Cheesecake overdose

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I’ve had enough of cheesecake for now.

You see, a few weeks ago, a friend has asked me to bake a strawberry cheesecake to celebrate her hubs’ birthday. I agreed readily since I have baked it before. However, this time round, because I would be paid for baking that cake, I jolly well do a good job and make sure that the cheesecake delights rather than disappoint.

There are a few specifics. My friend wanted a 6-inch cake and with big juicy strawberries. The cake must be rich as well since her hubs are all into indulgence of the calories.

Therein lies the problem. Many recipes that I come across are designed for 9-inch cakes with few for 6-inch. So, I would have to come up with one for this custom-made cheesecake. Another problem that I have is I don’t own a 6-inch springform pan (I have 7-inch and 9-inch) so I would have to improvise (couldn’t get a 6-inch one in time).

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Basically, I took 3 days to come up with one recipe that I could be pleased with. This cake has to be at least 2 inches tall and filled with the cheesy flavour. So you could imagine how much stuff is packed in. In one of the recipes that I tested, I put in cut strawberries (sprinkled with flour) into the main batter but because they are moist, they don’t give the effect that I want. Then I thought of swirls but discarded the idea eventually as my artwork isn’t that stellar.

After two failed (according to my standard) attempts and a stomach filled with cheesecake slices, I managed to bake the ideal ones for my friend. Hopefully the hubs will like it.

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This is the adapted miette‘s version. It’s rather light which is good for the weight-watchers. However, a rich cheesecake is called for so this won’t do.

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It’s best to bake cheesecake in a springform pan. Since I couldn’t get hold of a 6-inch one in time, I used a cake pan with a removable base. The result is uneven sides as depicted in the first picture. ;( But otherwise, I didn’t encounter cracks for this cheesecake.

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As I delivered the cakes (she ordered two) to my friend each of more than 1kg, I could at last heave a sign of relief. No more cheesecakes for now! But I shouldn’t really get a 6-inch springform pan with the money collected from the cakes. To more baking adventures!

Cheesecake topped with strawberries
Yields a six-inch cake

190g digestive biscuits
50g unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar

2 blocks of Philadelphia cream cheese
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup sour cream/ heavy cream (I did a combination)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

PREHEAT oven to 180°C (middle rack). Mix digestive biscuit crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press firmly onto bottom and up the side of pan; set aside.

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BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream/heavy cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour into crust.

BAKE 1 hour 10 min or until center is almost set. Turn oven off. Open oven door slightly. Let cheesecake set in oven 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight (better). Loosen cheesecake from rim of pan; remove rim. Top cheesecake with strawberries just before serving. Pour a little heated strawberry jam over the fruits.

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Cotton Light Cheesecake

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Mise en place! When will I treat this seriously?!

The hubs went for his driving test and I thought it would be good to celebrate the outcome of it (I have confidence that he will pass). So I got hold of this recipe and did step by step without mise en place. Faith was cooperative all the way, sitting on the rocker until ‘bang!’ I dropped the base of a springform pan. I was whipping the egg whites halfway through and realised that I have taken the wrong size of the pan. In my hurry, I dropped it.

As a result, Faith wailed! I had to tend to her and at the same time, keeping an eye on my meringue. Thank God she was pacified within minutes and as I put her in the pram, I continued with my baking.

IMG_2565A few mistakes here and there, and it is definitely not easy when Faith drifted in and out of sleep. I had to carry her and put her down several times, until I became so tired that I had to scold her harshly when she turned cranky, wanting me to carry her. She seemed to understand from the tone of my voice and stopped throwing tantrums. *Must start young in discipling kids and don’t give in!

Anyway, it turned out well. At least, this time round, the cheesecake browned well on the top and in good height. =)

Oh, by the way, when the cheesecake was brought out of the oven to cool, the hubs texted to say that he has passed.

Nice! Thank God!
And this recipe is for keeps. 4.5* out of 5*

Cotton Light Cheesecake (Source: Chef at home: a taste of goodness)

(Makes a 9-inch cake)
200g cream cheese
50g butter
100ml milk
6 eggs, separate white from yolk
1 tbsp lemon juice
60g Hong Kong flour
20g corn flour
140g icing sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 160C. IMG_2562
2. Melt cream cheese and butter in milk over double boiler. Set aside to cool.
3. Add egg yolk, lemon juice, sieved flour and cornflour. Mix well.
4. Whip egg white with sugar and cream of tartar until light and fluffy (stiff peak)

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5. Fold in egg yolk mixture and mix well.
6. Pour the cake mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the pan with aluminium foil.
7. Place pan in a bigger pan of hot water and bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. I took more time than that, probably because of the temperature of the oven. Once the top turns golden brown and when a stick inserted comes out clean, it’s done.

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8. Decorate with fruits and a little icing sugar.

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The cheesecake in the pic seems to be floating in the air. Must get the hubs to buy me a cake stand. =p

Tips on baking the cheesecake.

Busy Sat

Of the days of the week, Saturday remains the most hectic but fruitful one.

Finally managed to catch up with dear friends from STB over breakfast at Riders Cafe. It is a tranquil area overlooking a horse ranch which can be a treat for kiddos. They seem fascinated by the 4-legged animals. Thankfully, we were early and got a table at the balcony. Time seemed to come to a standstill as we savoured the beautiful morning. All three of us had ‘The Usual’ which comprises Eggs, Back Bacon (I changed to spinach) , Breakfast Banger, Mushrooms, Tomato & Sourdough. The meal was hearty and the service good. It’s kid-friendly too.

20121028-164839.jpgThen to the visit to the gynae. I’m officially at the 36th week now. Congratulations! It’s been about 9 months! Received the hospital admission letter from Dr Poon and the nurse commented that this is like a graduation cert. Hahhaah. Faith only gained about 200g since the last visit and her weight is about 2.3 to 2.4kg. Sigh. Dr Poon said she’s on the small size but nothing to worry about. She’s still not engaged and he predicted that it might happen after 37th week. Heartbeat is good and he also examined my inner left thigh since I complained that it has been painful. Probably a muscle strain and not the tendon which is okay.

Weight: 60kg
BP: 109/64

Went back home and started to make Japanese Cotton Cheesecake with fruit topping for the CG while the hubs cleaned the floor and do up Faith’s cot. One thing at a time!

Didn’t know that it was T’s and F’s birthday but thankfully the cheesecake can serve as birthday cake for them. Our CG has grown in terms of the number of children. Think would need to supply more food now.

Photo credits: Jac Ng

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Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes

Makes 36 small cupcake-sized cheesecakes

Oreos, some left whole and some coarsely chopped
450g cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup  (125g) sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup (250g) sour cream
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 14o C. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Place 1 whole cookie in the bottom of each lined cup.

   

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla.

3. Drizzle in eggs, a bit at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Stir in chopped cookies by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among cookie-filled cups, filling each almost to the top. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until filling is set, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate (in tins) at least 4 hours (or up to overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.

Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

New York Cheesecake

For the crust
5 tbs (75g) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for coating pan
11/4 cups (112g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
2 tbs sugar

For the filling
1.25kg cream cheese, at warm room temperature
2 cups (500g) sugar
1/3 cup (60g) all purpose (plain) flour
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 cup (250ml) heavy (double) cream
1 tsp vanilla essence

Makes 8 – 10 servings

1. To make the crust, preheat the oven to 165C. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 23 cm springform pan. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar and stir until the crumbs are even moistened. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 4cm up the sides of the pan. Bake until the crust dries out slightly, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

2. To make the filling, place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until smooth, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Add to the cream cheese and beat until well blended, stopping frequently to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition and again stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared crust.

3. Bake until the cheesecake is set and the centre jiggles slightly, 80-90 minutes. Transfer the cheesecake to a rack and let cool in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

4. Unclasp the pan sides and remove. To cut the cheesecake, run a thin-bladed knife under hot running water and wipe dry before each but. Cut the cake into wedges and serve chilled.