“Cheesecakes will forever be my favorites. And if you’re lucky, yours too.”
– Anthony T. Hincks
Am I in love with this cheesecake? Do I try and find reasons to make it? Yes and Yes!!!! The New York Baked Cheesecake (or simply Lemon Cheesecake) is indeed a rich and classic baked dessert. The Eggless Lemon (New York Baked) Cheesecake is an eggless rendition of the same for those of you to enjoy who don’t eat eggs.Consider this as your base recipe for most eggless cheesecakes, which would differ in flavor or the base and topping. As for me, I forever keep going back to this classic.
And by the way, I made this cheesecake the traditional way… yes right! Baked it in a waterbath…. long and slow… You see I’m a sucker for the traditional way of cooking and baking. But you could bake it at 180 C without the waterbath too.
Special equipment needed: Spring form pan or you may know it as loose-bottomed pan. This is what it looks like. I used a seven and a half inch one for this. You can easily use 6 inches or 8 inches too.Important Note: Fresh berries are a great topping for this cheesecake (though not a must). On this particular day, I was sadly out of these so I made a lovely Lemon Buttercream and used fresh lemon slices to decorate it. You could top this cheesecake with a ganache or chocolate shavings or plain old icing sugar or nothing at all if you like.
What You Will Need
For the Base:
Graham Crackers – about 12
Powdered Sugar – 2 tbsp (you can actually omit this if you’re okay with less sweet)
Melted Butter – 5 tbsp
Note: Graham Crackers is the more fancy name. It actually means your daily Digestive Biscuits!!
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease and line an 8 inch spring form pan.
How To Make The Base: We begin by making our Biscuit base which will make the base and the side walls of our cheesecake.
To make this, first crush the graham crackers till they are a fine powder. Now mix the melted butter (and sugar, if using) into this and mix it together nicely till you get a mixture that looks like wet sand.
Grease and line the bottom of the pan with baking paper (if you haven’t already) and put this biscuit-butter mixture in it. Press it firmly and evenly all around the base and the sides (as high as you want it to go).
Now pop this in the freezer or fridge and let it stay there to firm up nice and proper while you prepare the cheesecake mixture.
For the Cheesecake:
Cream cheese – 500 gms
Heavy cream – 170 mls
Yogurt – 3/4 cup
Castor sugar – 3/4 cup
Plain Flour – 1/3 cup
Lemon Juice – 2-3 tbsp (or much much more if you are like me!!)
Lemon Zest – 1 tsp (or more, say about 1.5 tbsp, again, if you are like me!)
How To Make The Cheesecake:
We can start on the cheesecake batter now. For this, beat the creamcheese till it is smooth. Put in the sugar in two batches and beat for 15-20 seconds after each addition till it is completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
Add the cream and beat for 15-20 seconds to incorporate the cream well.
Now add the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla and again beat this too for 15-20 seconds to incorporate it well.
Oh just look at how fluffy this looks!!! Yum!!
Now sift in the flour and fold it in.
Take the spring form tin out of the fridge and tip the ready batter into it. Tap it a few times on the counter and level the surface of the batter. As I said earlier, I baked this, long and slow, in a waterbath. That took me close to 45 minutes at 180 C. You could also bake it the regular way at 180 C for about 30-35 minutes.
If you decide to bake it in a waterbath, let me tell you how to do that. Take a long strip of thick aluminium foil. Double it up and wrap it around the lower circumference of the springform pan tightly so that no water gets inside while cooking.
Fill a baking tray with water (about two- thirds) and place the tin in it.
And into the oven it goes. This is what it should look like when its done (refer the picture below).
Let it cool completely and then place it in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 3-4 hours (overnight is best) before you frost your cheesecake.
For The Topping – Lemon Buttercream Frosting:
While your cheesecake simmers and bakes in the steam in your oven, lets get on to this super quick and amazingly delicious Lemon Buttercream Frosting.
What You Will Need:
Butter – 60 gms
Finely Powdered Sugar – 1 1/4 cup
Lemon zest – 1 tsp
Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
Milk – 1 tbsp
Yellow color – 1/2 a drop (optional, I used just a teeny weeny bit).
First, make sure the butter is at room temperature. Beat it for about 20 seconds or till its smooth and shiny.
Add a third of the powdered sugar and beat for about a minute till all the sugar is completely mixed.
Add the milk, lemon juice, and lemon rind and beat for another minute.
Keep beating till the buttercream is very very light (almost white) in colour.
Add the yellow colour. Use just a teeny weeny bit and by that I mean not even a full drop of it!!
With this quantity of colour, I got this beautiful fresh and very pale lemony yellow-green (see the picture below) and I just loved it. Feel free to use more according to your liking. Cover and pop this in the fridge till you are ready to frost your cheesecake.
For this, I shall not say a word and just let the pictures to the talking (except that I made some whipped cream rosettes and used a few fresh lemon slices in addition to the Lemon Buttercream. You could use fresh berries, chocolate shavings or pretty much anything else you fancy!!!). So what are you waiting for? Grab your prettiest apron and a whisk, put on your favorite song and start creating the magic!! Do share your experience of this post and recipe and your views and opinions! I would love to hear them!!