How (NOT) to make a New York Cheesecake

I had friends coming for the day. I’d managed to organise the food (very quickly) that morning. I’d even worked out what pudding I was going to make. It was going to be a cheesecake. A baked New York one. I’d read what ingredients I needed from the Good Food Guide and I was off.


I couldn’t be bothered to make anything else homemade. I didn’t have time.  I was hungover on Friday which stopped me from cleaning the house and doing the shopping for the occasion, so Saturday morning was a case of go, go, go!

On reading the ingredients I noticed all I needed was cream cheese, lemon juice and biscuits.  I bought them and was going to follow the recipe to the letter this time, no making stuff up, no substitutes.

“Oh yeah, I’m going to make a delicious cheesecake and we can stuff our faces with it!” or so I thought.

My tips for making a cheesecake:

1. Pick a recipe and stick to it

I didn’t, I looked at the Good Food Guide in the morning and decided in the afternoon I’d follow Jamie Oliver.

2. Write down the ingredients you need

Besides the fact that I’d changed the recipe, I hadn’t written down the quantities of cream cheese required.  School boy error. I didn’t have nearly enough, only a 1/4 in fact and had to adjust the recipe accordingly.  The result, a lot of base and very little cheesecake mix on top.

3. When adjusting  a recipe, do so with all the ingredients

Obviously I didn’t.  I’d already melted the butter to put into the biscuit mixture before realising I didn’t have enough mixture for the topping.  The base was extremely thick and very buttery.

4. Pay attention to cooking times

Very important with a cheesecake it seems.  Too little and it’s runny, too long and it’s what I would call caramelised. My husband on the other hand, would call it burnt.

5. A cheesecake alone is not sufficient.

A New York cheesecake needs something else, a coulis of some sort.  It’s sweet and needs something to cut through it like raspberries or strawberries.  Someone did suggest jam but that seemed a bit extreme. Possibly not in hindsight!

All of that aside the cheesecake wasn’t a complete flop.  What I’d managed to shove on a plate did taste good, just a little “could have done better…….a lot better, but it’s ok“.

This Jamie recipe looked far superior to the Good Food Guide, so if I feel a need to create another one (very unlikely) it’ll be Jamie.