New York Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

1 & 1/2 hours, plus chilling time
1 large cheesecake, approximately 20 slices

For the crust:
1 pack Pavlides Chocolate Digestive Cookies, about 1 & 1/2 cups of crumbs when processed
1/2 cup Foodsaver White Sugar
1/2 cup unsalted walnuts, processed into small crumbs*
1/2 cup melted Lurpak Unsalted Butter, extra for greasing

For the filling:
.9 kg of Arla Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 & 1/2 cups Foodsaver White Sugar
3/4 cup cow’s milk, 1.5% at room temperature*
4 eggs, at room temperature*
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature*
1/2 tablespoon vanilla powder*
1/4 cup all purpose flour*

For the sour cherry topping:
2 cups Ardo Sour Cherries
1/3 cup Foodaver White Sugar
2/3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice*
1 teaspoon cornstarch*
pinch of vanilla powder*
pinch of Maldon Sea Salt

* all ingredients available at Foodsaver Stores except those marked with an *

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1. Using butter, grease the sides of a springform pan, 24 cm in diameter.

2. Preheat the oven to 175C.

3. In a food processor, process the walnuts until they resemble small, fine crumbs. Place into a large bowl.

4. In a food processor, process the digestive cookies by pressing the pulse button, until they resemble cookie crumbs. Do not over process, as the chocolate will melt.

5. Mix the cookie crumbs, walnut crumbs, white sugar and melted butter together. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of the springform pan creating the base of your cheesecake. Set aside.

6. In a large mixing bowl using a hand held mixer, mix together the cream cheese with sugar until smooth – about 1 minute. Add in the milk and mix together – about 30 seconds. Add in the eggs one at a time, just mixing enough to incorporate. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla powder, and flour until smooth. Pour the filling into the springform pan on top of the cookie crust.

7. Bake in a preheated oven for exactly 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let the cake cool inside the oven for 4 hours. Remove from the oven and place directly into the fridge, uncovered, until ready to serve. Best made a day before serving.

8. Make the sour cherry sauce. Add all ingredients except for the cornstarch into a small pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Slowly add the cornstarch, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Remove and place in the fridge to chill and thicken before serving.

9. When ready to serve, remove sides of the springform pan. Serve a slice of the cheesecake with sour cherry sauce or on its own.

I created this New York style Cheesecake recipe for February for Foodsaver Stores in Cyprus. I tested the recipe when I was in Cyprus in January.  It’s really easy to make a cheesecake despite me thinking the opposite, it just takes time. The biggest worry I had with baking a cheesecake was the top cracking. The trick to avoiding this, is to let the cheesecake cool slowly in the oven, as well as to grease the sides of the springform pan well so that when the cake pulls off the sides, it doesn’t stick and crack.  Also, I read that it is really important to not overbeat the cheesecake mixture itself, which essentially means you just add the ingredients and beat them together for less than 2 minutes. I am posting this as a recipe that you can make for your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, but this cake is best enjoyed any time (obviously). Happy Valentines Day to those celebrating – coupled up or not!


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Cyprus Cuisine

“Cyprus Cuisine”, published by Whitecap Books in 2021, is now available for purchase. Christina Loucas shares over 80 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking.

Cyprus Cuisine