Adapted from Nigella Lawson's The Domestic Goddess Cookbook
I have been eying this recipe for many years. The Domestic Goddess Cookbook is one of the best cookbooks I have for the purposes of flipping through them and lusting after the whimsical and indulgent recipes of Nigella Lawson. Lawson is always portrayed in a bit of a hammy and stereotypical way in my opinion - buxom British beauty presents sexy, naughty recipes, blah, blah... But I have always loved her cookbooks and found the recipes both aspirational and approachable at the same time. This cheesecake intrigued me because of the thin white layer on top of it - it really did seem more sophisticated and "London" than the classic dense American cheesecake (which I admit I am not a big fan, you will never find me ordering the cheesecake for dessert). This was a great simple recipe where the cheese really shines through, only helped in its starring duties with the flavors of lemon and vanilla. It is light rather than those dense bricks of cheese and sugar you get at the Cheesecake Factory (with the exception of their yummy Key Lime Cheesecake...) And the layer or sour cream on top does add a certain something. Make this when you want something simple and comforting but sophisticated too. This is a grown up's cheesecake.
5 ounces graham crackers
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
20 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until they are crumbs.
- Add the unsalted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moist.
- Pour the crumbs out into an 8 inch spring form pan and press the crumbs into the base of the pan so it forms a crust. The crust should just be on the bottom and come up the sides just a little.
- Put in the fridge to set.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Beat the cream cheese with the paddle attachment of a standing mixture until light and fluffy on low speed.
- Add the sugar and beat until combined.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks and continue to beat.
- Finally add the vanilla and lemon juice and beat until incorporated.
- At this point, boil a kettle full of water as we will be cooking the cheesecake in a water bath.
- Pour the cheese mixture into springform pan.
- Wrap the pan along the outside with a double layer of tin foil.
- Put the pan in a roasting pan and carefully pour the boiling water around it.
- Put the pan in the oven and bake for 50 minutes until set in the middle.
- Mix the sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
- Spread it on top of the baked cake and then continue to bake the cake for 10 more minutes.
- Take out of the oven and cool on a rack until completely cool, about 30 minutes.
- Put in the fridge to chill completely.
- Unmold the cake carefully when you are ready to serve. Run a warm knife around the edge of the pan before loosening the spring form pan.