DEEPLY DANISH DOWNTIME
I’ve had a weakness for cheesecake since my first visit to America as a little girl. Over time, I’ve made my recipe a bit lighter, cutting the cream cheese with mascarpone and yoghurt. The first time my husband René and I went to New York we visited a diner for cheesecake, and he said mine was better! SERVES 8 CRUST 90g digestive biscuits 40g sugar (I use organic granulated cane sugar) 55g salted butter, melted FILLING 340g cream cheese, at room temperature 120g plain Greek yoghurt 110ml mascarpone, at room temperature 2 large eggs, at room temperature 15g salted butter, melted ½ vanilla pod ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt 1 Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. 2 Make the crust: crumble the biscuits into a medium bowl. Use a pestle or the bottom of a heavy bottle to crush them into fine crumbs. Stir in the sugar. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir until very well combined. (Or grind the crumbled biscuits and mix them with the sugar and butter in a food processor, if you prefer.) Press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 23cm springform tin. Bake until the crust looks a little darker and smells sweet and toasty, 10 to 12 minutes. 3 While the crust bakes, make the filling. Combine the cream cheese with the yoghurt and mascarpone in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. One at a time, beat in the eggs, followed by the melted butter. With a small, sharp knife, split the vanilla pod lengthwise and use the tip of the knife to scrape the seeds into the bowl, saving the pod for another use. Add the salt and mix just until smooth. Do not overbeat the filling. (Tip: for a smooth filling, the cream cheese and mascarpone must be at room temperature; set them on the work surface for an hour or two before you start cooking.) 4 Pour the filling on to the hot crust and smooth the top. Tap the tin on the work surface a few times to release any air bubbles in the filling. Bake until the filling is nearly set in the centre, about 25 minutes. Move the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool completely. The filling will continue to cook even after you take it out of the oven, so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem completely set. You don’t want to let it get brown. 5 When the cheesecake has cooled, cover the tin with clingfilm and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. To serve, run a sharp knife around the inside of the tin to loosen the cheesecake and then remove the sides. Cut the cake into wedges with a thin, sharp knife. Dip the blade of your knife in cold water and wipe it clean between cuts to keep the slices neat.