i didn’t have classes today, so i decided to balance out my plan of completing a couple of readings with some baking. the boy bought me this book called crave: cheese desserts to die for nearly four months ago but i haven’t had the chance to try out any recipes as yet. i decided to make a nutella cheesecake.
i baked the cake in a shallow square tin because personally, i think it’s more “eating-friendly” (you can just pick them up with your fingers) and there’s always an excuse to have more than one slice because they are smaller compared to their whole-slice counterpart. hence, the reason why i call them “nutella cheese bars.”
adapted from crave: cheese desserts to die for; mac woo and june lee
160g digestive biscuits, pounded
90g butter, melted
1. pound or blend biscuits and place in a large bowl. melt butter in microwave, pour over biscuits and mix well.
2. transfer mixture into a shallow 8 inch square tin lined with aluminium foil and press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of pan. refrigerate for at least one hour.
450g cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp light brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 ½ tbsp cornflour, sifted
75ml whipping cream
1. preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius. with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and light brown sugar at medium speed until creamy. beat in vanilla essence, sifted corn flour and nutella until smooth.
2. lower speed and add eggs, one at a time, mixing until just incorporated. gradually add whipping cream and milk until just well mixed.
3. pour filling onto prepared crust. bake in a water bath for 50 minutes to an hour, or until edge of filling is set and centre is slightly wobbly.
4. turn off oven and leave cheesecake inside for 30 minutes with oven door closed. prop oven door open and leave for another 30 minutes. remove cheesecake from oven and cool on a wire rack.
5. refrigerate for at least 6 hours before unmoulding. decorate as desired before serving.
the taste of the nutella didn’t quite come through, but it left a pleasant mild chocolate aftertaste. it wasn’t rich at all, so it’s quite easy to pop a few slices in one sitting. 🙂 if i make this again, i might consider using the whole jar of nutella. 😀
i made these for the boy in lieu of our 6th anniversary last week. they were filled with chocolate pastry cream.
recipe for the choux pastry: (adapted from donna hay’s modern classics 2)
1 cup water
100g butter, chopped
3/4 cup plain flour, sifted
melted compound chocolate for topping
1. preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. place the water and butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook until the butter is melted and the mixture starts to simmer. add the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. cook, stirring, over low heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan. remove from the heat and gradually beat in the eggs.
2. place the mixture into a piping bag. pipe or drop mounds of the mixture onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper. bake for 30 minutes or until light golden. turn off oven, keep the door slightly open and leave them in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped. cool on wire racks.
3. place a creamy filling of your choice, such as whipped cream, custard, creme patissiere or chocolate mousse in a piping bag. push the nozzle through the side of the eclair and squeeze in enough mixture to fill it.
4. to finish, spread the melted chocolate on top of each eclair and allow to set.
choux pastry is known to be very delicate, but this mixture was a breeze to work with. you could also turn them into savoury bites by filling them with tuna, egg mayo, or anything at all.
i was surfing through foodblogs when i chanced upon this interesting one. i adored the way she described food – you could almost taste it yourself. i’ve always put off making meringues because i have this deep-rooted fear of working with egg whites. but i guess curiosity got the better of me (oh yes, and the name of the sweet little thing too!) and i decided to whip up a batch. it’s just a simple meringue with a fancy name. 🙂
i adapted the recipe a little, reducing a bit of the sugar and lessened the amount of almonds.
3 egg whites
120g caster sugar
100g icing sugar, sifted
50g chopped almonds, lightly roasted
1. preheat oven to 120 degrees celsius and line three baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
2. beat, with an electric mixer, egg whites until frothy. gradually add caster sugar and mix until well blended. beat in the icing sugar carefully until the mixture is white and glossy.
3. using a teaspoon, drop dollops of mixture on the baking sheet. sprinkle with the roasted almonds and bake for 205minutes until set. let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
muffins are incredibly easy to make. i don’t have to bring out the huge kenwood major, i don’t have to wash up electric beaters and i don’t even have to weigh out butter most of the time. i like one-bowl cakes because of the minimal hassle. these muffins are quite unique because they have a filling. it’s not too sweet either, because the cream cheese and raspberry jam adds a sourish tang to the muffin.
adapted from fabulous fast cakes, periplus mini cookbooks.
1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp raspberry jam (or any jam that you like)
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yoghurt
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
100g cream cheese (or if you’re lazy like me, just cut into small rectangles)
1/4 – 1/2 cup raspberry jam, extra
1. preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. line muffin tin with 8-10 paper cases.
2. place eggs, oil, jam, sour cream/yoghurt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. using a wooden spoon, beat mixture until well combined. add flour and stir until just combined; do not overbeat.
3. place 2-3 tbsps of mixture into each case. put a small piece of cream cheese in centre of each muffin. top each piece with 1 tsp of jam.
4. divide remaining mixture evenly among muffins. bake for 30 minutes or until muffins are puffed and lightly golden. stand 5 minutes in tin before turning onto wire rack to cool. if desired, dust muffins lightly with sifted icing sugar before serving.
yesterday i made a batch of cherry muffins, to use up the leftover cherries i had from my dad’s and cousin’s birthday cake. the recipe is taken off here, and i did some modifications to the recipe. as i did not have sour cream, i increased the amount of oil by 1 tablespoon. i also omitted the lemon zest. and i added in a whole load of cherries.
the picture below does not do justice to the muffin, because the colour looks a bit off and yucky, probably due to the cherry juice, but it tasted good. it was sufficiently moist and the top was somewhat crispy due to the sugar sprinkling. muffins are so easy to make, probably should try more variations soon. 🙂
last week when the boy and i were at changi village for lunch, my mutton briyani set came with a small serving of semolina pudding. personally i don’t really fancy it, unless it’s really good. the one that i had was rather well-done, and i got to know that the boy likes it (we learn something new everyday, don’t we?), so i thought i’d give it a shot. furthermore, i have a whole big packet of semolina flour that i bought from mustafa centre months ago.
i used this recipe, and i guess i experienced problems getting the mixture to the right consistency. the pudding turned out to be very firm, akueh sort of texture, where you can actually cut it. i think that the indian version (halwa/halva) tends to be firmer than the adapted malay version, am i right? but it tasted pleasant, and it’s my first try, so it’s forgiveable. :p