Cheese Cake – The NYC Original!
New York’s Original Cheese Cake Recipe
Not my recipe, this is from Juniors in Brooklyn. Considered the home of the original NYC Cheese Cake. The main difference is the base of the cake. The original calls for a sponge layer while most others use a crumb base. Which ever one you choose to use, you won’t be disappointed. This recipe is rich and creamy with a slight tang of lemon.
New York style Cheese Cake
For the sponge base
- 60 grams flour plain white - sifted
- 1 teas baking powder
- pinch salt
- 3 lg eggs separated
- 135 grams sugar plain white
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- another pinch salt for the egg whites
For the cream cheese filling
- 680 grams Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 300 grams sugar plain white
- 35 grams corn starch (maizina)
- grated rind from half a lemon
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence best quality
- 2 large eggs
- 175 grams heavy cream
for the sponge layer
- Remove everything from the refrigerator to come up to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Generously butter 2, 20cm (or 2, 8 inch) spring form pans. If you like you can also use 2, 24 cm (or 2, 9 inch) spring form pans.
- Beginning with the sponge layer, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium size bowl.
- In another bowl beat the 3 egg yolks with a hand held mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add all but the 2tbls sugar and beat until the eggs become a pale yellow color and the mixture forms a ribbon, about 5 minutes.
- Resift the flour mixture into the egg mixture and very gently blend them together. Then add the melted butter. It may look like there is too much flour to go into the eggs but if you measured correctly it will go in, just be gentle and patient.
- In a very clean bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and the remaining 2 tbls. of sugar to the stiff peak stage but they should not be dry.
- Fold in 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the beaten egg and flour mixture gently. When incorporated add the rest of the egg whites and fold them in gently.
- Pour this mixture into the well buttered spring form pan and being sure to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
- Bake in the middle of the oven at 180°C, (350°F) for 10 minutes. This may take a minute or two more or less. So keep an eye on it, it should only become a light golden brown. It will puff up but when you remove it from the oven to cool it will go back to looking like a sponge that you are more familiar with. When baked remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Do not remove the sponge from the pan.
For the cream cheese filling
- Place in a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients put 1/4 of the cream cheese, all the cornstarch and 1/4 of the sugar and beat this for about 3 minutes.
- Then add the rest of the cream cheese, sugar, finely grated lemon rind and the vanilla essence and beat until creamy.
- Beat each egg in one at a time. Then beat in the the heavy cream. Don't over do it at this point just enough to mix it all together.
- Pour the mixture into your spring form pan containing your sponge layer, being sure to scrape the bowl clean of all its mixture. Smooth the top and tap the pan gently on the counter top to be sure that you have no air bubbles in the mix.
- Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in heavy aluminum foil to be sure that no water can get into the pan while it is baking.
- Then place the wrapped pan into a roasting tin large enough to hold it and pour in about 3 cm or (1 inch) of hot water. This will stop the cheese cake from cracking while baking.
- Place the pan in your preheated oven, 180°C, (350°F), and bake for an hour. It can take a bit longer. The center of the cake should just jiggle a bit when you shake the pan.
- When baked remove from the oven and the roasting pan and cool on a rack for an hour. Then remove the aluminum foil and wrap the cake, tin and all in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight is better.
The cheese cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months well wrapped and then placed in a plastic bag. I love this recipe and after just coming from NYC and eating cheese cake at the Stage Deli and a couple of other places, this recipe is much better. This is the original recipe from Juniors in Brooklyn, New York. I have changed two things, I have decreased the amount of sugar by 1/2 a cup because I thought it just too sweet and added the lemon rind instead of using lemon oil as in the original recipe. Lemon rind is preferable to any kind of lemon extract you might have. You can make this with a crumb bottom which should be baked for 10 minutes in a low oven, but then is not an authentic NYC cheese cake. Click here for the recipe. Two tips that it are important are to add the eggs to the cream cheese mix one at a time and when you add the cream don't over mix it just mix it enough that it is blended in well. If you are using the crumb mixture instead of the cake bottom it should be baked briefly to hold up to the cream cheese cake which is quite dense and heavy. Baking it will help it to stay in tact when slicing up the cake. Don't trust spring form pans, I always wrap my pans in aluminum foil to avoid any water leaking into the pans while cooking.