Friday, June 19, 2009

Nigella's gleaming maple cheesecake

Are you paying attention?

I have something important to announce. I always have your best interests at heart and, in the name of the greater good I simply had to try out this cheesecake recipe. Now, here is the important part. Are you listening? I have just one thing to say and it is of vital importance...


It will do you good, I promise... Ok, so perhaps it won't actually physically do you much good, but I'm fairly sure that it will release endorphins or some other equally mood-enhancing energies.

I have made a Nigella cheesecake before and, at the time, waxed lyrical about its perfect silky texture. I'm certain that cooking a cheesecake in a waterbath is the only way to achieve such sensuous perfection and I vow never to go back. This one is made very much the same way - you simply need to make sure that the tin is completely watertight by wrapping it in several layers of foil. It really is worth it.

I've always loved the flavour of maple syrup since first discovering it when a Canadian friend of the family came to stay when I was a child and bought gallons of the stuff as a present. In this cheesecake, the maple effect is two-fold. First there is a gentle maple flavour within the cheesecake itself and then, the entire thing is liberally doused with the stuff. This gives the finished pud a glorious shiny sheen and is decadent sweet contrast to the bite of the filling.

Ideally, you should make this the night before you want to eat it (and up to two days ahead if you want to get ahead!). Importantly, the cream cheese really must be room temperature if you are to achieve that silky Nirvana for which you've been searching.

I served this at a dinner party I held and even managed to win over a couple of cheesecake-haters. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll be thrilled with the results...

Gleaming Maple Cheesecake
from 'Nigella's Christmas'
Serves 8


For the base:
8 digestive biscuits
75g pecan halves
75g soft butter

For the filling:
3 x 200g packets of cream cheese, at room temperature (this is VITAL)
50g sugar
2 tsp cornflour
125g maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
4 eggs
1/2 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 170C.

2. Blitz biscuits in food processor, add the pecans and do the same until you have crumbs. Add the butter and whizz until it all comes together. Press into the bottom of a 20cm springform tin and pop in the fridge to chill.

3. Clean food processor. Then add cream cheese, sugar, maple syrup, cornflour. Whizz together and with the motor running, add the eggs one at a time. Add vinegar/lemon juice and mix until you have a smooth batter.

4. Take tin out of fridge and line the outside of the tin with a double layer of extra strength foil - bring it right round under the base and up the sides. If you are worried, you could wrap a layer of ovenproof cling film before doing the foil.

5. Pour in the filling mixture and pop in a roasting tin. Boil the kettle and fill the tin until the water comes half-way up the side of the tin. Bake in the oven for around 1 1/4 hours, until the cheesecake is set on top but still wobbles a little in the middle.

6. Take roasting tin out of the oven and carefully lift out the cheesecake. Peel away the foil layers and cool on a wire rack. Once cool, chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably over night.

7. Let it come to room temperature before releasing from tin when ready to serve. Pop on a serving platter and pour maple syrup all over the top!

I am away on holiday for the next 10 days - we're off to Tuscany! Normal service will resume on my return...


♥Rosie♥ said...

Antonia you have my undivided attention on this cheesecake!! It looks absolutely gorgeous!

I have had this recipe bookmarked for ages to bake *sigh* I could kick myself now for not baking it yet!!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Oops *blush* forgot to mention - have a great holiday in Tuscany!

Beth said...

Looks absolutely divine. I bookmarked this at Christmas and really must make it!

Dan said...

I love a bit of cheesecake and that one looks jaw droppingly good. I'd pay good money for that - but as you've so thoughtfully provided the recipe - I'll have to give it a try soon. Thanks!

Katie said...

Wow it looks fabulous! So smooth and creamy - send a slice my way

CookiePie said...

What a gorgeous cheesecake! I love the idea of using maple - sublime!

C said...

Wow, that really does look stunning, and I love the top photo - it gleams perfectly!

I love cheesecake, but don't often make it because it tends to feed a crowd. I bet your dinner guests loved it!

Margaret said...

The cheesecake looks divine.
I hadn't heard of cooking cheesecake in a water bath until I read her book and then cooked one for myself - just to test it out really!

Lucy said...

Mmm! This cheesecake would certainly have the wow factor when you bring it to any table - looks fantastic :D Enjoy your lovely holiday!

James said...

Everyone loves cheesecake. This one looks great!

I think some people are put off by bad ready made (frozen) ones brought in the supermarket. Give them a homemade one like this and they're always won over.....

Sam said...

I love maple syrup, this cheesecake looks amazing!

SarahKate said...

Holy moly, that looks amazing. It is my experience that Nigella's cakes never fail, and it looks like yours was a huge success. But... where did you find maple syrup?

Katiecakes said...

wow, shiny shiny! I don't think I'd be able to eat it, it's just too darn pretty!

Katie xox

Anne said...

I snagged this a while back to try and you have thoroughly convinced me I must make very soon, I just need to get some more maple syrup in!

Maria♥ said...

Antonia, this cheesecake is indeed a must bake! I made this at Christmas and it is amazing. Yours looks wonderful.


Paul said...

Nice blog and great recipe!

Nes said...

1 1/4 hours seems too long, the top started turning brown... I stopped it after 40 minutes and put in the fridge, hope the middle sets...