There’s always a draw in the processed food aisle, even if you’ve disavowed them all in favor of the whole grain food products (fresh produce notwithstanding, do you seriously trust people who trumpet “organic cane sugar” on those ‘recycled’ food cartons?). Nostalgia is the most poignant it seems, although I’d simply profess an occasional weakness for artificial flavors and deadly smooth food spreads.
Also, countless other incarnations of the ubiquitous New York Cheesecake exists, so I shall steer clear of that category and hand you one that calls for nutella. I’ve also decided that some fruity pebbles will be part of the mix in the base. It calls to mind a reckless childhood habit of mixing all sorts of food at hand, and it makes for a gloriously speckled base that accentuates the hints of milkiness in the cake. Overall, the cake won’t taste that rich in nutella so if you feel up for it, change the topping; use 100ml of sour cream and 200g of nutella instead.
Or if you’re lazy, spread the Nutella all over.
- 200 grams digestive biscuits
- 50 grams fruity pebbles (look out for the Flintstone’s cereal)
- 50 grams unsalted butter, softened and thawed
- 500 grams cream cheese (leave it at room temperature to let it soften, at least 1 hour)
- 3 medium eggs
- 3 medium egg yolks
- 200 grams caster sugar (fine sugar is fine too)
- 125 ml sour cream (“light” versions are alright)
- 300 grams Nutella
- 250 ml sour cream
- 30 grams soft light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Process the biscuits, fruity pebbles and butter for the base in a food processor. You can also bash and mix them in a ziploc bag. Yes, no holds barred.
- Once they come together in a clump, turn it out into a 23cm springform cake pan and press into the bottom and up the sides. I use an ordinary circular cake pan and it works fine too.
- Bake this base for 10 mins in the oven. After 10 mins, take it out and leave it to cool in its pan.
- Process the filling in the cleaned or wiped-out processor bowl, putting in the cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks, sugar, sour cream and nutella and whizzing to a smooth mixture. A stand mixer fitted with the paddle would work too. I wouldn’t recommend mixing by hand.
- Pour and scrape the filling into the biscuit base of the springform cake pan and bake for 1 hour, checking after 50 minutes. The top – only – should feel set and dry.
- Take the cheesecake out of the oven while you make the topping.
- Warm the sour cream and chocolate with the brown sugar gently in a small saucepan over a low heat, whisking to blend in the chocolate as it melts, and then take off the heat.
- Spoon and spread the topping very gently over the top of the cheesecake, being as careful as you can in case you break the surface of the cheesecake. (not that anything bad will happen; you’ll just have chocolate marbling the cake a bit.)
- Put it back in the oven for a final 10 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, let the cheesecake cool in its tin and then cover and put into the fridge overnight.
- To extract the cheesecake, allow it to stand at room temperature for a while before releasing it from the springform. For those using an ordinary cake pan, like me, run the back of a knife along the edge of the pan, taking care to do it slowly, else you end up with jagged edges. Place a layer of cling wrap and then a flat plate on top of the cake, and with some pressure on the plate, invert the pan to let the cake fall onto the plate. Of course, go ahead and invert it again on whatever you’re resting the cake on.
Trust me. Your cheese would have been moldy by the time you are done smoothing it out with a whisk. Use a food processor or a stand mixer. And yes, life is never perfect and streaks of eggs and cream cheese get left behind.
Ignore the pricks left by a fork. I had gone for a slight variation but you should get something that looks vaguely like this.