of the cake pan with two or three sheets of foil to seal it from the water.
Line a baking tray with a kitchen towel. Place the cake in the baking tray and into the preheated oven. Add boiling water and place on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 70 minutes at 270°F – 130°C.
Once the 70 minutes is up and the cake is cooked, turn oven off. Don’t open the door, leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool in the switched-off oven for at least a further 2 hours or until completely set.
After 2 or 3 hours, remove from oven, transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover cake pan with plastic wrap, then chill for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.
Remove cake from pan by heating the outside with a flame, then cut into slices with a warm knife (dipped in hot water and wiped dry) and serve with a berry coulis.
There should be a small jiggle in the centre once it's cooked. If it's all set, then it will most likely crack.
If you have a cooking thermometer, when the cheesecake reaches a temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), it should be removed from the oven. However, poking it with a probe may cause it to crack, which is not an issue if you cover it with cream or fruit. But if you want a smooth top then best to avoid it.
For the sugar you can use less, 1 cup - 200g if you prefer less sweet, for me that’s perfect, as we all need less sugar.
If you use a heavy cream (thickened cream) the mixture may appear runnier, that's fine it will still set.