Friday, 29 January 2010

White Russian Flavoured Cheesecake and it's evolution to a Turkish Coffee Cheesecake....

After the margarita cheesecake session Anna and I were thinking of all the amazing different cocktail inspired cheesecakes we could I got a bit carried away....lots of baking and 4 cheesecakes later I feel like I'm nearing obesity, but the cheesecakes make me very happy.
Anyhow, back to the cheesecake :) we thought that the amazingness of White Russians would go very well with the whole idea of a baked cheesecake, so last weekend I finally got around to giving the idea a go....same recipe as the Margarita Cheesecake but instead of the lime juice and the Cointreau I added 4 shots of Kahlua and instead of the cornflour I used 2 tbsp of Dr. Oetker Chocolate Pudding powder (the best stuff in the ever!!! if you have friends living/going to Germany or Austria get them to buy you some!) and 2 tbsp of normal custard powder.
It worked well...and turned out ok...especially on the second day but it's not quite there's missing the amazingness of a White Russian (so there will be a second round of that one). I think adding some whipped cream and some instant coffee might do the job...

Having attempted the White Russian-ness I was stuck trying to make a cake for our departmental fundraising coffee morning...the whole coffee-flavour thing hadn't been too bad but I wanted a more indulgent cake than the decidedly puritan product the day before - one late-night baking session later I had an 18cm tin of turkish coffee amazingness in front of me....

Turkish Coffee Cheesecake
I used 1/2 of the margarita cheesecake recipe which left me with lots of leftover filling and some leftover pastry.
Put the filling into ramekins and make mini-cheesecakes for desert the next day.
Instead of sticking the dough into the fridge by itself i put it into a loose-bottomed tin and put the whole tin into the fridge. Thinking about it, one of those aluminium pie dishes for thanksgiving would probably be the best size - they're deeper than my tin so they would probably hold the whole filling without having to bother with the mini-cheesecakes.
Once the pastry was in the fridge I was ready for the exciting stuff.

Make a ganache with:

100g of really good chocolate
1/2 cup of double cream&
1 tbsp of butter (heated up together)
some booze....I put rum in
some syrup if you fancy

Melt the chocolate by pouring the cream and butter mix over it , leave it for about 5 minutes, and then stir it until the chocolate bits are dissolved...then you add the rum if you're putting any in....I only had 80% chocolate which I was worried would be a bit too intense for the cake so I added some golden syrup to make things a bit sweeter.

Let the chocolate mixture cool down for a bit (I put it into the freezer for a few minutes) and then spread about 3/4 of the mixture onto the pastry (this means you have lots of leftover chocolate-amazingness which you obviously have to eat....or make some truffles if you have the energy...I didn't....)
Ok...back to the cheesecake-ness as I said - half the margarita recipe with some extra butter....I used a tbsp more butter than I would have otherwise and then you add

2 shots of of Kahlua into which you mix
2 tsp coffee granules (tiny bit of hot water made them dissolve in the booze)
1tsp cinnamon (though I'm tempted to say that 2 might work even better)

If you're not freaked out by raw eggs like I am try the batter to figure out whether it needs some more sugar. I felt it was fine without any added sugar.
And then the mixture goes on top of the chocolate in the tin (be generous but keep in mind that the thing is gonna rise - so leave some space at the top unless you like cleaning your oven)
In my oven it took about 30 minutes but just look at it and keep testing with a skewer.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Baked Margarita Cheesecake

One of my favourite kinds of cake growing up used to be baked cheesecake...unlike the tiny versions I've seen in the States and the UK, proper German cheesecake tends to be made in a 26 or 28 cm springform tin (which means you can either invite lots of people for coffee, feed you crazy big family or eat cake for the rest of the week....I always used to love the fact that once my mum gave up on trying to force me and my sister to eat healthy food....believe me...wholegrain shortcrust pastry is one of my worst nightmares...cheesecake on Sundays normally turned into a piece of cheesecake at afternoon tea for the rest of the week....good times...) I hadn't made cheesecake in a while but then my friend Anna suggested making some the other day (it turned into a cheesecake-'Jane Austen Book Club'- evening....)
So we were more or less innocently making a plain cheesecake but I didn't have any lemons around.....but then we found some can probably guess where this is going...yes...we might have ended up making margarita grandma.....who the original recipe is from would probably disown me if she found out....but OMG....I don't think I've had such an amazing idea in a we go:

Baked Margarita Cheesecake
Preheat the oven to 160-180 degrees (my oven is on the hotter side of the whatever you normally use to kinda slowly bake a bigger cake...160 in my case but you know your oven, I don't)

Make some shortcrust pastry using
-250g flour
-125g butter
-65g sugar
-1 egg
-potentially some cold water
rub the butter, sugar and flour together, add the egg (and if you need to the water), wrap it in clingfilm and stick it into the fridge while you make the filling.

I like my filling quite thick so I tend to use more than what my grandma told me the following quantities are guidelines...use more or less depending on how you like your cheesecake...
-50-75g butter
-125-150g sugar (depends on how sweet you are)
cream the butter and the sugar for like forever....then add
-4-5 egg yolks
and keep beating for another two minutes or so...then we get to the fun part....add
-juice and zest of 1 lime
-some cointreau....we used probably 2 tablespoons....
-some tequila....didn't have any cheap tequila left...but I feel this will exponentially improve the recipe
then add
-2-4 tbsp cornflour or custard powder
-750-1000g quark (if you can't find any use 0% greek's a bit too moist so either use more, using some more cornflour, or stain it in a colander lined with muslin cloth....) and if you fancy...
- 200g sour cream or whipping cream whipped (whatever the little pots are size-wise....)
once you've combined all the ingredients for the filling take the dough out of the fridge, roll it out and put it into a slightly oiled 26cm springform tin, put the filling in and put it into the preheated oven for 70-90 minutes.
Once it's done, leave it to cool for at least half an hour....otherwise the filling will ooze out's gonna taste just as nice though....

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Chocolate-Aubergine Cake

Ever feel like no matter how much chocolate you eat it just doesn't cut it? For me this is the cake for just those moments....Think chocolate mousse in cake form....
I found this cake in Harry Eastwood's 'Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache' but ended up playing around with it a bit...

© Verena Kersken

Chocolate-Aubergine Cake
2 largeish Aubergines (you'll want around 600 to 700 grams overall)
400 g Dark Chocolate (I find anything over 80% gets excessive...lovely when you eat it but don't see the point for cooking...)
75 g Cocoa Powder
100 g Ground Almonds
4 Eggs
300 g Clear Honey
3 tsp Baking Powder
A pinch of Salt
1 tbsp Rum

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a 26cm springform tin with baking parchment (or tinfoil if you're really struggling...but you might end up picking bits of aluminium off you warned).
Next you're gonna pretend the aubergines are your ex or your high-school Latin teacher and puncture their skin with a fork. Put them into a bowl, cover with cling film and put them into the microwave for just under 10 minutes. When you take them out drain the water at the bottom and then let them cool(this is the important bit) before taking their skin off (believe me burning your fingers while skinning aubergines does not make you a happy rather wait 5 minutes too long...and reheat them afterwards....).
Next you want to puree the aubergines either with one of those hand-held stick things or with whatever blendery thing you happen to have (this might take some time...but it'll get there...). Stir in the chocolate and set it aside until the chocolate has completely melted...put it back into the microwave for a bit if you have to....
Admire the velvety-chocolatey-amazingess in front of you!
Combine all the other ingredients and fold in the chocolate aubergine mix - it might take a while to combine....
Put everything into the tin and bake it for about 35-40 minutes (if your skewer comes out clean you'll have done something wrong...) and enjoy while still semi-warm...
If you have leftovers, you can freeze them really well and just microwave them when you need them. Best thing ever after a long day or when you're stuck for desert when you've got friends over.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Here we go...

Hi, my name is Katharina. Theoretically I'm working on my PhD but practically I'm spending a whole lot of that time thinking about food, reading about food and, most importantly, cooking and eating food food food....since I keep loosing whatever pieces of scrap-paper I keep writing my changes of recipes on I've decided to post my thoughts here.
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