May 3, 2008

A Special Dedication

I remember how in my young days, I love to visit bakeries and admired those beautifully decorated fresh cream cakes on display, wishing my birthday would be coming so that I would be able to request a birthday cake. In those days, the designs seemed to be rather standard, or I woud call old fashioned in today's context! haha...I don't know if there were actually mouuse cakes back then. I guess there was? Cos' I only knew about mousses, ganache...etc when I started baking. Likewise, many of those who don't bake don't know either. So I guess they should have existed in bakeries for a long time.

I still remembered that was this cake shop in my neighbourhood area with glass window where I could peeped in to see the bakers at work, piping and decorating cakes with fresh cream; and dreaming I would one day be able to make a birthday cake on my own. Till then, it was only like a dream to me; just like those childhood ambition of becoming a teacher, doctor... owning a BIG bookshop...yes that was one of my ambition, cos' I love to visit bookshops and wished I had all the cute stationeries.

Ok, coming back to baking, never would I have thought that it's not a dream at all! It has come true for me! With a bit of passion, patience, not being afraid of failure, keep trying and trying..I'm so happy that I've already tried baking birthday cakes for my dear ones...Though I won't say it's as good as those sold outside, I made it with my whole heart and I would want to continue to improve.

This dear friend of mine, one of my bestest friend, had been lamenting that I had not baked her a birthday cake for her yet. So I promised her that this year, I'm gonna bake her one. I chose to bake her favourite - a rich, sinful new york cheesecake. There are millions of cheesecake recipes...and I chose this because it has sour cream added, as I knew she liked her cheesecake to taste more sourish instead fof sweet.

I had wanted to add some raspberries to make a raspberry cheesecake. But I could not find any raspberries; instead when I visited the hypermart that day, some korean strawberries were on sale! They were much smaller than the ones I usually see, so they were just nice for decorating the cheesecakes :)

Yeah, there you are!


This recipe does not have any flour, so I guess probably that's the reason it does not form any cracks on top. I'm so happy that the surface was so smooth and shiny..:) In fact it forms a reflection, due to it's shiny top. It also does not involve any steam-baking.

It was not that firm though after slicing it as I had baked it on the same day I brought it out, thus it wasn't chilled enough.

Ingredients:

200g digestive biscuits, crushed
50g unsalted butter, melted
900g cream cheese (I used Philedelphia)
Pinch of salt
300g caster sugar
250ml sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 eggs, beaten
2 egg yolks
Some Strawberries (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a 23-cm springform tin fitted with a flat base.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the biscuit crumbs and melted butter, then press mixture evenly into the base of the prepared tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add the salt, and sugar and beat for 1 minute.
  4. Add sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and beat for a further 1 minute. Finally add the eggs and egg yolks and beat until well combined.
  5. Add some chopped strawberries into the cream mixture. (I did not add too much as I only wanted to be able to bite into some strawberries. It should not overpower the taste of cheese, hence this is optional.
  6. Lined biscuit base with chopped strawberries, spread some strawberry jam over it (optional).
    Pour the mixture evenly over the biscuit base in the tin.
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the edges are set but the centre is slightly soft.
    Turn off the oven, leave the cheesecake inside andleave the door ajar. Leave to cool in the oven for 45 monutes.
  8. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool to room temperature. Remove from tin, cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, before serving.

    Note: I reduced the recipe by a quarter of it (I divided everything by 4), cos' I only used a small 5-inch pan. Thankfully it worked fine. :)

    Recipe Source: Cakes Galore by Valerie Barrett - This book was given to me by this birthday gal and it's the first recipe that I tried. ;)

    Yeah...here's your favourite cheesecake especially for you my dear! Happy Birthday gal!

11 comments:

daphne said...

Hi Aimei!

Your recipe is timely! I have been searching for a cheesecake recipe... and now I have it! Will let u know how mine turn out. =)

Aimei said...

Hehe...how timely! Alright, I look forward to your post! ;)

kuangesther said...

Looking at lovely your cake, it makes me wanting to bake a cheesecake this weekend. Yours look so yummy!! ;p

Esther

kuangesther said...

typo error: should be "your lovely cake" ot "lovely your cake"

Happy Homebaker said...

I should have begged you to bake me my birthday cake ;)

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

You're so nice! Everytime I tried baking a cake, be it for my family or friends, I get so nervous :S

You're such a great friend!

Happy Mrs Kwok said...

You're so nice! Everytime I tried baking a cake, be it for my family or friends, I get so nervous :S

You're such a great friend!

Aimei said...

Thanks Esther!!

HHB! You bake even nicer cakes than me! Haha...But I don't mind doing that. ;)

Mrs Kwok, I get nervous too in the beginning. I would sometimes make ahead one first for fear of failing but now don't have the luxury of time to do that. So, I'll just pray hard it would turn out succesful. If not, I would sometimes think of a back up plan. Like a simple chocolate cake...always the safest! Hehe...

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi Aimei,
Thanks for the comment at my blog. I like your cheesecake. It looks very pretty. I've given up to make cheesecake long time ago because I always have cracked cheesecake on top. May I know how to prevent it from cracking? Hopefully I still have confidence to bake cheesecake again. Cheers!

Aimei said...

Hi Kitchen Corner,

Thanks! I do not have foolproof way to prevent cheesecakes from cracking. My previous blueberry cheesecake cracked too ut I covere it with blueberry jam! :D This time round, the cheesecake surprisingly did not crack. There was no flour used in this recipe. One way could be adjusting to your oven. Eg I placed my cake at the lower shelf, slightly towards the left as I know it is the hotspot of my oven.

Hope it helps.

Kitchen Corner said...

Hi Aimei,
Thanks for your help. I've put it in my to-do list. Will let you know the result whether it crack or not. Thanks!