Browsing Tag:

Cheesecake

In Cake, Recipe on
May 9, 2011

Blueberry Cheesecake | My Easter Break

The Easter break- my first ever uni break- has come and gone in a flash. (and life after break has been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to blog about it until now). To be honest, I was never really looking forward toward this break, knowing that many things were due in after it. Nevertheless, I managed to have some fun and take a break from the boring (but terribly time-consuming) uni work I’ve been stuck with for quite a while.


Easter Sunday was spent on a little trip to Bilpin for some apple picking- something we do almost every year, though this was the first time we’d come during such a busy period. There wasn’t too much variety- mainly pink lady apples, which, I admit, I’d never particularly liked. However, fresh off the tree, they had an amazing texture a deliciously fresh apple taste (I have since been addicted to these apples!).


We also organised a surprise party for our friend, which didn’t end up being too much of a surprise, but we all had fun- which is what really matters. We spent a few hours making this rainbow cake, and ran into a few hiccups along the way. But it was well worth the effort- the cake looked amazing! Though it tasted….not quite as spectacular as it looked ๐Ÿ˜‰

We also spent an afternoon at home playing with my new toy- an egg waffle mould that I’d been planning to use since the beginning of the year. It wasn’t as hard as I’d imagined it to be, and we managed to produce some pretty great tasting egg waffles, though we have still quite a while to go to master the techniques- I shall get back to you with a proper post on these when I get more practice ๐Ÿ™‚

And lastly, I made this beautiful blueberry cheesecake which I’d actually been meaning to make ever since my first attempt at a blueberry cheesecake. Whilst I was very pleased with the result (surprised, even), and had no problem eating it all up, I wanted to recreate the first cheesecake I have memory of eating, and which made me start liking cheesecakes.

This was the blueberry cheesecake from the Cheesecake Shop- a simple baked cheesecake with a blueberry topping, but with a texture so light, it was only a little firmer than non-baked cheesecakes. To create this light texture, I decided to use this recipe, which incorporated whipped egg whites to give it a lighter texture. The cake was very easy to make, and didn’t take me too long to whip up. For the topping, I improvised by heating a punnet of blueberries with a tablespoon of sugar until the consistency looked topping-like.

For the base, I decided to use ginger nuts instead of Marie biscuits, because I wanted a crunchier base. Unfortunately, they were a pain to crush because they were so hard- maybe I should have just used a blender to crush them ๐Ÿ™‚ And when I finally crushed them and made my base, I accidentally spilled water onto it ๐Ÿ™ I tried baking it to evaporate the water off but the base didn’t end up tasting that great…..

BUT the cheesecake itself was delicious- I’m starting to think that cheesecake always tastes good, no matter how you make it ๐Ÿ™‚ As anticipated, the texture was light, though it was slightly different to the texture of the cheesecake I was trying to recreate. The taste was also slightly different, I think, because there was less sugar in this one, though I found the sweetness to be just right for my tastes. Overall, I was very happy with this cheesecake and I would make it again, although I think I actually like firmer baked cheesecakes better!

Blueberry Baked Cheesecake

taken from Anncoo’s Journal

Base – 8″ cake tin, grease tin all over and line
100g Marie biscuits, crushed
100g Butter – melted

Mix all the above ingredients and press onto the cake tin base.

Filling:
250g Cream cheese (keep at room temperature before use)
65g Whipping cream
60g Sugar (half portion to egg yolks and egg whites)
3 Egg yolks
3 Egg whites
1/2tsp Vanilla flavour
1/2tsp Lemon juice or lemon oil

1. Cream the cheese and half portion of sugar together and slowly add in the whipping cream together with vanilla flavour and lemon juice. Beat the mixture till light and fluffy and smooth at medium speed. Scrape bowl and egg yolks one at a time until all combined and transfer to a larger bowl.
2. Whisk egg whites and balance sugar till peak form. Use spatula to fold egg whites to cheese mixture. Mixture must be light and not watery.
3. Pour cheese mixture into prepared cake tin.
4. Steam bake at 160C for about 1 hour and leave to cool.
5. Spread blueberry topping (I made my own) onto the cheese cake.
6. Put Blueberry cheese cake in fridge for at least one hour before serving.

In Cake, Recipe on
November 16, 2010

Featherlight cheesecake

The first sight you’d see if you walked into a primary school classroom would be the interesting artworks, mounted onto brightly coloured cardboard strung up in neat rows above your head and stuck onto onto every bit of wall. There’d always be the beautiful artworks which immediately draw your attention and there’d be the simple and ordinary artworks surrounding it, quickly forgotten unless it was created by yourself or your own child. My artworks always fell into the latter category- I was never the artistic type. My drawings only ever barely resembled what I’d attempt to draw. My paintings were even worse. And I could never get my colour combinations right.

In the first two years of high school, when I did visual arts, I always got average marks. I remember the first, and only, time I ever got a full marks for a cartoon, in which I’d drawn fruits simply because they were colourful and easy to draw. I was completely perplexed as to why I’d done so well, when so many others which I’d found very impressive scored lower whilst mine consisterd of simple line drawings with circles for eyes and a line for a mouth, like this ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_3810
As much as I found other people’s artworks impressive, nothing quite compared to my amazement the day we chanced upon my friend, Steph’s, artbook. She’d been in a different class and so I’d never seen any of her artwork, but when we accidently pulled her book out of the cupboard, we only needed to turn to her title page to be completely mesmerised by her artwork. We spent the remainder of the lesson slowly marvelling through her beautiful drawings and paintings. I’d never seen anything quite as amazing in real life and to this day, I’m still amazed by all her artwork- so much so that I was inspired to do something I hadn’t done for ages- pick up a pencil and draw something.

Never one to learn to walk before running, I decided that while I was at it, I might as well fulfill my mother’s wish of having a portrait of her drawn (a wish she’s had even before I was born) so I grabbed a nice photo of her, a blank piece of paper and set about sketching her face. I picked up my pencil, slowly tracing out the shape before slowly sketching each and every little detail and actually found myself enjoying it! Before I knew it, hours had passed, the side of my hand had been coloured dark grey and I’d created my first portrait.

It was a rather amateur and childish attempt, probably describable as cute more than anything and definitely miles and miles and miles away from Steph’s artwork. But still, the face was immediately recognisable, if a little dispropotioned and unlike anything I’d ever done before. And I was proud of it.

It’s amazing how far a little effort can really get you!


But putting a little effort sometimes isn’t quite as easy as it seems. With my cakes I always think that if I just put that teenie weenie bit more effort into decorating the cakes, they’d look a lot more presentable. But despite planning to do so, I always find I put so much too much time and effort into making sure that the cake itself tastes great, that by the time I get around to icing and ‘decorating’, I’ll just slather the frosting on and hope for the best.

Decorating a cake prettily for me is an especially difficult task because I’m not a creative person. I can’t just think of a nice way to arrange decorations on a cake and even when I’m copying a design, it never turns out quite right. But not being creative is not an excuse for anything- it means working harder to make up for it. My usual solution to any situation which requires creativity, whether it be designing something, decorating a cake or writing a creative writing piece, is to get inspiration from others. This is the reason I have a whole pile of cake shop brochures from Hong Kong which I look at whenever I’m baking a sponge cake.

I was determined to make this cake look good, so I chose a simple design- one which really could go wrong. One which requires close to no skill but still looks amazing. This cake design is completely copied from the bakery Patisserie-C’est Mieux. Admittedly, I don’t actually remember taking the brochure in the first place, but their cake designs were all simple yet beautiful.


For the cake, I decided to use a cheesecake simply because that was what was used in the brochure- and it gave me an excuse to try this featherlight cheesecake from Wendy’s blog. True to it’s name, it was very light- perhaps one of the lightest cakes I’ve ever made. I made the mistake of taking it out of the oven too early (because I think my electric oven is a little on the cool side) and had to put it back in the oven again after it had cooled considerably and then accidently left it in the oven after turning it off. This left the bottom half of the cake really weird but the top half of the cake was still perfect- light (but in a different way to most sponges) and delicious but surprisingly not cheesy!!

As for the cake decorating, it didn’t come out as beautifully as in the brochure- I should have used a bigger spoon and fork and my fruit arrangement is rather messy but it still looked pretty good and I was proud of it =) It’ll probably be a while until I start thinking of my own designs but I think I’ll take it one step at a time!

IMG_3812

Featherlight Cheesecake

from Wendy

250gm milk
20gm butter
125gm cream cheese(room temperature)

50gm flour
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
80gm sugar

Pinch of salt
ยฝ Tbsp cocoa powder (I omitted this)
1 Tbsp boiling water (I omitted this)

1. Line the base of a 8 inch square pan and preheat the oven at 150/160C.
2. In a medium sized bowl, cream cream cheese until smooth.
3. Bring milk and butter to a boil and pour ยผ of it into cream cheese and gently stir until incorporated. Pour in another ยผ the milk and stir again. Lastly pour in all the milk and stir until smooth. (At this point, prepare some boiling water)
4. Let the cheese mixture cool down and put in flour. Mix until smooth. Then put in egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
5. In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Put in salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks. Put in sugar gradually and beat until stiff.
6. Put 1/3 of egg whites into cheese mixture and fold gently but quickly.
7. Pour the cheese mixture into the egg whites and fold until well incorporated.
8. Mix cocoa powder with boiling water until smooth. Put in a few tablespoons of the cheese batter and mix until a smooth chocolatey batter is formed.Pour main cheese batter into prepared pan. Drizzle chocolate batter over main cheese batter. Use a knife and cut through the batter to create a marbling effect.(I skipped this step)
9. Put pan into slightly bigger but shallower pan. Fill the bigger pan with boiling water until halfway up and bake for 50-60 minutes.
10. When cake is baked, remove from oven and release the sides of the cake from the pan immediately by running a knife between the sides of the cake and the pan. Leave it to cool down totally and chill until cold before cutting.

In Cake, Recipe on
August 23, 2010

Cheesecake | Guess what’s turning one??

I might act like it sometimes……but no- it’s not me.

It’s my blog!!

haha….. I’d been looking forward to my blogversary for a while for no other reason than that it’s been one year and that sounds exciting! In reality, it doesn’t really mean much- I’ll just be blogging and blabbing as normal but who would have thought a whole year would have passed so quickly?? It seems only yesterday that I excitedly told my friends I wanted to start a blog and to ask them to help me think of a name for it =D

I knew that my blogversary was sometime near the end of August, but with my trials and all that, August passed extremely quickly and before I knew it, I had a look at the calendar and then back at my blog and BAM! It was only a couple days off.

IMG_2980

So I didn’t have time to make anything particularly special or memorable for my blogversary as I’ve seen many others do, but I thought it’d be sorta fitting to share with you this cheesecake I’d made- because it’s a cake =] And because the first recipe I posted on this blog was a blueberry cheesecake- my first ever cheesecake, which turned out surprisingly good. This was my second cheesecake….hmm….maybe I should celebrate all my blogversaries with a cheesecake ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_2976

I still remembering pondering over whether or not to start a blog. I’d been reading them for a little while, and I knew I liked food, but I only occasionally baked. I’d tried once to start a blog, in secrecy, all the way back in 2008, and only managed half of my first post (which was an introductory one…..), before giving up and realising my hate of writing. Which is why my first post is dated all the way back to 2008- I rewrote the first post without realising that the date remained the same as when I first created it.

A year later, I tried again, after discovering more food blogs. It wasn’t easy at first- I’ve always been a terrible writer and everything I write never seems to sound good to me. I still remember writing my first blog post and wondered what I’d write- I just had a permanent mind blank. Nowadays, I open up a blog post and words just sorta come pouring out. Infact, I have so much to say that I can never quite get everything I want to say onto the page in time- my fingers don’t quite work as fast as my mind ๐Ÿ™‚

Plain Cheesecake

It’s funny how much has changed since the beginning. I’d started taking photos at restaurants at first, just for the fun of it. At first, I was hesitant to take my camera out, scared that someone would tell me that photographing food was not allowed. But I got used to it and it slowly became addictive. But not quite as addictive as baking ;)It’s hard to remember how much I baked before blogging, as I didn’t always photograph my bakes- especially as they were mostly failures. I probably only baked about twice a month, sometimes less and the idea of blogging once every week seemed a little extreme. Nowadays, I bake whenever I get the chance and I love making more than one thing at once- to get through the huge list of things I want to make!

To be honest, I hadn’t expected anyone to read my blog other than the school friends which I’d told about. I’d probably still be blogging if no one read this blog, but the comments people leave just make blogging so much more fun!! I know a lot of people say this, and most express this a lot better than I do, but I love knowing that out there, there’s someone reading what I’m writing and I love love love your words of encouragement! So…..thankyou to all you lovely readers out there =]

IMG_2986

Moving on from my fail attempt at expressing my graitude (If this were me last year, I would have deleted that paragraph) and onto the cheesecake itself! I chose a different recipe this time- opting for the one from the Daring Baker’s challenge way back. I’d seen so many awesome cheesecakes from this recipe I just had to try it! Without the sour cream, this was less sour than the one I made last time (duh!)- more like the cheesecakes I buy from the cheesecake shop than the one I ate at a cafe once…..

I made my own graham crackers for the base, which turned out too sweet and really hard, but that was okay because I was only using it for the base. The cheesecake itself was easy peasy. And once again, my baking advantures are not complete with a stupid mistake- this time because I used a pullman bread tin instead of a normal loaf tin (I figured it had straighter sides so it’d look better…) without realising that it actually had holes in the corners, so water seeped into the base, making it slightly wet and stiff. Thinking it was an utter failure (once again), I was surprised to find that the base didn’t taste too bad, and the cheesecake was really really good! My mum thought it was just as good as the storebought ones, whilst I would have liked it a little lighter but was still overall very pleased with the result.

Cheesecake

Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake

From here

Crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil “casserole” shaped pans from the grocery store. They’re 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!

In Cake, Recipe on
August 23, 2009

Blueberry Cheesecake | The ugliest cake ever!

Here’s a little story about me and cheesecake =]

One of the first cheesecakes I had (I haven’t had many) was the blueberry cheesecake from the Cheesecake shop. It was about $7 for a quarter of the cake-back then our family thought that was pretty expensive considering the fact that we usually only pay around $15 for birthday cakes at Asian bakeries. I know, they’re different cakes…but STILL! And I still thought it was expensive until this story:

Here’s another story about me and cheesecake:

When I borrowed Donna Hay’s “Fruit” Cookbook from the library and saw the blueberry swirl cheesecake, I knew I had to make it. It looked almost the same as the blueberry cheesecake we always get from the Cheesecake shop. And the recipe was so simple! All I had to do was to put everything into the food processor, dump it into the pan and bake for an hour!

Like all things I really wanted to make, I had to wait a couple of weeks before I actually got around to doing them because I had exams =[ So by the time I get to make it, I was very very excited.

I bought all my ingredients a couple of days before I was planning to make it. All except the blueberries. Our family doesn’t usually eat blueberries so we decided to get fresh ones….because fresh is generally better right?

And a lot more expensive.

It costed $6 for a 125 punnet of blueberries!!!!! It didn’t help either that they went on special the following day…to $4.50. Together with the cost of all the other ingredients (because we don’t store cream cheese, sour cream or almonds at home….) it cost more than $10 to make this cake! And that’s only for HALF the recipe!

So $7 for 1/4 of a cheesecake is pretty okay!

_____

Okay, so that wan’t much of a story…..

Here’s something about the cake:

It didn’t turn out quite as I had expected- as the title suggest, this is one of the ugliest cakes I’ve ever made.anyone have any ideas why the picture turned out sideways??

So it’s SUPPOSED to be a blueberry swirl cheesecake. Only, it didn’t turn out as pretty swirls because of my lack of swirling skills. And it was very wrinkly. And it tasted nothing like the cake we usually get from the Cheesecake shop which is much more like a chilled cheesecake, only it says that it’s baked….This one tastes like baked cheesecake- like the ones you get from cafes. And for $10? It was worth it! It was so rich and addictive! Next time I’ll probably buy frozen blueberries because I don’t think it really makes a difference….

Here’s what happened:

I made this on the same day I was making the milk loaf because I thought the timing would fit perfectly- I could make this while I was waiting for the bread to prove. The timing didn’t turn out as perfect as I wanted it to be and I ended up standing around in the kitchen for a couple of hours……
 
One of the interesting things about this recipe is that the base does not use digestive biscuits but uses shortbread instead. This was perfect for me because I had a packet of shortbread from AGES ago which no-one in our family likes because it was a werid brand. I had to buy some almonds to make the base because we don’t usually eat almonds but since then I have developed a liking for them. Because the recipe calls for ground almonds, I processed them in my food processor- it’s SO FUN!

I had equally as much fun processing the blueberries because they splattered all over container thing and it looked really cool! Unfortunately, the blueberry puree seeped into some gaps of the container thing and I have not been able to get it out =[ The actual cheesecake part was quite boring though- even when i used an electric mixer instead of mixing it in a food processor.

When I assembled the cake, I realised I’d cooked the blueberry puree for too long and it was too thick to swirl properly. So the swirls looked more like weird lines than swirls. I baked it for an hour and when i took it out, it was all wobbly- kinda llike jelly. It took AGES to cool and when it did, it didn’t taste any good because it was still wet. Feeling quite disappointed, I put it back in the fridge. I tried it again the following day and…….it was so GOOD!
 
It was still quite ugly though. This was about the prettiest photo I could get:

 


Not pretty at all is it??
Nevertheless, it tasted really nice and I will no doubt be making this again in the near future.
And here’s the recipe. incase, you want to make it too =]

BLUEBERRY SWIRL CHEESECAKE

apparently from Donna Hay Modern Classic #2 but I found it in ‘Fruit’

Ingredients:

220g (7 1/2 oz) fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup caster sugar
85g (2 1/2 oz) shortbread biscuits
1/2 cup almond meal
45g (1 1/2 oz) butter
600g (20oz) cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Process berries in a food processor and press through a sieve (you should have about 1/2 cup puree) Place the puree & sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar is dissolved. Rapidly simmer for 8 minutes or until thick. Set aside to cool

 

To make the base, process the bisucits (cookies) in a food processor until crushed Add the almond meal & butter, process until combined. Grease a 22cm (9in) springform tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper. Press the crumb mixture over the base and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 140deg (280 F).
To make the filling, process the cream cheese in a food processor until smooth, add the sour cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla, process until combined & smooth.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the base. Drizzle the blueberry mixture over and using a butter knife gently swirl the mixture just through the top of the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 1 hour or until set. Refrigerate and serve cold.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If anyone is interested, this is post number 3!!! And it’s a whole week late. Oops.