Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Classics: Baked Cheesecake

I was grumpy yesterday morning.
Because I had to travel to Bandra. In.the.pouring.rain.!!
I'm running around (read: postponing packing as much as I can) move soon and yesterday hanging out with three very close girlfriends, chatting over thai pot rice and a very big wedge of chocolate mousse cake I realised that maybe rainy afternoons are'nt all that bad..
And how girlfriends are so under rated!!!
(ermmm....I don't mean this if you are a boy :p )
I mean,imagine if you had to hang out with  boys ALL the time.
Would they be willing to discuss which stall at hill road has the best deals for flats ?
Would they be able to tell you which kajal ACTUALLY does not smudge?
Would they be able to save you from the frizzy hair days that make you look like you got struck by lightning?
Would they not judge you if you wore purple pants???
Would they?
I did'nt think so.

My closest girlfriends have saved my sanity.A million times over.
Thank You.

Anyway...I have some news.....
So I randomly was going through the overview section of the blog yesterday and apparently it's crossed 11,000 views!!!
Whoop !!Whoop!!!
 So I decided to share a classic that I uaually end up making at family celebrations ,or christmas or just when a craving strikes....Baked Cheesecake.

I'm not a big fan of cold set cheesecake...You know, the ones that use hung curd and gelatin and whatnot and then you just let them set in the fridge. Actually I think thats just a plain ol' insult to the amazing dense baked cheesecake.
I mean c'mon ...its cheesecake....DO IT RIGHT!!!!

Baked Cheesecake Cupcakes:
Adapted from BBC GoodFood Issue 1

For the crust
digestive biscuits 180gms
butter 100-150gms
powdered sugar 2tbsp(or as per your taste)
vanilla ess 1/2tsp

  •  Powder the digestive biscuits.Melt the butter and mix all the ingredients for the crust together.It should resemble the consistency of wet sand.A good way to test if you've got the right consistency is to squeeze a portion of it tightly in your hand, it should hold together for a few seconds and not crumble apart immediately.
  • Press this evenly into the base of silicon cupcake moulds. (You can also make a full sized cheesecake instead of these mini ones)
  • Grease the base of the cake tin first if you are'nt using silicon.

For the cheesecake:

 Cream cheese 600gms
 Powdered sugar 200gms
 Eggs                   3
 Fresh cream        200gms
Vanilla essence     a tsp

  • Preheat the oven to 180'C. And heat some water upto boiling point.Combine cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and beat well till smooth.
  • Add oin the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl from time to time so u dnt get lumps at the end.
  • Add in vanilla ess and cream and beat well till blended.
  • Pour over the crust and tap the mould on the table once to get rid of any air bubbles
  • Place the mould into a waterbath with wateralmost upto halfway upto the sides of the cheesecake tin
  • Cover with tin foil and Bake at 180'C for about 12 min.The cakes should still have a bit of a jiggle in the center.
  • |Turn of the oven and let it rest in the oven for abt 40 min
  • Chill the cheesecakes overnight. (if I'm in a hurry I allow them to set in the freezer for a few hours instead)
  • Serve topped with fresh any berry syrup or preserve work well!!!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Mojito Cupcakes

Have you looked out the window today?
It's too darn grey :/
Not a colour I'm particularly fond of, especially when it comes with slushy muddy streets .

 Luckily even though it was lazy and rainy all day yesterday, right when these were done in the oven, the sun came up for just a few mintues to help me pretty up the pictures.
Boo yeah.

Once in a while you come across a recipe that you just HAVE to try. Now, most people just look at the pretty pictures in magazines or cookbooks and move on . But every now and then, the skies open up and a light shines through and you know that there will no longer be peace in the universe until you make the recipe.
 This recipe was  for a mojito cake that I saw on Masterchef Australia  sometime last week, and after that I've been waiting to try it , every chance I get.
After all, EVERYTHING is better with rum.
Or so they say.

 This lil' pigeon has managed to make a nest in one of the flowerpots outside our window and she is now sitting nice and toasty on three tiny eggs!!


So, it's safe to say that all is well in the universe again, because I managed to whip these up and share em' with some very happy (and lucky, mind you :P:P) friends yesterday.
These are my version of friendship bands.
I have a feeling I've just started a new tradition here.

While I was watching the Masterclass episode where these were made, they seemed pretty darn easy. Its just a simple cake, a buttercream frosting and a little flavoured syrup. After that it's just a matter of assembling it all.
The cake is all fancy because it does'nt use baking powder/baking soda for leavening, the eggs do all the work!! It's called a Genoise sponge, and honestly, I'd be lying if I said I was'nt a bit worried. But they turned out perfectly!!!

Happy Friendship Day!!!

Mojito Cupcakes

Masterchef Australia season 4

For the syrup:
30gm sugar+ 45ml rum+ 10 ml limejuice+Zest of 1 lemon+Mint leaves+ 100 ml water
heat all the ingredients in a pan till the sugar has just dissolved and turn off the heat, and leave to infuse.

For the Genoise Spongecake:
6 eggs
260gms Castor sugar
150gms melted Butter
260gms Refined flour

  •  Preheat the oven to 180'C
  • Whisk the eggs and castor sugar over a double boiler with an electric whisk. Continue to whisk until the mixture reaches a ribbon consistency. ( About 10 minutes).You can test it by lifting a little mixture with a spoon and drooping it back into the bowl, while moving the spoon. the misture should not sink immediately and should leave a visible trail.
  • Once it reaches this stage, whisk it off the double boiler for a few minutes to cool it slightly. Now pour in the melted butter along the sides of the bowl and slowly fold it in.
  • Pour in the flour in the same manner a little at a time and fold it in. This is done to make sure that you don't knock out the air from the batter as this is what will allow the cake to rise in the oven. Moving the batter around too much, or not folding ingredients in gently will cause it to loose all the air you whisk into the eggs.
  • Pour the batter into cupcake cases and bake immediately for 10 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Cool the cupcakes.
Mint and lemon Buttercream:

150gms unsalted butter
300gms Sifted Icing sugar
5gms Mint leaves
Zest of 2 lemons

  • Whisk the butter until slightly add in the icing sugar a little at a time, whisking continuously. Once all the icing sugar is almost added in, add in the mint leaves and lemon zest and whisk.
  • Pipe or spread on the cupcakes and top with a lemon wedge.
  • * Do NOT skip the lemon wedge!!! I know squeezing lemon juice on a cupcake before eating it might sound weird, but the little burst of lemon juice over the buttercream icing just before eating the cupcake it what makes it beyond heaven!!!