Monday, April 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: Cheesecake

I recently joined the Daring Bakers, and this being my first challenge: A Cheesecake!!
I’ve never baked one before,…and was really not sure if it will turn out good!...
I decided to use two different brands of cheese (which turned out to be a good idea), for the crust i used McVitie’s light digestive, after reading the challenge I decided against using the speingform pan, went with a seamless pan.
started with preparing the pan and making the crust, I just added about 1 oz of butter as I didn’t wanted it too greasy and as I mixed the other ingredients I felt it was quite easy so I decided to use chocolate to make the swirls (which didn’t come out as expected). I set the pan in a larger pan as I poured water in the larger pan it started to leak (I didn’t check it before) =(
now I was running around my kitchen screaming looking for another pan or something so I just grabbed a sheet try and put it under the larger pan hehe

after an hour checked it look alright except the center so i thought I should not bake it more cause the sides were really set I took a chance and just turn off the oven and left it in the oven for a another hour,…after I took it out it was really set and looked good, after cooling I left it over night in the refrigerator.
The next day I took it out of the refrigerator for its decoration and photo shoot, my 1+ niece and nephew just wont stop following me, I melted the chocolate, poured it in the piping bag and started to loosen the sides of the cake then as I turned to take it out it wont bulge =/

I sat it in the warm water for some time and tried again but no way was it going to come out again I was ready to pull my hair out, all the time both the toddlers were enjoying the show , again I went and dipped the pan base in hot water and left it there for 2 minutes more…finely it came off with a bit off the side =(

and sat to pipe lines on the cheesecake, that’s when both of them started to attack me for the chocolate and the cheesecake,…I nearly fainted =p

but they missed I ran with my cheesecake and chocolate put them on the table and piped the chocolate I saw them coming again….i ran to another room both started to cry…I called for my mom and sister to help me with them…I just barely took 2 photos when the tiny hands attacked the cheesecake…well the all enjoyed and so did my mom she said it delicious and my brother-in-laws compliment really boosted me, he said it’s the best cheesecake he had since the one he had in nyc!
It was a good experience making the cheesecake, next time im gona try different varieties =)

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

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

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

3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 383 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

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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Raspberry red macaroon with white chocolate ganache filling.

My very first attempt at making French macaroon were not so good =( they were flat with no feet and but tasted good, 2nd time was much better, all had tiny feet’s (which made me hopping and jumping around the kitchen screaming yesss!! yah!!) and they tasted really good, the color for raspberry red turned out soo good! Success at last! =)