We made graham crumbs (which were pretty great) on day one in preparation for a New York style cheesecake on day two. Unfortunately we didn’t talk about what makes a cheesecake “New York style”. A quick Google revealed that styles of cheesecake are differentiated by ingredients and the texture/consistency of the final product. In the case of New York style, there is a large proportion of either cream or sour cream resulting in dense, smooth and creamy cheesecake.
Originally graham crackers were made with graham flour, which was milled/ground in a specific way to maintain the nutritional content of the wheat. Unfortunately graham flour is quite expensive, so for the purposes of cheesecake you should just use whole wheat flour. Chef Marco did suggest, however, that graham flour would be great in bread!
- 70 g unsalted butter (relatively cold)
- 20 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 5 g molasses
- 80 g graham flour (or whole wheat flour)
- 2 g baking powder
- 2 g cinnamon
- 20 g almond powder
- Cream together butter, sugar, and molasses until there are no lumps.
- Add in the egg yolk and mix well.
- Mix in the dough. Do not overwork it.
- Roll out dough (which crumbles easily).
- Flour the table when you roll out the crackers.
- Ideally, the dough should be cooled overnight and then rolled out the next day.
- If you’ll be covering the graham flavour (like in a cheesecake), you may as well just use whole wheat flour. The nutritional value of the graham flour is negated by the fact you just built a cheesecake on top of it.
- They don’t really rise or spread, so they can be placed pretty close together on a baking sheet.
The final product was quite excellent, from the graham cracker crust to the strawberry on top! The thicker crust was really nice and balanced the “cake” portion nicely, which cannot be said for a lot of cheesecakes out there. Using a good quality cream cheese also did a lot for the flavour and texture. I would say that this recipe is a keeper 🙂
MARBLED CHEESECAKE (1 X 6″ cake)
“You don’t really bake a cheesecake. You poach a cheesecake.”
- graham cracker crumbs
- 30 g honey
- 50 g butter, melted
- 340 g cream cheese
- 60 g granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 80 g sour cream
- Wrap the bottom of a cake ring with parchment paper and aluminium foil, and place in a baking pan (with edges).
- Crumble the graham crackers, and add honey and melted butter. Mix together well.
- Press the graham mixture down into the cake ring. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes until dry.
- Mix the cream cheese and sugar well. Add in sour cream and mix, then add eggs and mix (using a spatula).
- Pour most of the cheesecake batter into the cake ring, leaving a few tablespoons aside.
- Mix 1 tbsp. of cocoa with a small amount of cold water to bloom it (make a paste), and mix a little bit in with the leftover cheese mixture.
- Spoon some of the chocolate mixture into the cake ring, and use a small stick to marble the top.
- Bake the cake with water in the tray at 300 F until firm (with no colour and no cracking).
- Chef Marco had strong feelings about Philadelphia cream cheese. He strongly recommended Island Farms cream cheese (for all you BC readers).
- You want the cheese and sour cream to be at room temperature.
- The crust can be baked at a variety of temperatures. It’s just about baking until it’s dry. The crackers are already baked, so you want to avoid browning them anymore.
- Apparently, cake rings are vastly superior to springform pans.
- Don’t use a whisk for the cream cheese, as it will whip unwanted air inside.
- Use honey or maple syrup rather than corn syrup.
- You want an even, coagulated jiggle across the top of the cheesecake. Check the cake every 5-10 minutes to monitor the baking progression. A cheesecake doesn’t rise, so it isn’t negatively affected by opening the oven door.
- If you add cocoa to the cheesecake mixture without blooming it, it won’t mix in properly.
- If the top cracks, you’ve probably baked it for too long, used too high a baking temperature, or used Philadelphia cream cheese.
“Please don’t make a cheesecake with 0% anything.”
Spooning chocolate into the cheesecake
The stuff that pastry chefs use on top of cakes to create a glossy and uniform finish.