Ever since we went to New York last year, I have become obsessed with New York cheesecake. But it’s a certain type of New York cheesecake, one with a sponge base that I became particularly taken with. We discovered it in a little bakery really close the Katz’s deli. We’d just had the most amazing pastrami sandwich and after walking, nay waddling back to our part of the city, I couldn’t resist getting a sweet treat.
Recently however, Mr LTT has discovered he’s dairy intolerant, or at least lactose intolerant. This means we’ve had to cut out a lot of things from his diet – the main issue being cheese. Although he does seem to be ok with lacto-free cheese and parmigiano reggiano is lactose free so we can still have it with pasta. It just means we can no longer buy pizzas from the shop, although we do nearly always make our own it’s nice to have options when you don’t want to cook.
So now I will be trying recipes that use alternatives. And I was so pleased to find that you can get dairy free cream cheese. It’s quite expensive though at around £2.80 for a 225g tub! I was really pleased with the result as it’s the first time I’ve ever made a baked cheesecake! The texture is a little different (a little more solid) but it still has a creamy taste and doesn’t surprisingly have that strange soya tang I dislike. I even took it to work where it was enjoyed too!
The base in the pictures is quite thick – that’s because I didn’t have a 9″ tin. If you do have a smaller tin, you’ll need to adjust cooking times – mine took about 1hr 20 mins to cook .
I think the original sponge cake base hails from a place called Juniors or at least that’s the one I found with said base. That obviously has dairy in it though, so the recipe is adapted from a couple I found here and here. If you don’t need it to be gluten free you can just use plain flour.
- 80g Dove's gluten-free flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1¼ tsp baking powder
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 80g + 2tbsp caster sugar
- 1tsp vanilla bean paste
- ¼tsp lemon extract
- 35g margarine
- ¼tsp cream of tartar
- 30g cornflour
- 4 x 225g Tofutti cream cheese
- 375g caster sugar
- 1tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 large eggs
- 180ml soya cream (single)
- Grease a 9" springform cake tin with margarine. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Sift flour, salt and baking powder together.
- Beat the egg yolks in mixer for a couple of minutes until pale and thickened, then add the 80g of caster sugar and beat to ribbon stage (about 5 mins).
- Add the vanilla bean paste and the lemon extract.
- Turn the mixer down then add in the flour until just blended in, then pour in the butter and mix in.
- In a clean bowl and with clean whisk (wipe down with white wine vinegar to remove any residue), beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on high until frothy, then add the remain 2tbsp >caster sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form.
- Stir ⅓ egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites.
- Spoon the batter into the pan, don't drop it in or you'll loose air beaten into it. Bake for approx. 10 minutes until the cake springs back when touched.
- Cool the tin on a wire rack whilst you make the filling (but don't remove sponge from tin!).
- Sift the cornflour.
- In the mixer, beat the cornflour, Tofutti cream cheese and caster sugar together on high for 3 minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Turn down mixer speed to medium and beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the soya cream until just blended.
- Spoon the cheesecake filling onto the sponge base.
- Wrap the tightly in foil so it comes at least ⅔ up the side of the tin.
- Place cake tin in a deep tin (like a roasting tin) and fill halfway up side of cake tin with boiling water.
- Place in the oven for 1 hour, until the centre is only a little wobbly. It will solidify properly once it's out of the oven.
- Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour, then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Run a knife gently around the edge of the pan, then release the sides of the tin. You could also remove it from the base but I left mine on.