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New York Cheesecake

I'm really a snob when it comes to good New York cheesecake. I've tried plenty in my lifespan but only a very selective few made the cut. I decided to give it a shot baking one by myself on New Year's Eve (December 31, 2015). It was an arduous task and I swore I'd never make it by myself again. I think part of the reason it was daunting because I made it on a very hot and humid tropical Malaysian day. I couldn't beat the egg whites to froth so I ended up alternating between freezing the mixture and beating it to sad-looking stiff peaks. Anyway, the result turned out to be quite spectacular :) Cheesecake Factory, move aside!!
The recipe was adapted shamelessly from Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess cookbook. 
New York Cheesecake (Yields 12 to 14 heavenly slices)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 1 to 1.5 hours
Set time: 3 hours
 
Ingredients for the...
Base:
250g digestive biscuits to fine crumbs
150g unsalted butter, melted
225g plus 3 tbs caster sugar
24 cm Springform tin

Topping:
2 tbs cornflour
750g cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract (I substituted with 1 tbs of Madagascar pure vanilla bean paste)
150 ml double cream
150 ml sour cream
0.5 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lemon
Icing sugar for dusting. Edible beads for decoration

Procedures:
1. Fill a Ziplock bag with the biscuits and seal it. Use a rolling pin and crush the biscuits
2. Grease tin with butter
3. Mix crushed biscuits, melted butter and 3 tbs sugar. Press mixture into the base of the tin. Put into the fridge for about half an hour to an hour to set
4. Preheat oven to 170 degC
5. In a large bowl, mix together remaining sugar and cornflour. Beat in the cream cheese, egg yolks, and vanilla
6. Slowly pour in both creams, beating constantly
7. Add salt and lemon zest 
8. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold into cheese mixture
9. Scoop onto the chilled base and gently tap the mixture to release any air bubbles
10. Bake for 1 to 1.5 hours without opening the oven door until the cheesecake is golden-brown on top
11. Turn heat off and let the cake stand in the oven for 2 more hours
12. Then open the oven door and let it stand for another hour
13. Serve chilled, dusted with icing sugar and decorated with edible beads



The final result of my painstakingly but wonderfully tasting New York cheesecake. The crack was partly my fault- not placing on a flat surface while baking in the oven. When I removed the cake from the tin to a flat plate, it split in the middle.
The cake is pretty hefty too!
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