ESB Musical Bake : No. 4 : ‘King of New York’ Cheesecake

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all well and enjoyed the last post I put up all about my visit to Hampstead. It was a lovely day out and I loved sharing my experiences with you! If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can read it here!

In this post, I want to share with you the fourth instalment of my ESB Musical Bake series, combining my love for baking with musical theatre. Inspired by my favourite musicals, I hope these recipes will whet your appetite for the ones I love as well as a song from the show itself.

Today I want to share with you my ‘King of New York’ Cheesecake inspired by Newsies the Musical.

I first became aware of Newsies via YouTube. The cast created a vlog series of all of the happenings that took place backstage which immersed me in their world. Hooked by the cast and the snippets of the cast recording I heard through the vlogs, I bought my own copy and fell in love with the show and score.

Based on the real life story of the Newsboys strike of 1899, Newsies follows the journey of Jack Kelly, a leader of a group of young destitute newspaper sellers ‘newsies’. They take on the establishment when the owner of the newspaper they are selling makes life more difficult for them by raising the price of the paper whilst lining their own pockets. The newsies take action to let the world know that although they are young and hidden from society, their voice matters.

Told through Alan Menken’s heart stopping songs and elaborate dance numbers, Newsies is a story that resonates with today’s society and shows everyone that the world can be changed by working together. Starring Jeremy Jorden as Jack Kelly and Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber, the show opened on Broadway in 2012 before touring all over the USA. Although I have never had a chance to see the show, I hope it will be staged again so I can experience the magic for myself.

Inspired by the show, I have created ‘King of New York’ Cheesecake. An unbelievably tasty recipe, this cheesecake will make you feel like the King of New York whenever you eat it as it is so light and delicious!

Although the recipe is simple, remember not too overwork the filling as it can become less light. It is also possible to adjust the recipe to lemons for other citrus fruits – lime or orange – if you fancy a different flavour combination.

To accompany the recipe, here is my cover of ‘Watch what happens’ which is sung by Katherine Plumber, the newspaper owner’s daughter, when she decides to write about the strike in his newspaper to bring the newsies’ plight to the attention of the public.

Here is the recipe…

‘King of New York’ Cheesecake


For the base

150g digestive biscuits

75g salted butter, plus extra to grease the tin

For the filling

680g full fat soft cheese (I used M & S own brand but you could use any full fat soft cheese such as Philadephia)

200g caster sugar

4 eggs, separated

13g plain flour

Zest and Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsps. milk


A 20cm round spring form cake tin

Greaseproof Paper

A paperclip

A Small Saucepan

A rolling pin

Sandwich Bag (optional)

A large mixing bowl

A whisk

A wooden spoon

A lemon juicer (optional)

A metal spoon

A serving plate

How to make the bake

  1. Grease and line the 20cm spring form tin with butter and greaseproof paper. First, grease the tin with butter and line the base with a circle of greaseproof paper slightly larger than the base with small cuts all around the edge to make it fit snugly. Then take a large rectangle double the height of the tin, that fits all the way around the outside, fold it in half lengthways and line the inside of the tin. (ESB Top Tip : Doubling up the paper protects the cheesecake while it is baking!) Paperclip the fold to keep it together before moving on to making the base.
  2. To make the biscuit base, melt the butter in a small saucepan and bash the biscuits to a fine rubble. (ESB Top Tip : To bash the biscuits with no mess, you can use a sealable sandwich bag – add the biscuits, seal up, and bash with a rolling pin!) Mix the biscuits into the butter until well combined and then tip into the prepared tin. Press the base down with your knuckles to make it flat and even which will secure the paper in place, before putting in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230’C. To make the cheesecake filling, put the cheese, sugar, lemon juice, zest and milk into the large mixing bowl. Mix gently together with a wooden spoon or fork to create a thick and creamy mixture. (ESB Top Tip : Trust that the mix with come together – if it looks curdled don’t worry – just keep mixing till there are no lumps!)
  4. Add in the flour, and then separate the eggs into yolks and whites. If you want to taste the mixture, make sure you do so before adding the eggs. Whisk the yolks together briefly before adding to the mix a small amount at a time. When the yolks are well combined into the mix, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks in a separate bowl. (ESB Top Tip : You can use a electric mixer but I did it by hand and it wasn’t too much work!)
  5. Add half the cheese mix into the egg whites and mix roughly, then add to the  remaining cheese mixture. Fold into the remaining egg whites with a metal spoon until you can no longer see any large lumps throughout the mixture. Pour it into the prepared tin. (ESB Top Tip : Be very gentle with mixing as you can deflate the lightness of the cheesecake if you mix too hard!) Gently shake the tin to make sure the filling is well distributed before baking in the oven for 12 minutes at 230’C and then turning the oven down to 150’C for a further 45 – 50 minutes until the cheesecake is firm and lightly coloured around the edges but still has a slight wobble in the centre.
  6. Cool at room temperature until not warm to the touch and then leave in the fridge overnight to chill. (ESB Top Tip : Don’t worry if you get cracks in the top of your cheesecake as it cools as this is a natural reaction and shows it is home-baked!)
  7. The next day, when you want to serve, unclip the spring form tin and carefully remove the paper. Slide the cheesecake from the metal base and place on the serving plate. Serve with a selection of berries to feel like the King of New York!

Thank you for popping by my blog today! I hope you enjoyed my recipe inspired by Newsies the Musical! If you recreate it, don’t forget to tag me in any photos on Instagram @englishsingingbaker #esbmusicalbakes!

See you next time for another tuneful bake but in the meantime,

Happy Baking!

English Singing Baker x


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