Tag Archives: Cheesecake

Pierre Herme Cheesecake

3 Mar

Snow again!!! My two lucky snow covered weekends of all time. Was it a coincidence or what that Vancouver got snow on the weekends one after each other. I often hear people saying they want a pineapple express. Boooo!!!! Despite the fact that I am freezing my ass off and shivering away, I am a fan of the cold weather. During these two weekends, if one where to notice a dark blimp sticking out the arm and inspecting the quality of the snow flakes whilst walking down a snow covered street, well….that blimp would be me ūüôā

In light of these past snowing weekends, I thought of a superb idea to warm up the house. Nothing can warm up the cold air circulating around the kitchen than a nice toasty warm even. To cure my insatiable appetite for desserts, I decided to make a deliciously smooth cheesecake. I was flipping through a Pierre Herme cookbook recently and my dark gleaming eyes fell upon his milky smooth white cheesecake. Pierre Herme had always been my inspiration as most of the flavoring in his creations really complimented each other. His cheesecake was no different. Originally I had though that it was similar to the north american sytle cheesecakes but to my astonishment his really instructions really stood out. Slow baked cheesecake best described PH’s. You see most cheesecakes recipes required a higher temperature during baking and in turn this promoted a browning of the top as the sugar caramelized but with a lower temperature and a steam bath, the cheesecake was at its best. I have longed to make cheesecakes that have a creamy rich consistency and now I have achieved it thanks to his instructions. For me, I started at a lower temperature at approx 225F and increased the temperature to 235f over a period of 1 1/2 hours. Keeping a watchful eye on the delicately scrumptious concoction definitely helped. By the time the cheesecake was baked the center should only wobble a bit.

Keys to a White and Smooth Cheesecake:
-Lower Baking Temperature and Longer Baking Time
-Warm Water Bath

DSC_0343

Pierre Herme Cheesecake (Can also be found here)

1 kg (2 1/4lbs) cream cheese, at room temperature
300g sugar
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
70g heavy cream
50g flour

Preheat the oven to 225.
Mix the cream cheese and sugar and beat until smooth.
Add egg yolks, eggs and cream one by one until fully incorporated and smooth
Add the flour and mix well.
Pour the cream cheese filling onto the cooled cheesecake base in the ring on the baking sheet.
Place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours until the edges are set and the middle is a little wobbly.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven, set aside to cool, then refrigerate.

This cheesecake really hit the spot and I am glad to share this recipe. Enjoy this smooth silky cheesecake!!!

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Matcha Cheesecake

22 May

I decided to make another no bake cheesecake with the remaining cream cheese I had left over. Instead of making an ordinary cheesecake, I decided to make something extra. I have been reading alot on double baked cheesecakes and hence decided to make a double cheesecake as well. I considered making azuki cheescake but decided against it as it would be too sweet, hence I decided to make a baked new york style cheesecake instead.

I first made the new york cheesecake in silicone molds. Once that was completed, I proceeded to make the no bake matcha cheesecake. I first boiled the milk and then whisked the matcha green tea into the milk ensuring all granules were melted. Then added the cream cheese to the mixture. To prevent lumps and a creamy texture, I heated the creamcheese in a bain marie again. I then placed the gelatin in cold water to let it bloom and melted the gelatin in a bain marie as well. Once the gelatin has melted, I added this into the cream cheese mixture.

To assemble the matcha cheesecake, I placed the sable cookies at the bottom, and poured in some matcha mixutre and added the baked new york cheesecake and then topped it off with the remaining green tea mixture. As a decoration, I created a white chocolate border and painted on some red food colouring to create contrast. I then topped it off by decorating with strawberry pearls and freezed dried strawberries. DSC_0339

Matcha Cheese Cake (found here)
200g Arnotts Nice biscuits (or any other plain sweet biscuits)
100g unsalted butter, melted
150ml pure (whipping) cream
170g cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup caster sugar
100ml milk
1 1/2 tsp matcha powder (adjust to taste, I like mine a bit stronger)
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin

As a note: Instead of using new york cheesecake, as they are of a completely different consistency, I would recommend maybe trying a creme brulee or custard instead for next time. Enjoy.

A Cheesecake for a Sunny Day

8 May

I have been receiving orders for a year now from a department in a post secondary institute. Thanks to my connection with a friend whom we met at VRC, which is a sport club. Sole purpose was for extra practice for a varsity team in the beginning. Nonetheless, we have been friends for a good little while. In light of this, I made this cheesecake for the occasion. I would say, for myself, it would be one of the more time consuming cheesecakes as I needed to use leaves to make the petals.

Instead of a graham cracker crust, I opted for a pate sable crust, in my opinion, it was probably the most versatile one. Next I proceeded to make the new york cheesecake base by creaming the cheese, sugar, sour cream and eggs. To add a little more tang to the cheesecake, I grated some orange zest into it. I then topped it up with strawberries. I was quite careful not to over bake the cheesecake thus watched it carefully and baked it in a water bath. Once the cheesecake was done, I allowed it to cool in the oven prior to removing it. I then glazed the cheesecake with Valhrona Absolut and toasted some coconut as a garnish.

Next, came the petals. I melted some white chocolate, I used Valhrona but one could basically use any chocolate. I then brushed the melted white chocolate onto the leaves. To save time, I chose to freeze the petals a bit for easier peeling. As a tip, to not break the delicate white chocolate leaves, peel the leaf away. I continued making leaves until I had enough to arrange into a flower. Once the flower was done, I sliced up some mangoes and centered some raspberries to make the flower look more realistic. Using food colouring, I then painted the petals rose red and the leaves green. As a quick touch, I added a lady bug perching on one of the petals as seen in nature. The end product, well for me I knew I had pushed my boundary. Hopefully you’ll agree as well. DSC_0328

Cottonly Soft-Japanese Cheesecake

24 Mar

I tend to do all the baking on the weekend for the work week and since I was out and about yesterday, I stayed in today to make some goodies for next week.  I had some extra cream cheese in the fridge and since I have not made a Japanese Cheesecake for a while I decided to make it again.  Unlike most North American cheesecakes, the Japanese cheesecake was less dense, rich and fattening primarily because it required less cheese to make it.  One could say it was a cross between a sponge cake and a cheesecake as it used the whipped egg whites as a leavener.

DSC_0270The method used to make the japanese cheesecake was much more different than your typical North American cheesecake as part of the mixture required bain marie method to make it.  I first warmed the milk and added the cream cheese.  It was crucial that the milk/cheese mixture became smooth.  Once the mixture was smooth, the lemon zest, butter and eggs were added into the batter.    Make sure the milk/cheese mixture was cooled before adding the eggs or you would cook the eggs.  Flour and cornstarch was then incorporated by sifting.  As the second part, whip the egg whites to medium peak and add in the sugar while mixing.   I then folded the whipped egg whites into the milk/cheese mixture and then baked it at 340F for approx 45 minutes.  As an extra flavour, I added some mangoes to the cake.

Japanese Cheesecake

165 ml milk

165 g cream cheese

40 g butter

4 egg yolks

36 g flour

14 g corn starch

1 piece orange zest

4 piece egg white

90 g sugar.

Result:  The result was a cake that was much more moist, light, airy, smooth and less sweet as well.  DSC_0272I recommend this cheesecake to anyone who wanted something different.

Christmas

5 Dec

Gingerbread House

Alas Christmas is a couple of weeks away…Vancouver had once again come to life¬† from the dreary doldrums of fall as evident by the wonderful array of dancing¬† illumination of lights in hues of reds, yellows, greens and oranges.¬† They sparkled like gems adorning every Christmas Tree in the city while the smell of fresh crisp pine filled the air.¬†¬† A sight to see and experience as Christmas songs chimed throughout the malls, ice skaters glided gleefully along the ice at Robson, carolers caroling happily as trumpets played at the Christmas Market and the wonderful aroma of cinnamon lingered from in the gingerbread houses at the Hyatt hotel.¬† Mmmmmm… A special time of year as everyone seemed to be in a joyous and giving mood…well that was what it seemed.¬† Christmas always brought out the best in everyone perhaps its just the season of joy, peace and happiness.¬†¬† For me as it would signify family gatherings with cousins, aunts and friends alike spreading the cheer.¬† My house filled with aromas of baked goodies.

I am volunteering at the Christmas Market this year.¬† I don’t know…perhaps it was the promise of¬† hope peace and cheer that attracted me as I got to see the joy in peoples faces as they sang along with the carolers; a sight that was rarely seen.¬†¬† Christmas was my favourite time of year.¬† The festivities, but most importantly it was the snow.¬† It was very peaceful watching¬† the delicate fluffy flakes slowly, softly float down onto the icy pavement and blanketed the city transforming it into a winter wonderland; add the beauty of the¬† twinkling gem like holiday lights, music…wow.¬† As a child, I have always loved strolling in at night in the winter wonderland listening to the snow softly crunching below my feet…actually I still do.¬† Couple of more weeks until the exact date December 25 and still more to explore ūüôā

As usual, Christmas was the time my oven was on OT, baking me goodies.¬† This year, there was a birthday and required me to do a cake.¬† I wanted to make it more special by adding on pulled sugar as a topping amongst the usual raspberries.¬† Spun sugar or pulled sugar reflected light and adds complexity in appearance to the dessert. ¬† As mentioned before, baking in many ways is an expression of me as I could manipulate texture, tasteGerman Cheesecake, colours and appearance hence bringing out my creative side.¬† Unlike most cheesecakes which were dense, the cheesecake I made was a german cheesecake with¬† extra tang from the sour cherry :).¬† I don’t like heavy artery clogging and diabetes induciMy beautiful pictureng desserts thus decided on a lighter cheesecake.

Next came a chocolate hazelnut tart.  I was perusing through the baking section at Chapters in look for new books to add to my collection and fell upon a lovely book by Thomas Kellar called, Bouchon Bakery.  What striked me from flipping through the pages was that although some recipes were quite technical, the book itself was quite detailed.  Photos of the baked goods are exemplary and made it easy for the reader to follow.  Like the Pierre Herme book I bought last year, I fell in love with the book.  I have already tried 2 recipes and in good timing.  I really liked the Chocolate Praline Tart which itself resembled hedgehog chocolate as it contained a hazelnut layer and a dark chocolate ganache layer.  To add texture and crunch feuilletine was added.  Overall, I quite liked the tart as it was light and rich in chocolate and hazelnut.

Chocolate Praline and Cocoa Nib Tart

Praline:

Hazelnut-Almond Praline Pase   144 grams( I roasted and grounded my hazelnuts instead)

40% Milk Chocolate  15 grams (I had already used nougat-made of roasted hazelnuts and chocolate)

Cocoa Butter 12.5 grams

Feuilletine 60 grams

Chocolate Dentelle

Skinned toasted hazelnuts 37 grams

Granulated Sugar 75 grams

Unsalted butter 62 grams

light corn syrup 25 grams

Whole Milk 21 grams

Cocoa Nibs 37 grams

Cocoa Power sifted 7 grams

Chocolate Ganache

64% chocolate  200 grams ( I just used dark chocolate, Callebaut)

Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream)

Trimoline Sugar 14 grams

Glucose 12 grams-***I did not use either trimoline or glucose-instead I used honey as a substitute

Unsalted butter 14 grams

Note:¬† The purpose of trimoline and glucose was to make the ganache smoother, but if you don’t have that honey will do fine.

Introspection

29 Nov

As I start this blog, the word introspection came to mind another journey, as I look back in a month of chaotic and unsettled feelings like waves thrashing back in forth the coastline… there was a calming tonight as if a weight had been lifted off my chest nothing short of a resolution, Nov. 28, 2012.¬†¬† Where indecision and anxiety stood, clarity and closure was now in its place.¬† I shall not miss these feelings, the stigmas and the bondage which cut and drained me as I set myself¬† free.¬† They don’t know me.

Being introspective or reflective upon oneself is probably the best healing there is.¬† “Live for yourself, not what people may say-so true, so true.”¬†¬† I accept myself for who I am with all my flaws and strengths.¬† That is who I want to be and what sets me apart from the rest.

Christmas looms near, I feel somewhat revitalized as it was always a season of giving, a season of warmth, peace and hope….well that was how I see it.

As the sound of jingle bells, and deck the halls fill my car, it brings warmth and cheer.   For one thing my oven will be loving me NOT as I fill its cavity with cookies and cakes.  The Nutcracker always manages to fill me with joy not to mention the Vancouver Christmas Market where I get my goodies to decorate my tree and garland with my ever expanding decorations. Hey they are pretty okay?  All that glimmer and intricate detailing well worth my shinny penny.  I shall have a good time tonight with the volunteering at the Christmas Market.

I have been deciding what to post next and once again procrastinating as usual thus decided to post a cheesecake instead.

Cheesecake Marbled (New York Style)

80 g Graham Cracker Crumbs

30 g honey

50 g butter (melted) crust

340 g cream cheese

60 g sugar

3 eggs

80 g sour cream

1.  Grind Graham crackers

2.  Combine honey and butter with graham crackers

3.  Press inside cake ring and bake 300 for 10 minutes

Cake

1.  Cream the cheese until smooth and then add sugar and sour cream

2.  Gradually incorporate the eggs and mix in completely.

3.  Reserve cream cheese mixture for decoration and mix with cocoa powder to form paste.

4.  Spoon on to cream cheese mixture and decorate.

5.  Bake 300F for 45 mins until firm.

Steveston Doughnuts and Birthday Cakes!!!

15 Aug

Whew, what a weekend and week thus far!!!  Busy, busy..

First all congrats to all the Canadian athletes who represented Canada at the London 2012 Olympics. ImageYou did us all proud.¬† It was an amazing 17 memorable days filled with excitement, exhilaration and happiness.¬†¬† The Olympics were¬† full of recording breaking moments such as Phelps becoming most decorated Olympian¬† of all time with 22 medals, Usain Bolt winning gold medals in both 100, 200 relays and not to mention, Ye Shiwen the 16 yr old swimming wonder. Whoot whoot.¬† Yes… I am an Olympics Fan.¬† Sniff sniff but where there is happiness there is also despair Canadian 4×100…it’s unfortunate but you did great,carried the weight and did Canada proud.¬† Soon it will be the Paralympics yay!!!

Aside from the Olympics and me playing couch potato…I¬† finally found enough energy from the Olympics daze to chase summer again.¬† First stop mini doughnuts.¬† Summer will not be the same without mini doughnuts.¬† A high school friend posted some cool photos of a quaint little place in Steveston called the OutPost.¬† The photos were so attractive and appealing and I could not resist tempation alas I succumbed…weak….:(; thus drove down to beautiful Steveston to feed my addiction.¬† Addiction to little doughnuts.¬† MMMMM….nothing could be any better than fresh hot little doughnuts.¬† Melt in your mouth goodness. ¬† They have several kinds and you can mix and match them.¬† Sure you can get them Mini Doughnuts at PNE but IMHO, these are far more better.¬† There was no baking soda after taste.¬† The store is quite charming as well as it is early 1900’s themed.¬† One could get quite cozy as they lounge in the little lounging area; sipping on a lemonade while munching on doughnuts. ¬†

Birthday Cake

This week was my friends birthday.  As always I was thrilled that he had asked me to do his cake but even more surprising to me was that he wanted a cake I had previously made.  It was the German Cheesecake that he wanted.  I guess it struck quite an impression on him that he wanted the same cake.  Recipe can be found here https://evasbakingpassion.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/friends-anniversary-hectic-pastry-week-4.   Well to say the least I wanted to make it a bit more special and different.  Thus I decided to add spun sugar and gold flakes as a decoration.

I first baked the cake and then glazed the cake with neutral mirror glaze.¬† I then roasted some coconut and gently patted the coconut onto the sides.¬† The cake smells like roasted mmmmmm….As the second step to assembling the decorations, I used mangos, nectarines and kiwis to yield a subtle yet colourful canvas.¬† I first cut the mangoes into strips width wise and arrange them in a way that served as an outline of the cake.¬†¬† I then arranged the nectarines and kiwis in a way that resembled a pinwheel.¬† Alternating nectarine and kiwi.¬† Next was the spun sugar.

Making Dry Caramel-This Caramel has no water

1.  Sugar

2.  Pot

3.  Sheet Pan

Cook the sugar in pot at medium heat stirring constantly until sugar melts and turns a light amber colour.   Once the sugar is changing colours reduce the heat as the temperature will rise quite fast.  Test the colour of the caramel by lifting it into the light.    When a golden amber  to dark golden amber colour is achieved, turn off heat.  Use a fork and dip it into the sugar and drizzle fast over a sheet pan to get the spun sugar effect.  Sugar crystalizes once it cools onto the sheet pan.  Once the sugar is cooled, gently shape it into a ball.  For me, I used the spun sugar as an added decoration more visually appealing.  The benefits of spun sugar is that light reflects of the sugar and makes the cake more eye catching.  I then finished off the decoration with edible gold leaves and voila.  Happy Birthday Mihai. 

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