Entitled ‘the thick and fudgy cheesecake’, this intensely satisfying lemon cheesecake recipe by Nigel Slater, from his new book A Cook’s Book, is the ultimate comforting pud
If I could have just one cheesecake (an unthinkable scenario), it would be of the deep, fudgy variety, heady with vanilla freckles, so thick and ‘clarty’ it sticks to the roof of your mouth. I developed such a cheesecake for the first volume of The Kitchen Diaries and most of my subsequent ones (sour cherry, 2011, Christmas mincemeat, 2012, and gooseberry cheesecake slice, 2018) have been riffs on that. The exception was the over-the-top white chocolate and peanut butter recipe that was, by my own admission, somewhat hardcore. Sweet, gooey and intensely sticky, it could clog an artery at twenty paces. (It’s fabulous, by the way.) This recipe that follows has stood the test of time. I would never be so arrogant as to say this is the perfect cheesecake. However, it really is rather good and probably closest to what we think of when we want the quiet thud of cheesecake on the table.
IMAGE: ©JONATHAN LOVEKIN
Fudgy Lemon Cheesecake
- 70 g butter
- 200 g Nice or digestive biscuits
- 500 g mascarpone
- 200 g full-fat cream cheese
- 150 g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs plus an extra yolk
- 1 lemon
- 150 ml double cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Crush the biscuits to a fairly fine powder. You can do it in the traditional way, with a plastic bag and a rolling pin, or in a food processor. Tip the biscuits into the melted butter and stir briefly till the crumbs are coated. Set the oven at 140C. Press two-thirds of the buttered crumbs into the base of a deep 20–22cm loose-bottomed springform cake tin. Set aside in a cold place to become firm. The freezer is ideal.
- Put the kettle on. Put the mascarpone, cream cheese, caster sugar, eggs and extra egg yolk in the bowl of a food mixer (you will need the flat beater attachment). Finely grate the lemon zest into the cheese and sugar, then beat until thoroughly mixed. Squeeze the lemon. Fold the cream, juice of the lemon and vanilla extract into the cheesecake mix.
- Wrap the base of the tin with foil, covering the base and sides with a single piece with no joins, then pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin. Lower the cake tin into a roasting tin. Pour enough of the boiled water from the kettle into the tin to come halfway up the sides of the cake tin. Slide carefully into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes then switch off the oven and leave the cake in place to cool.
- When the cake has cooled, chill for a good couple of hours in the fridge. (Overnight won’t hurt.) Undo the spring clip, release the cake from its tin and slide onto a plate. Press the reserved crumbs onto the sides of the cake and serve.
A Cook’s Book by Nigel Slater is published by 4th Estate (£30) and is available to buy here.
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