In baking, as in life, I lurch from one task to the next, underprepared and over-compensated. The tin is too big and I have no pecans for the base. My daughter practises separating eggs but we both forget to count. “Five... ah, it’ll be grand” I tell myself as we proceed with the one intentional deviation, i.e. to whisk the egg whites separately à la Nigella’s New York cheesecake, favouring it’s lighter texture to counter the richness. This aerated version does indeed require that 10” tin, but I am left wondering how to bake it. I opt for the Bain Marie held together with a tail-end piece of cling film, lots of tin foil and prayers. Then I stick it on at 170 °C and go for a 40 minute walk to be greeted by a soufflé on my return. Convinced the biscuit layer might now be drowning, I’m keen to get it out of the Bain Marie, and indeed a small drainage operation is required as it sinks quickly before my eyes. I realise, in my New York state of mind, that it should be back in the oven, so pop it back in at 60 °C (minus the water bath), for another half hour. I convince myself this will help reduce sinking and mitigate the risk of soggy bottoms. I manage stay on-piste thereafter, save the late addition of the pecans and gold leaf powder once chilled. I have the pleasure of watching my family devour it under the harsh kitchen light, but can equally picture myself curled up on the sofa savouring it’s caramel complexities to the backdrop of candlelight and the tinkling of a piano “I don't have any reasons I've left them all behind I'm in a New York state of mind”. The perfect lockdown escape.