A classic New York baked cheesecake is a dessert I find hard to pass by, especially when it’s smothered in salted caramel sauce (my other Achilles heel). People tend to find cheesecakes daunting, but this recipe is straightforward if you follow the steps and don't rush between each stage.
Makes: 10 serves
Takes: 1½ hours plus overnight setting time
250g wine biscuits
100g butter, melted
250g mascarpone, at room temperature
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon, zest only
4 Tbsp flour
Salted caramel sauce
1 cup sugar
90g butter, cubed
½ cup cream
1 tsp salt
Method: Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23cm spring-form cake tin.
Place biscuits in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add butter, and process until combined. Press firmly and evenly into the base of the cake tin. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Beat mascarpone, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until smooth. Gently beat in flour and then add eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Pour mixture into the tin, covering the base. Bake for 50–55 minutes, or until just set and the centre is still slightly wobbly. Let the cheesecake cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
To make the caramel sauce, heat sugar in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until sugar has melted into a thick amber-coloured liquid. Add butter and keep stirring until the butter is completely melted. Slowly and carefully drizzle in cream. Allow to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in salt. Allow to cool completely.
When the cheesecake is set, run a hot knife around the inside edge to remove it from the tin. Top with a generous drizzle of salted caramel sauce.