Showing posts with label Cheesecake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cheesecake. Show all posts

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lava Chocolate Cake

I love lava chocolate cakes as it makes such an elegant dessert to round off a good meal.  I had always thought it was a difficult dessert to make but after making it once (and dare I say that it was successful), I realized that it is actually very easy.  The first lava cake I had tried a couple of years back came from Martha Stewart's Living recipes.  It was delicious!

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This is the second time I am making a lava cake again and this too doesn't have many ingredients to content with and the preparation and baking time is really "singe".  The main thing to remember is to use good quality chocolate and don't over bake it - you want the chocolate to be oozing out!

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Lava Chocolate Cake
Recipe Adapted from Delia Smith
Serves 4

Ingredients:

115g good quality dark chocolate (about 65 - 70% cacao)
115g salted butter
1 tsp of coffee extract or Tbsp of instant coffee granules
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
30g all purpose flour, sifted

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease and butter 4 x 125ml ramekins.

2)  In a heavy based pan over low heat, melt the chocolate, butter and coffee extract until melted. Stir to a glossy batter. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. (You can also use a baine-marine to melt the chocolate and butter)

3) In another mixing bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer for at least 5 minutes or until pale, thick and leaves ribbons trails.

4) Add chocolate and sprinkle the flour into the egg mixture and gently fold until just combined. (You can also use a whisk.) Be careful not to knock too much air out of the batter.

5) Divide batter amongst ramekins and place on a baking tray. Fondants can be covered with clingwrap and stored in the fridge or freezer at this stage. Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops have risen and have set (but still soft underneath). If baking straight from the fridge, bake for about 13 minutes. If frozen, bake for 14 minutes.

6) Remove fondants from the oven and leave to sit for about a minute.  Run a palette knife around the edges and turn out onto a plate. If baked from frozen, rest for 2 minutes before unmolding.

7) To serve dust with icing/powder sugar.  Serve warm and if you want add a dollop of good vanilla ice-cream.


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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Classic Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote Topping

I love cheesecake desserts especially the light ones. It is a relatively easy dessert to put together and you really do have a wide choice of flavours to be added as well as how you plan to serve it. You also have a choice of a baked or unbaked cheesecake. However I personally prefer the individual portions as it is pretty as well as easy to serve. No messy slicing and having crumbs all over the place. The next time round I would love to put together a cheesecake pots version - cheesecake desserts served in a glass. I think this is a totally cool way of wowing your guests!

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Classic Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote Topping
Recipe Adapted from Martha Stewart

For Crust:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
12 graham crackers (3-by-5 inch)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For Filling:

2 1/2 pounds bar cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make crust: Butter a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form; add melted butter, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine. Press crumb mixture into bottom and about 1 inch up side of pan. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

2) Set a kettle of water to boil. Make filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

3) Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 1 3/4 hours. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a paring knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight.

4) Add 1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries in a saucepan. Add 2/3 cup sugar, zest of one lemon and 2 Tbsp lemon juice with the berries. Put the pan on medium fire and once bubbles appear on the sides, bring the fire to low. Reduce the fruit on low heat until it becomes a thick jam consistency. You want some of the fruit to be chunky for texture. Cool and refrigerate.

5) To serve bring cheesecake out from the fridge. Set to room temperature for about 4-5 minutes. Top with blueberry compote before serving.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cheesecake Chocolate Brownie

I have not baked for a long while now and was in the mood to do so after coming home from work. I wanted to make something that was quick and didn't take too long in the kitchen. Something which didn't require creaming and one of the recipes which fall into this category would have been a brownie. However I wanted something different, not the usual chocolate brownie and decided to try my hand at a cheesecake brownie. I love the swirl look of this dessert, coupled with the fact that it is intensely chocolatey, not forgetting you have the cheese element thrown in as well.

This recipe comes from "Ready for Dessert" by David Lebowitz, one of my recent acquisitions to my baking library books. You can serve this brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or just eat it on its own. Great with a cuppa coffee that's for sure! As usual my office colleagues benefited from my baking evening and they gave the thumbs up for this brownie.

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Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies
One 9-inch (23cm) or 8-inch (20cm) square pan
Adapted from "Ready for Dessert by David Lebowitz"


Ingredients:

85g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
110g bittersweet chocolate chips
110g sugar (reduced from original recipe)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
70g plain flour
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Valhora chocolate pearls, for sprinkling
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans

For the cheesecake topping:

200g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
60g sugar (reduced from original recipe)
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

1) Line a 9-inch (23cm) or 8-inch (20cm), for a higher brownie square pan with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C).

3) In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the sugar, then the eggs.

4) Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and pecans. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

5) In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, 5 tablespoons (75g) of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

6) Distribute the cream cheese mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate pearls.

7) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set.

8) Let cool, then lift out the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into squares.

Storage: These will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They also freeze well, too.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Baking a Cheesecake With the Daring Bakers

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny of Jenny Bakes . She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

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 cafĂ© 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.


Method:

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
125g water
40g cocoa powder
160g granulated sugar
10g leaf gelatine

Method:

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

Cheesecake Filing:

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
pinch salt

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.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mini Passionfruit Cheesecake


I recently bought a new cookbook tittled "Favourite Cupcakes and Cheesecakes" because it had some interesting recipes. Also the pictures inside were really beautiful. So as an "opening ceremony" I decided to bake a mini cheesecake for my husband. He'll love this simply because he's a one dessert-man .. anything with cheese only - full stop!

This cheesecake uses passionfruit. Surprisingly I've yet to bake anything that calls for passionfruit. The one and only time I've had passionfruit was with a cup of plain yoghurt. I dare say that it's really an unusual fruit and is sourish. It's a real simple recipe that can be whipped up in no time at all. Also if you don't fancy passionfruit, don't be put off, you can always substitute it with any other fruit such as strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, mango.



Mini Passionfruit Cheesecake
Serves 4

For the base:

60g digestive biscuits, finely crush
30g butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

For the filing:

500g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup passionfruit pulp, strained
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 fresh passionfruit

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 165C.

2) To make the base, combine biscuit crumbs, butter and sugar. Line four 10cm springfrm tins with baking paper, then press mixture evenly onto the bottoms of the tins. Bake the base for 5 minutes.

3) For the filing, combine cream cheese, passionfruit pulp, vanilla and sugar in an electric mixer. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Divide filing evenly between the bases.

4) Bake for 25 minutes. Cool before removing from tines.

5) Decorate with fresh passionfruit and serve. You can serve this cold as well.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

No-Bake Cheesecake


I was feeling guilty and felt it was time for some hubby indulgence. Before you start thinking of all sorts of things, I'd better let you know that the "indulgence" bit is baking and not ahem (I leave your imagination to run wild at this point)... and what else but a cheesecake which is my dear's favourite dessert.

Here's a basic technique for a no-bake cheesecake which I've used in the past which can accommodate any number of flavor combinations. The biscuit base can be made with a variety of biscuits and wafers such as Ginger Snaps, Nilla wafers with ground cardamom, peppermint Milanos, oreos, and the cream cheese can be flavored with the zest and juice of any citrus fruit, vanilla extract or a swirl of berry or mango coulis or fresh chopped fruits added to the cheese. Taste as you go along, and the method is foolproof.

Here's my version!



No-Bake Cheesecake with Chocolate Swirls

Ingredients:

225g digestive biscuits, any flavor
85g unsalted butter, melted
452g (2 packets of 8-oz full-fat cream cheese)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate (melted)
2 1/2 tsp (1 envelope) powdered gelatin mixed in 2 tbsp very hot water

For the Raspberry Coulis:

1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Add all ingredients into a saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until all ingredients are combined and the raspberries turns into a pulp. Remove from heat and strain the sauce thorugh a metal sieve to remove all the seeds. Place bowl in the refrigerator to cool.

Method:

1) Crush the biscuits into a fine powder in a food processor (alternatively, place in a large ziploc bag and crush with a can of soup or a rolling pin).

2) Transfer crumbs in a medium bowl and pour the melted butter over it. Stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened.

3) Lightly grease the sides of a 9-inch springform tin and press buttered crumbs onto the base to make a crust. Use the base of a wine glass to ensure the crust is even. Refrigerate.

4) Meanwhile, place cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar and lemon zest into a large bowl and whip to a fluffy mousse with an electric handheld beater. Then add in the lemon juice and lemon extract and whip for another minute.

5) Mix powdered gelatin and hot water in a small bowl. Add the gelatine to the cream cheese mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.

6) Pour half the mousse over the chilled crust and smoothen out. Then pour over the mousse mixture half of the melted chocolate in circular patterns starting from the outer base to the inner center. Using a sharp knife, cut across the chocolate to create a spider-web effect.

7) Pour the remaining mouse on top and spread evenly. Again pour the remaining the chocolate to repeat the spider-web effect on the surface of the cheesecake.

7) Refrigerate for at least four hours or preferably overnight. Use the edge of a sharp knife to ease the filling from the sides, and unmold. Serve with the prepared raspberry coulis.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse

I purposely made a trip to the National Library during my lunch break to look for a cookbook - a cookbook with cheesecake recipes to be precise. And I was in luck as I found a delicious looking book by Catherine Lau called "Cheesecake Seduction". The recipes in the book looked really interesting and the pictures were amazing as well.

I'm a sucker for cookbooks with beautifully taken photos. If it didn't have colourful pictures in it, I'd not buy the book or even pick it up from the shelf. I was pleased that I had completed my mission in a short time and happily walked back to my office with the book under my arm.




My intent and purpose was I'd promised my husband that I'd bake him something that he'll enjoy, which obviously is a cheesecake. The funny man doesn't eat any of my cakes so I thought I'd better indulge him for once! I took the book home that evening and asked him to pick a recipe. I told him I'd bake it for him over the weekend. He ended up picking a strawberry cheesecake mousse which looked easy enough for me to prepare on Saturday evening. As the cheesecake will take overnight to set we'll only be able to taste it the next day.

The assembling took a while and I even got him to be my "assistant" by spreading the chocolate over the biscuit crust whilst I prepared the filing. The whipped cream topping could only be added on Sunday morning as the filing needed to set first. We had our first slice during tea time and may I say that it was delicious.


Strawberry Cheesecake Mousse
(makes one 23 cm cake)

Ingredients for the base:

110g unsalted butter, cubed
200g finely crushed digestive biscuit
2 Tsp firmly packed brown sugar
50g crushed cornflakes
60g dark chocolate melted with 2 Tsp milk
One layer of thin plain sponge cake

Ingredients for the filing:

500g cubed cream cheese
140g castor sugar
2 Tsp strained lemon juice
1 1/2 Tsp + 1 tsp powdered gelatine, dissolved in 100ml water
300g strawberry puree
400ml thickened cream
8 strawberries, halved

Ingredients for the whipped cream topping:

200ml whipped cream + 1 Tsp sugar
6 strawberries sliced

For the base:

1) Melt butter and sugar in pan over low heat. Pour melted butter over crushed biscuit crumbs and cornflakes. Mix well until combined.

2) Press mixture into a greased 23 cm springform cake pan with the back of a metal spoon.

3) Spread melted chocolate over the biscuit base.

4) Cover cake pan and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

5) Remove from fridge and place on top of the chocolate a thin layer of sponge cake.

For the filing:

1) Beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Pour in combined gelatine and strawberry puree and mix well. Blend in the cream.

2) Press strawberry halves around side of cake pan. Carefully sppon filing into pan.

3) Cover cake pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

For the topping:

1) Top cake with a layer of whipped cream

2) Transfer cake to a serving plate. Arrange strawberry slices on cake. Chill before serving.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mini Baked Cheesecakes

Although I bake, my husband doesn't eat any of my creations. He is not a cake or cookie person. I'll give him a taste but all he says is "it too floury ..." Huh, what's that!! Hello, of course it's floury - it's a cake and one of the main ingredients is flour. What can I say .... I'm certainly not getting any feedback from him as to whether it's nice or not! I've given up hope on him. My brother-in-law is the same as well which is one of the reasons my sister seldom bakes. His comment is "it's too eggy!!" Men!

So what do I do - I bake and take it to the office. So far I've not had any rejects, just ... oohhhs!!



However there's a some desserts my husband will take ... ice-cream, jelly and anything with cheese in it.

So to take pity on him I decided to make him some cheesecake. Rather than make a no-bake refrigerated one, which is what I would usually do, I tried a baked mini cheesecake. It was easy to make and furthermore easy to serve - no messy cutting whatsoever. I served it with slices of peaches but any fruit will work just as well.


Makes 10 - 12 mini cheesecakes

(recipe from Exclusively Food)

Base:

150g Nice biscuit (or you could use digestive biscuit)
70g melted butter

Filing:

250g cream cheese, softened
75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
1 large egg (weight about 59g)
200ml (1 Tbsp) lemon juice
100ml (5 Tbsp) thickened cream

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius (160 degress Celcius fan-forced)

2) Line 10 holes of a muffin pan with muffin cases.

3) Finely crush biscuit in a good processor or blender. If using processor, add the melted butter to the crumbs and process until well combined. If using blender, tip the crumbs into a bowl and then stir in the butter.

4) Divide biscuit mixture evenly among the cases (about one firmly packed Tbsp per case. Firmly press mixture down with the back of a teaspoon until smooth. Set bases aside whilst making the filing.

5) Beat cream cheese and caster sugar in an electric mixer or food processor. Stop the machine a couple of times to scrape down th sides and base of the bowl. When the mixture is completely smooth and creamy, add egg and beat until combined. Add lemon juice and cream and beat until well combined. Divide mixture evenly among cases.

6) Bake cheesecakes for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes.

7) Remove cheesecakes from pan, place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Cheesecakes are ready to serve when they are cold and set. Remove cases before serving. Cheesecakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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