386: Super Vanilla Cheesecake
My original plans for the holidays were to bake, cook and play hard but things didn’t turn out that way in the end. Time flies! 5 weeks have flown past and (yes it’s currently 2am, Sunday) and I’m finally going to start work tomorrow (Monday). I’m dreading it. I’ve been dreading it since the start of the holidays. Alright, I’ve been dreading this since 4 years ago. I cannot believe I’ve graduated (officially in July) and I’m entering the workforce. The jitters!
I need to play hard today (Sunday)! Will be joining the family to Sentosa (yes, again! I just went on Friday!) later today because the aunt booked a deluxe (sounds pretty huge) hotel room at Festive Hotel at Resorts World Sentosa. I want to eat Garett’s Caramel Crisp popcorn! Haha but it’s ultra fattening and terribly sinful. Oh wells. I think reality will only set in tonight (Sunday night) when I start worrying and get all nervous and scared.
It was the birthday celebration for two of my close friends yesterday (in fact, it was just 3 hours ago when we went our separate ways home). I baked them a super vanilla cheesecake from Keiko Ishida’s Okashi. It’s a really good cheesecake, something I will definitely bake again and again!
The friends loved it. Haha! I’m glad they did. One of them (who’s earning really really really well now) suggested I start a business and he’s willing to chip in. Say, a cake shop/cafe/bakery/online business? Haha that sounds very very distant right now. I’ve never thought about it because I don’t think I’m good at all. I’m still learning along the way. I’m still a very amateur baker. But I love baking and cooking and experimenting! Baking”s something I will not give up anytime soon. In fact, I joked that since he’s earning so well, it would be wonderful if I get a scholarship from him to study a basic Pattiserie or Pastry course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris to better myself!!! Haha or even Le Cordon Bleu in London, Seoul, Kobe or Tokyo! Haha that sounds very cool right? Alright, maybe sometime in the near distant future, I may decide to fly to Paris to learn a skill or two! That’ll wait. For now, pre-reg training awaits me! ):
You know, I had wanted to get an iPad 2. I’ve been lusting over one since before its release. But after seeing how similar the functions are to the iPhone (just that it’s larger), I’ve decided I’m not getting one. In fact, I’m thinking of getting a Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer instead. I believe a younger me (say, the 18 year old me) will not believe that 5 years down the road, I’m giving up my iPad for a Kitchenaid. I cannot believe that instead of lusting over branded bags and shoes like a normal 23 year old female, I’m lusting over kitchen appliances like the gorgeous Kitchenaid Artisan mixer. I sound very old, don’t I?
I realised I’ve digressed. Back to the super vanilla cheesecake, it’s just awesome! I used the beans from a vanilla pod and pure vanilla extract for the cheesecake. And the cheesecake layer was quite awesome, it was perfect. Not too dense and adequately moist. Just like those sold at Bakerzin! It’s a cake that I wouldn’t mind eating if I didn’t have to count my daily calories. The blueberries added the really beautiful purple tinge and slight tartness that complemented the cheesecake layer. I love this recipe, it’s a keeper! I added on some white and dark chocolate shavings (just shred the chocolates!) for garnishes.
I’m sharing the recipe from the book, but I adapted it since I didn’t have a compact food processor, I used my hand mixer but the key is NOT TO OVERMIX the cheese batter mixture. Just mix until it is well combined. Avoid introducing air in as it would cause cracks in the cake when baking. Other than using a hand mixer, a powerful arm to do some light manual mixing works fine too!
Super Vanilla Cheesecake (for a 20cm Springform cake pan)
Adapted from Keiko Ishida’s Okashi
195g wheat crackers (or Digestive biscuits)
75g melted unsalted butter
330g cream cheese
75g castor sugar
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 TBSP whipping cream (35% fat)
1 vanilla pod + 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pack (125g) fresh blueberries
195g sour cream (I used the light sour cream, for obvious reasons)
30g icing sugar
1) Make cheesecake a day in advance. Preheat oven to 170 degree Celsiu. Prepare a 20cm round springform cake pan. Lightly grease with butter.
2) Mash wheat crackers (or Digestive biscuits) into fine crumbs (I used a mortar). Add melted butter and mix well.
3) Transfer crumbs to cake pan and spread evenly. Press down to pack crumbs tightly, using the base of a glass cup, then place pan in the refrigerator to set.
4) Place cream cheese in microwave oven and heat at 600W (medium) for about 15 seconds or until softened. Mix in sugar, egg yolks, cream and vanilla. Mix well. (I used the hand mixer and mixed in VERY lightly at low speed until just evenly combined).
5) Arrange blueberries over cracker base, then pour cream cheese mixture over and bake for 25-30 minutes until top of cheesecake is light brown and centre feels springy to the touch. Remove cheesecake from the oven.
6) Increase oven temperature to 200 degree Celsius.
7) Mix together sour cream and icing sugar. Heat in the microwave oven at 600W (Medium) for about 30 seconds until mixture becomes fluid. Pour over baked cheesecake and return to the oven to bake for another 2-3 minutes for sour cream layer to set.
8) Remove cheesecake from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
9) To unmould cheesecake, warm sides of cake pan with a warm towel or blowtorch. (I used a warm knife to gently slide along the inner sides of the springform pan to release the cakes from the sides). To slice cake, use a warm knife. Garnish as desired. Serve.
Alrights, it’s terribly past my bedtime! It’s 3am already! Turning in soon, goodnight world.