It’s the eve of 7th Wonder’s birthday party and it is definitely calm before the storm. We have been up the sum total of 3 times today – the first at 5:30am so that Lalla could catch her train for her diving training, the second at 7:30am to wake up the lads so they could haul their amps, guitars, music stands, etc to Music Centre and the last so that Potato Bottom and Firstborn could get dressed for their Young Embroiders Guild meeting.
Saturday is definitely not a day of rest for us, especially as Slaveboy is away doing a gig today and we have plenty to do to get the house ready for the party. I still haven’t made 7th Wonder’s birthday cake and the food delivery hasn’t arrived yet. I’ve refrained from telling Slaveboy that I am all out of sugar and that is why I haven’t got round to doing any baking yet. He probably thinks the lack of baking is just a sign of me taking a funny turn.
First thing on the schedule is the baked New York cheesecake. Unlike many baked New York cheesecake recipes which is made with a biscuit crust, this cheesecake involves a Genoise cake layer that forms the base of the cheesecake.
This cheesecake is relatively simple to make. As long as you conquer the Genoise cake (and this you will) and you’re not overzealous with mixing the cream cheese mixture, you’re laughing really. I’ve been using this recipe for years now and it is failproof.
This cheesecake is the reason why Slaveboy is still married to me. That, and my dry witty charm. Slaveboy says I make the best baked New York cheesecake this side of the pond and it is closely rivalled by the one he had when he toured with Alannah Myles (Black Velvet hit in the 90s?) in Canada (there was that incident involving him, her and a real life tiger in a trailer but honestly, that is a whole story in itself).
The recipe is adapted from Gary Rhodes’s recipe.
This makes a 20cm cake
175g golden caster sugar
175g plain flour
50g butter, melted
I tbsp vanilla extract
– Preheat your oven to 200C, or 180C. Grease and dust a 20cm deep round tin.
– Take the eggs and sugar and whisk them together in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. It will double in volume and turn pale and fluffy.
– Take it off the heat but continue to whisk until it the mixture is cold. You might want to do this with a tabletop mixer.
– Sift the flour gradually into the cold mixture, ensuring that the flour is well mixed.
– Pour in the melted butter, making sure that it is evenly distributed. It’s important that you do this or else you’ll end up with fatty floury globules in your cake.
– Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes.
– The cake will be quite springy went cooked and when a cocktail stick in inserted into it, it should come out clean.
– After 10 minutes, transfer it on to a cooling rack.
Baked New York Cheesecake
1cm thick horizontal slice of Genoise cake
225g golden caster sugar
3 tbsp cornflour
675g full fat Philadelphia cream cheese (please)
2 free range eggs, room temperature
I 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste
300ml double cream
– Preheat your oven to 180C.
– If you are like me, cheat death by crawling under your work surface looking for the loose bottom of a 20cm deep cake tin.
– Butter the loose bottomed cake tin.
– Line the bottom of the tin with the Genoise slice.
– Eat the surplus cake. Or freeze. *
– Blend the sugar and cornflour in a large bowl.
– Using a wooden spatula, beat in the cream cheese. You want to make it nice and creamy so if you wish, you an use a hand mixer but make sure you don’t over whip or your cheesecake will split when you take it out of the oven.
– In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla bean paste together. Add to the cream cheese mixture.
– Pour the double cream in gradually and continue to beat until it turns thick and creamy.
– Pour on to the Genoise base layer and place the tin on a lipped baking tray.
– Place the tray in the oven and fill the tray with 4 mm of warm water. This is to ensure that the air in the oven isn’t completely dry.
– Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the top is golden around the edges. The cheesecake should have a little wobble to it, less so like Dawn French, a bit more like Sophie Dahl back when she was a size 16.
– Cool and then chill in the fridge.
– This cheesecake matures beautifully and is perfect on day 3.
* Or you can do what I did which was to brush St. Germaine’s Elderflower liquer on another base layer, whip up the same cream cheese mixture, omitting the vanilla bean paste and substituting it with elderflower cordial and lemon extract. Before putting it in the oven, arrange a punnet of raspberries on top on the cream cheese mixture.
Baked as above.