February 13, 2014

Martha Stewart's New York style Cheesecake

I meant to post this over the weekend but it's been really hectic around here (and I've got really uncooperative wifi at the moment). Sunday was especially crazy with the hot windy weather causing a huge fire to flare up near my house. Originally it was headed in our direction, so everyone but my Dad and brother in law evacuated to my sister's house. Luckily (for us) the wind changed not long after we'd left and caused the fire to head away from us. We spent the day watching the ABC news channel and listening to the water bombers (helicopters) fly back and forth over the house and trying to entertain 5 very young kids.
 Mum, Dad and I were came home Sunday night and it was so eerie driving through the burnt area and seeing the whole horizon glowing from the fire. On the one hand we were so so lucky that the wind changed and sent the fire in a different direction but I feel terrible for all those other people who have been effected by the fires. They're still going after a couple of days and I'm just hoping that all those amazing fire-fighters are able to put them out.
It's crazy to think only a day before all of this, on Saturday, we were all together as a family celebrating my Mum's birthday. Mum loves cheesecakes so I decided to try this Martha Stewart recipe for New York style cheesecake. There's a lot of cream cheese in this and it makes a huge cheesecake so you could probably half the recipe to make a smaller one. It's a great recipe though, and it went perfectly with the ice cream and strawberries one of my sisters brought over. 
1 packet of Marie biscuits
6 tbsp butter, melted; plus more for pan
2 tbsp sugar
Pinch salt
3.5 lb (1.5kg) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Butter the sides of a large springform pan. Wrap exterior of pan (including base) in a double layer of foil.
2. To make the crust, process biscuits in a food processor until fine. Combine biscuit crumbs, butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Transfer mixture to the pan and pat into an even layer. Freeze the dough in the pan for about 15 minutes. Plan the pan on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is firm to touch and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire wrack to cool completely.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; don't over mix.
5. Pour cream cheese filling into the prepared pan. Set pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
6. Bake for 45 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 160 degrees Celsius. Continue baking until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in the centre, about 30 minutes more. Turn off oven; leave the cake in the oven with the door slightly ajar, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack; let cake cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 hours or overnight. Before unmolding, run a knife around the edge of the cake.

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