I was very pleased that we would be baking a cheesecake this month as this would be one cake my hubby will certainly enjoy. He’s not partaken of most of my Daring Bakers cakes (other than the savory recipes) as cakes and cookies are “off-limits” to him. Don’t think that this is due to any medical condition rather that he doesn’t fancy it at all. However if it has cheese as a main ingredient, it’s a total ball-game altogether. My brother-in-law is the same too. Both men will complain that the cake is too dense (trust me it is not), too much butter, too much flour, too eggy! My goodness, have you ever heard of such a string of excuses!
I very seldom make a “baked” cheesecake as I usually find them a bit heavier than chilled ones. Chilled ones are much creamier, lighter and has less steps as well. The couple of times I’ve made a baked cheesecake, the recipe did not call for a water bath. So in a way, this is something new to me as well. For this month's challenge I decided to tackle two different types of cheesecake; chocolate and berries. I halfed both recipes below and made them into 4" minis.
Chocolate Cheesecake with Valhora Chocolate Pearls
Make one 8" cake
For the Cheese mixture:
300g cream cheese
200ml whipping cream
120g caster sugar
2 whole eggs
4Tbs Dutch process cocoa powder
4tsp freshly squeeze lemon juice
1/2 cup valhora chocolate pearls
For the Crust:
180g Oreo cookies (w/o filling)
100g unsalted butter
* Cheesecake is best make using a spring form pan or a pan with removable bottom (I use the later).
* You can get your cake sliced just like the one they sell in the café by following these simple steps: first soak a knife in a cup of hot water, wipe off with a towel, then cut the cake while knife is still warm. Try to cut it through with only one cut and do not “saw”. Whip off any cake crump/residue and slice again. Just repeat these steps and you will have neat and pretty slices of cake that rival what they sell in the patisseries.
1) Preheat oven to 160 degree C/325 degree F.
2) Wrap the bottom (up to half way) of the pan with 2 layers of foil paper. Boil some water for later use (appx. 2 liter).
For the crust:
Break the cookies into small pieces, then place into a zip lock bag or any heavy weight plastic bag (remove air bubbles), and crush + roll using a rolling pin until cookies become fine crumb. Place butter in microwave and heat for 1 min. over medium heat. Pour melted butter into the bag, remove air bubble and close the bag, then shake it to mix the two. Pour this mix into the pan; using the back of a large spoon, press crumb firmly to pan until packed; set aside.
For the cheesecake:
1) Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Using a whisk, whisk cream cheese until blended; add the other ingredients in the following order, sugar --> cocoa powder --> eggs --> lemon juice --> whipping cream, make sure that each item is well blended before adding another. Strain the cheese mixture then pour into the cake pan. Then randomly drop in the chocolate pearls.
2) Pour hot water (1 inch in depth) into a roasting pan, place the pan inside the roasting pan and bake for 45 - 50 minutes. If the water dried out while baking, be sure to refill with more hot water. Once the center of the cake no longer quiver and the sides begin to pull away from the pan then it is done. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack. Place in fridge for overnight to set.
Dark Chocolate Glazing
100g whipping cream
40g cocoa powder
160g granulated sugar
10g leaf gelatine
1) Pre-soak gelatine in a bowl of cold water, squeeze out excess water; set aside. If using powdered gelatine, add 2 spoon of water.
2) Place whipping cream, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Then add in the cocoa powder and bring to boil again or till mixture slightly thicken; stir constantly to avoid mixture sticking to saucepan. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes then add the pre-soaked gelatine; stir until completely melted; strain. When cool to lukewarm, pour glazing onto cheesecake and let some drip down the sides. Place back into fridge for another hour before serving.
3) For final dressing, pipe rosettes of whipped cream around the edge of the cake before serving.
Yogurt Berry Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Base
1 1/4 cups wholewheat cracker crumbs (you can use graham)
3 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp of cinnamon
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature 113g
16-oz citrus flavoured yogurt (or natural yogurt), room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp of lime zest
1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Method for the Crust:
1)) Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until well combined. Press into a 9-inch springform pan, pressing the crust slightly up the sides if you don’t wish to have a thick crust on the bottom.
2) Prebake a graham cracker base into a 9-inch springform pan; a 9-inch graham cracker pie crust should work fairly well, too. This cheesecake can also be baked without a crust.
Method for the Filing:
1) Preheat oven to 350F (176C)
2) Wrap the bottom of the pan with double foil paper. Boil some water for later use (appx. 2 liter).
2) In a food processor, blend cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, eggs, zest, juice, vanilla extract and salt until mixture is very, very smooth.
2) Pour hot water (1 inch in depth) into a roasting pan, place the pan inside the roasting pan and bake for about 40 - 50 minutes. If the water dried out while baking, be sure to refill with more hot water. Once the center of the cake no longer quiver and the sides begin to pull away from the pan then it is done. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack. Place in fridge for 3 hours or overnight to set.
3) Cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
4) To serve top the cheesecake with a mixed berrie (blackberries, raspberries and blueberries) compote and sprinke some lime zest on the top as decoration.