Cheescake straight from New York City

Except for cooking and eating there's one more big love in my life- New York City. Absolutely everything that's somehow connected with NYC is on top of my "favorite things" list. Whether it's books or films that are set in NYC, or people and institutions based there: designers, artists, musicians, magazines, museums or shops--they're my favorite. Not to mention: the CUISINE. New York steak, New York hot-dogs and my absolute no 1- New York Cheesecake. 
I remember eating it for the first time. Not in New York but in Portland (Maine). Even then it amazed me. Creamy, thick, mouthwatering. And when I tried it a few years later, this time in Big Apple, I thought I was in Big Heaven. For a long time I could not gather the courage to bake it. Apparently, it can all go wrong: it may not rise properly, crack, weigh-up and even explode in the oven. I must have been extremely lucky and supported by the Good God of Amazing Cheesecakes, because it came out wonderful. The same as I remembered from the United States. With all fairness, though - it takes a lot of time to bake and MUST sit all night in the fridge. Are you ready to taste New York?

9 oz graham crackers (digestive biscuits)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of honey (if you don't like your crust too sweet- skip it)

1lb 10oz cream cheese (use full fat, not the fat free stuff)
1.5 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup sour cream (has to be thick and at least 18% fat)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 320 F. 

In a food processor combine all of the crust ingredients and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. It has to be thick. If it's too liose- add more crackers. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

The pie filling is easy as, well... as a pie :-) Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. When they are, just put them in a bowl and mix at medium speed for 3 minutes. Don't over beat it, stop as soon as filling is loose and smooth. Choose a leak-tight 9-inch springform pan. If you're afraid it might leak (as the cheese mixture is quite watery) wrap the bottom and sides with aluminum foil or put it into a bigger pan before you start baking.

Take the refrigerated crust and press it evenly to the bottom and sides of the pan. It should be about 1-inch thick. Afterwards, pour all the filling on top of the crust, cover the top with some aluminum foil (be careful not to touch the cake, just press lightly on the sides), otherwise cheesecake will brown, and you don't want that. Pop it in the oven and be patient! It has to bake for 90 minutes. After that turn of the oven and let the cheesecake stay there for another 15 minutes. It's ready when the sides are baked and the middle is firm but bounces back when touched. Don't worry if it's too loose. After a night in the fridge it will thicken. Yes, it MUST cool overnight, otherwise it'll be grainy, not smooth. 
If you can stop yourself before eating the whole thing while it's still hot- you will have a delicious treat for your morning coffee.

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