Thursday, February 11, 2010

Deep Dark Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake

I know it is Chinese New Year and alot of baking blogs are all blogging about CNY goodies. But, day one of CNY is also Valentines' Day, so I decided that it is easier to bake for Valentines' Day then for CNY. Actually I have not finish my spring cleaning, but last year I also did not finish, the last last year I also did not finish ... so 年年有餘, I shall leave some of the cupboard doors not clean, steel shelves not clean etc etc. Haha. The real reason is not that .. but the 2 packs of cheese I bought quite some time ago.

This recipe requires only simple ingredients. However, I am not in a very good mood today, and from past experiences, mood not good, end product also will suffer.

As in all cheesecakes, the base is made of biscuit and this recipe calls for Chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs. I choose to use oreo biscuit with chocolate cream. I did not use a blender to break the cookies into crumbs so I think my base will not be tight with all the big pieces.
I am not sure if there is a printing mistake, but the recipe for the base only ask for 25ml of butter where it requires 175ml of crumbs. I remember most of the recipes (that I have read before) for cheesecake base are of 2:1 ratio (with regards to butter and crumbs). Anyway I use the biscuit as it is, hoping the cream will also help in "cementing" the base together. I also reduced the amount of crumbs, but I still end up with quite a thick base. I should have taken into consideration that my 6" heart shape cake pan has a different base area from a 6" springform round.

After the tedious work of breaking the biscuit into crumbs, I get on to the filling. Nothing too difficult when the works are all done by machine. However, I have a problem with dissolving the cocoa powder. How to dissolve 25ml of powder with 1 tsp of hot water? I got a paste instead and feel that it may not blend easily into the cheese mixture by hand, so I just add more water, just to "loosen" the paste.

Although I should really follow the recipe to a T, but I really wouldn't want to buy a bar of bittersweet chocolate just for this recipe, so I replace that with my button dark chocolate couverture (OOPS! Not sure if it is a big mistake since I don't even understand the usage of the different kind of chocolates).

In no time, the cake is completed. It should take shorter time if the crumbs are broken by machine and that I have plenty of kitchen top space. Like Nigella and Rachel Allen, they have all the machines around them, then they do not need to wash and reuse, and they did not count the wash up time into the baking process. *hiaz* They made baking and cooking so fast and easy. (just grumbling)

I had extra fillings, so they went into my newly bought ramekins. The cheesecakes have no base thou.

Here are how the cheesecake look like after 35 mins in the oven.

Ugly looking hor, cos I did not bother to "set up" the background (and I am PS dumb!). The recipe says to bake till the top feels firm and it jiggles a little and I really did that. Upon cooling down (requires 2 hours on the wire rack with pan on), I noticed that the cake firms up more and is not jiggling. After that it went into the fridge.

I let the my girl try it the next day. She likes it, and so does the boy. I just feel weird as usual since I really do not know how the cake texture should be like. It is not like those baked cheesecake found in japanese restaurants but those in secret recipe or coffee bean. I guess it should be so since there is no flour as ingredient? However, the inside is still quite creamy, like not been baked, but the top definitely is firm. It cracks when I try to cut the cake up. See the picture below. Sorry did not do a nice cut.

See the small crack at the side ?
See the thick crust and soft filling?
Think the chocolate buttons are too big.

My family likes the cake but I think we had a hard time finishing it since we are leaving home for malaysia a day after the cake is cut. It is still a very sweet cake after I reduced the sugar and since it is all cheesy, you know it is not easy to finish a big piece.

I still wonder if the inside is suppose to be this way (Perhaps it is undercooked!). If anyone can enlighten me after trying out or after understanding the recipe, do let me know. As usual I omitted the decorations.

Recipe from The Cheesecake Bible by George Geary

Deep Dark Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake
  • Preheat oven to 325F (160C)
  • 6 inch (15cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3 inch(7.5cm) sides, greased
3/4 cup (175ml) chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs
2 tbsp (25ml) unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp (25ml) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tsp (10ml) hot water
2 packages (each 8oz/250g) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (175ml) granulated sugar
2 eggs
8oz (250g) bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract

  1. Crust : In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.
  2. Filling: In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa powder in hot water. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in chocolate chunks, vanilla and dissolved cocoa by hand.
  4. Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is firm to touch and centre has a slight jiggle to it, 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.

I hope it is still not late to wish my dear friends (who read my blog but not in FB) a very Happy Tiger Year.

Monday, February 8, 2010


If you can remember, I bought a KitchenAid some months back. That big investment came with two free workshops where I can further understand how to better (or fully) make use of the machine. I purposely selected one workshop on bread. I did not have my camera (cos spoilt) but is not intelligent to use my HP that day. *hiaz*

The teacher is sam, who is not a baker/chef but a food technologist baker. You can know more about him at his blog He showed us how to make curry buns with non time dough method and olive pesto loaft bread using the sponge dough method.
I got a better understanding on bread making plus some tips. He is open to any questions even though is not related to the breadmaking workshop. So I take this chance to clarify with him if it is alright to interchange ml and grams when we measure liquids like milk and oil. He says it is fine, going on to briefly explain why (using the mass volume density equation). I also asked him if it is alright to replace milk with skim milk. I guess I have asked redundant question, because to a technologist, everything counts, but he said, I am working with too little amount of ingredients so those differences are negligible. To him, replacing butter with oil also need to make adjustment because butter contains a certain amount of water.

A pity I have to leave early without seeing the end result of the olive loaf. Anyway, its very fun to attend these workshops ... and I think anyone can attend if they are willing to pay $10. If anyone is interested, perhaps can check with Mayer.

I hope I will put the stuff I learn that day to good use, and soon. If not, how would I be able to practice?

Thursday, February 4, 2010


No No. I did not make any of that (refering to the title). This post is mainly for me to talk to or update my friends who visit my blog.

I have been busy with my own house improvement (painting works) and lately helping out with my mother's new house renovation stuff as well as spring cleaning (ya so far just talk and not much done).

In the middle of all these, I still read papers and I come across an offer on something that I have been looking for quite a long time.

Ta da !
This little set of drawers now housed about 2/3 my possessions of beads and beading stuff.
(photo is blurred cos it is taken with my spoilt camera. Got spoilt on that very day!) Wished I had got another one but afraid of splurging too much on this hobby that I cannot go full swing into (actually no time to go into any hobby full swing leh).

Then just a few days ago, I came across this post where the mouth watering cake is baked in a ramekin found in Daiso (I asked the author), and ramekin is something that I have been wanting to get my hands on (thou not sure for what yet). I think it is not easy to get a $2 ramekin, so I got permission from the "finance manager" and went to purchase 4. Now I am a proud owner of these beautiful ramekins.

Besides busy shopping (keke), I attended a Bento making workshop on 30th Jan. Thanks to Angelia and June, I have the chance to enjoy some me time and most important, it is an event on something I like. I do not make bento before this workshop, but I do sometimes cut bread into shapes using my cookie cutters to prepare the kids' snack boxes to school.

At the workshop, I am totally lost at the part where we are suppose to make 2 bentos. I am not creative at all, so all I can do is to copy the simplest idea from the various pictures posted on the wall of the room.

This is the bento that I have made that day. Thanks to June for taking the pictures for me.

Our teacher for the workshop is Angie, and this is her blog where you will be able to read more details on the event. I am also happy to meet Leonny in person (otherwise only read about her in her blog).

I am really happy to have attended this event and also with the goodies that I got in that goodie bag. Thank you to Angelia and June again. Will I make bento from now on? Yes, will try, after all this is also my interest, just that hubby say I can't be having too many hobbies with the limited time I have. Anyway I think Teacher Angie says that Bento is about arranging food nicely into the boxes and I do try to create nice looking food and arrange my food, but onto plate .. so I think not difficult to try bento making on the plate. :-)

Anyway, this is the first try, meal in the box ... girl got to take her lunch at my mother's new place as I am supposed to help with supervising a job in her house.

It is salmon with Furikake. Initally only the rice and smiley potato, but not happy with serving the not so healthy ready made vege, I quickly prepare some broccoli and carrots to go with it.

Ya, I said I am busy, but my friend tried making her own kaya and said it takes her 10 minutes only. With ready ingredients in the fridge, and the "10 minutes only" temptation, I made kaya too, but I think I did not pass.

I started with low fire, trying to heat up the coconut milk, mixed some into the beaten eggs, before I empty everythingg bit by bit inside. However, I took around 30 minutes and it still doesn't look and taste like kaya. The mixture just won't thicken itself even with an extra egg I added. I double checked with my friend and decided that I will try again with the exact ingredients she used. That will be after CNY. Thanks June for the recipe and advices. Here's how my kaya look.

Too long a post, too tired ... no chinese translation for this post this time .....zzzzz

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