Recipe and Photos by Nik Sharma
Anyone familiar with Nik Sharma’s award-winning photography knows his eye for detail. His images capture the moments many of us overlook while we’re cooking: a glittery shower of sugar in its path to the mixing bowl, a luscious swirl of batter, or the mid-air drip of liquid from the spout of a pitcher. Cooking his food is an exercise in slowing down and taking note of such details.
This cheesecake is cut with strained yogurt, making it decadent but not heavy, and orange blossom water and saffron allow it to be “not too sweet but full of flavor,” as Nik puts it. He advises that ground saffron is often adulterated with turmeric, so opt for threads to get true saffron flavor. And don’t skip the yogurt-straining step, even with thicker Greek-style yogurt, or you’ll get a soggy crust. Lastly, if you aren’t accustomed to cooking with gelatin, he warns to heat it carefully—overheating makes the gelatin lose its capacity to gel. If the gelatin clomps on you as you’re mixing it into the filling, just transfer everything to a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
Recipe in Issue 1