Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New York Baked Cheesecake

Not content with yesterdays go at cheesecake (It was still delish though) I decided to go for a more traditional cheesecake recipe this morning before work (but after the gym.....gotta look after the figure you know hehe).

I looked through a whole bunch of recipes that I had bookmarked, but then just kinda decided to make it up as I went along.

I'm not the world's best recipe creator. I don't understand the science that goes in the baking. So I'm actually really surprised how nicely this cheesecake turned out (apart from the huge crack in the top, even though I cooled it in the oven which is meant to prevent that from happening!!)

 You can't really see the crack on the top here, but it most certainly is there. I wish the sides weren't saggy either but oh well, what can you do other than try, try again and loosen the belt on your pants ;) hehe.

So, as I said, I just kind of made the recipe up myself and didn't *really* measure alot of the stuff either. I know, vote me off the island, I'm a terrible baker.

New York Baked Cheesecake
By ME!!

3/4 packet of malt biscuits (I used paradise brand. But really, use whatever kind of plain, sweet biscuits you want)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

250g philidelphia cream cheese
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 (I think.....sorry) cup of thickened cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
squeeze of lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 170C and grease and line a springform pan that you think would be a nice size - I know that is terrible annoying and vague of me, but I think mine is 10inches.

Give the biscuits a whizz in the food processor. Or, if you're like me and you don't have one, put them in a plastic bag and bash the heck out of them with a rolling pin. When that doesn't work, put the shards of biscuits in a bowl and punch the heck out of them with your fists. Pummel. Squeeze. Push. Whatever works. When there's *still* tiny crumbs, put them in your mortar & pestle and smooth out any pesky crumbs. Phew, hard work.

Add your melted butter to your biscuit crumbs and press in to your springform tin. Set aside.

Now, grab your cream cheese and make sure it's at room temperature otherwise you'll get little lumps in it. We want it nice and smooooooth baby. Beat it in your stand mixer for a minute or so and then add in your sugar and beat until well combined. Next, add your thickened cream, and beat until combined. Don't overbeat. We all know what happens when you overbeat things with cream in them. Butter butter butter uh oh!!

Add your eggs, sour cream, vanilla & lemon juice and beat until nice and smooth and oh so sexy. Now pour your cream cheese mixture on to your base and put in the oven for an hour.

When it's done, it will be nice and golden brown on top. Hopefully there won't be cracks on top - to avoid cracks after it's baked, turn the oven off and leave it in the oven for a couple of hours to cool down slowly.

I think most cheesecakes are done in a waterbath, but after last nights semi disaster, until I get a new springform tin I ain't setting foot near a waterbath in the kitchen!!

Anyway, if you decide to make my cheesecake, I hope it works for you - let me know!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cheesecake Fail :(

Well, I almost didn't post this - but then I though it's unfair to post the things I suceed in without posting the occasional fails.


All day yesterday I was like I want cheesecake. I have to make cheesecake. Give me some cheesecake. I NEED SOME FREAKING CHEESECAKE. The way I was going on, you would have thought I was a pregnant woman. It's ok, I most definitely AM NOT.

Anyway, I searched all my favourite blogs for a recipe but couldn't settle on anything.

And then, this morning, Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella fame posted a recipe for a Zebra Cheesecake using a japanese cheesecake base. OMGYUM. I looooove Japanese cheesecake. It's not as sweet or heavy as your traditional cheesecake, so it doesn't leave you with a food hangover (unless you scoff the whole thing, which is quite easy to do!!)

Well, I printed the recipe, went to the gym in anticipation of the gained kilos from this cake, got the ingredients and set to work. I did everything that the recipe said. I even covered my springform pan in THREE layers of aluminium instead of 2 because it's a bit unreliable (annoyingly so, as it's a good brand and it wasn't cheap!!).

Well, here's a picture (and I apologise in advance for the shite quality - it's late, fluro lights are involved and I just can't wait the 10 hours until morning because I'm impatient):

Does that look like a zebra to you?? NO!! I didn't think so!!

Look, I'll be perfectly honest in that it tastes fine (even though my stupid springform pan let a whole bunch of water in GRRR), but it just doesn't LOOK how I wanted it to.

I think next time I make this, I'll stick to a plain cheesecake, so there are no zebras to upset me........hehehe.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Said to be named after the famous Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, Pavlova is a meringue based dessert topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit....umm, yes please!!

It was apparantly created to honour the ballerina during one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. It's a bit of an argument as to who created it - Australia or New Zealand. I think we all know where my loyalty lies - Australia most definitely!!

But, who cares who made it when it's so bloody delicious - just EAT IT!!

Oh yum. Yum yum yum. I feel sorry for my jeans - I don't think they're going to fit in around here for much longer!!

Recipe for Pavlova from Donna Hay
  • 150ml eggwhite (approximately 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream
  • ½ cup passionfruit pulp (approximately 4 passionfruit)
  • 250g strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 kiwi fruit
Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Spread over the pavlova, top with passionfruit, strawberries and kiwi fruit and serve immediately. Serves 8–10.
* You’ll know when the meringue is stiff and glossy because the mixture will have tripled in volume
and stands up when the beaters are lifted.
* The low heat puffs up the meringue while the long cooking time dries it out to give you a lovely crisp shell.
* Store your pavlova, undressed, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cinnamon bread french toast

Mmm cinnamon. Warm, delicious, fresh, soft cinnamon bread.

The smell in my house was divine.

Look at that swirl of cinnamon. I feel like I didn't put enough in there. Next time, there will definitely be more cinnamon. You can never have too much of it.

I decided that this bread was destined for good things. While my boyfriend and I did help ourselves to a thick slice each when it came straight out of the oven (with butter of course. YUM!!) I saved the rest for french toast. Check it out!! 

Egg mixture. Egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla.

The bread being dipped in the egg mixture.

Whoah, way too much deliciousness going on right there - topped with maple syrup and icing sugar?? Yes please!!

Cinnamon bread recipe:

1 cup lukewarm water
1 packet active yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cinnamon
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a mixer with a dough hook. Add the half of the olive oil, flour and salt and mix until incorporated. Let rise covered in a warm place for 30 minutes. Roll out into a rectangle. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. With a pastry brush spread remaining olive oil lightly over the surface and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the rectangle. Roll the dough up and pinch the ends and place in a bread loaf pan. Let rise for another 30 minutes. Put in a 180 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Why stop there though??
Cinnamon bread french toast recipe (serves 2)

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of vanilla
4 slices cinnamon bread
maple syrup (to serve)
icing sugar (to serve)

Combine egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon & vanilla in a bowl. Dip bread in egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides well. Fry in a pan for about 2 minutes each side or until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup and icing sugar. Enjoy!!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm baaaaaaaaack!!

I got back from Japan last Tuesday.

What a fabulous trip.

We were so lucky to see all the beautiful cherry blossoms blooming - infact incredibly lucky given the temperatures, it was about 5 degrees celcius in Tokyo!! Freaking cold!!

I have a million and one photos of food and especially desserts (my GOD it is dessert heaven over there!!) to post. I was lucky enough to stumble across the Tokyo Food Show one day and took hundreds of photos!!

Honestly, after seeing the amount of cakes, tarts, chocolates, ice creams and macarons in Japan, it's hard to believe dessert wasn't invented there. It's amazing. Every second shop has dessert and let me tell you I was almost having dessert after every single meal. Yes. Including breakfast. And I loved every single minute of it and don't regret it at all.

I went to an all you can eat dessert buffet. I can't even begin to convey the feeling I got when I walked in to the place. Let's just say I was like a kid at Christmas who got the pony that she'd been asking santa for for 10 years.

Anyway, I will definitely post photos soon - as soon as I can get my boyfriend to upload them and all that jazz since they were taken on his fancy pants camera!!

In the meantime, here's a cake I made on the weekend for a 16th birthday:

Just a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and covered in fondant. I tasted some of the scraps, it was pretty delish if I do say so myself!!