Posts Tagged ‘cheesecake’

Food Blogs November 2010 (Part 2)

Friday, December 10th, 2010

At Mahanandi during November, Indira proposed a Telugu menu for Thanskgiving celebrations, which looks a good menu.

While at Not Without Salt, Ashley has been sweetening up her Thanskgiving with delicious Mock Almond Crunch biscuits that I might try for my daughter’s rearranged birthday party (she had chicken pox for the original date, so we had to cancel).  I love the toasted almonds to give the sweet bite that nutty crunch.  Then Ashley talks about dark days during November, happy snow days and Duckfest, a day for preparing ducks from slaughter to plate.

While at Orangette, Molly Wizenberg thinks she might have found her new favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and so I might need to also bake that for Emily’s birthday party.  I am always on the quest for a better chocolate chip cookie recipe, not that the one I currently use from Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall is bad, but this is one of those fab biscuits that just can be made in so many different ways.  A good chocolate chip cookie has a great balance of bitterness and sweetness and different textures coming from the biscuit and the chocolate.  Then Molly treats us to a great way to cook carrots with onions and thyme, which is a rare treat into the world of vegetable recipes.

At The Wednesday Chef, Luisa Weiss bakes a squash pie for a German-American Thanksgiving in Berlin and points us to a great video from The New York Times on making the perfect pie crust and links back to Orangette for a Chard, Onion, and Gruyère Panade from back in 2005.  Luisa, also, baked some Benne Wafers that in her words are “insanely good”.

While Ree Drummond at The Pioneer Woman Cooks puts us all to shame with the sheer volume of blogging she manages to do and cooking that she gets done.  Several recipes caught my eye, including: Green Bean Casserole which sounds a clever way to sneak in some veg past the kids (by the way it does include bacon so it is not vegetarian); Hard Sauce which is a Texan version of Brandy Butter using whiskey rather than brandy and used to scoop over puddings at Thanksgiving, especially apple pie and pumpkin pie; Bobby’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding With Vanilla Creme Anglaise per Bobby Flay; Parker House Rolls that are an essential bread for Thanksgiving.

At Wild Yeast, Susan explains to us why you cannot switch baker’s yeast for soudough starter in bread recipes and vice versa at Going Wild.  Then, there is a recipe for Cranberry Bread that was ideal for Thanskgiving 2010 (or future Thanksgivings) and a Caramel Cheesecake, which sounds great for two reasons: I like cheesecake; and I also was given cheesecake for my birthday cake also in November, so snap.  While at Bread Cetera, there is a recipe for Baguettes a la Bouabsa, which call for an immense 21 hour fermentation period; they are (Steve B says) brilliant and after that length of prep time, I should hope they are stupendous.

Axel’s Raspberry Cheesecake Recipe

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

My sister and her family came to visit at the weekend, so I was scrabbling around trying to come up with a summery pudding to create, while the rain was gushing down outside in torrents.  I decided that roast chicken with all the trimmings, followed by a cheesecake was the answer, but with some summer fruits inside the cheesecake and a bright red coulis drizzled over it. 

I toyed with the idea of making the raspberry coulis first, then mixing that into the cream and making a pink cheesecake, which would have gone down a storm with the girls, but wimped out as I preferred the idea of getting bites of tart raspberry in clusters of flavour and differing textures, running through the smoothness of the cream cheese filling. 

Cheesecakes are remarkably easy to make and seem to be generally popular with children, and homemade ones are much tastier than shop bought versions that always seem really heavy, then sit like a lump inside your tummy like a lead weight for hours afterwards. You do not need to use raspberries and can substitute them for other summer fruits, like blackcurrants, blackberries or strawberries, so adjust the recipe accordingly.  Similarly, you do not need the coulis and could just serve it naked and pure, or with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Axel Steenberg’s Summer Fruit Cheesecake Recipe

For the base:

150g / 5½ oz digestive biscuits (or in US, Graham cracker or Nilla wafer)
30g / 1oz pecan nuts
75g / 3oz unsalted butter
1 tsp Steenbergs organic Fairtrade pure vanilla extract (that’s the sales pitch done; or any other good quality vanilla extract)

For the cream cheese filling:

350g / 11oz full fat cream cheese
100g / 3½ oz soured cream
150g / 5oz caster sugar
4 medium eggs
1tsp pure natural vanilla extract
Juice from ½ lemon (rest is used in making raspberry coulis)
Zest from 1 lemon

Good sized handful of fresh raspberries
4 pinches of Steenbergs organic mixed spice

For the raspberry coulis
350g / 12oz fresh raspberries, picked over and washed
45g / 1½ oz granulated sugar
Juice from ½ lemon
70ml / 2½ oz water

1.  Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF.

2.  Lightly grease and line the base of a 20cm / 8 inch round sandwich tin, that has a springform surround.  Place into a fridge to chill, whilst you prepare the biscuit crumb base.

3.  Place the biscuits and pecan nuts into a food processor and whizz until they reach a smallish crumb.  Take from the food processor, place into a bowl and then add the organic Fairtrade vanilla extract and melted butter.  Mix well until all the crumbs are decently coated with liquid – I use a knife for this stage.

Ingredients for cheesecake base

Ingredients for cheesecake base

Pour the melted butter into the crumb mix

Pour the melted butter into the crumb mix

4.  Get the lined cake tin from the fridge.  Tip the crumb mixture into the pan, then press the mix into the base and all the corners until even and nicely pressed down.  Put the lined tin into the fridge to harden.

Pressing cheesecake crumb mix into cake tin

Pressing cheesecake crumb mix into cake tin

5.  Now measure out all the ingredients for the filling except the raspberries or other fruit.  Put all of these into a mixing bowl or processor and mix/process until smooth and well mixed together.  It is worth scraping down the sides a couple of times with a spatula to make sure that everything has mixed thoroughly.

Ingredients for cheesecake filling

Ingredients for cheesecake filling

6.  Go and get the crumb base from the fridge, then evenly place a handful of fresh raspberries over the biscuity base.  Now pour over the cream cheese mix gently.  Afterwards, I then go over the raspberries to try and even them out a bit; do not overdo this tidying up, but you do not want someone to get all the raspberries, while someone else goes without – that would be really bad form.  Sprinkle delicately 4 pinches of mixed spice over the top of the cheesecake filling.

Pouring the cheesecake mix over crumb base and raspberries

Pouring the cheesecake mix over crumb base and raspberries

Cheesecake ready for baking with mixed spice sprinkled on top

Cheesecake ready for baking with mixed spice sprinkled on top

7.  Put centrally into the oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until just set.  Remove from oven and leave to cool completely, then remove the springform outside ring of the cake and place the cake (still on its base) into the fridge to chill through.

Baked cheesecake just out of oven

Baked cheesecake just out of oven

8.  While it is cooling, it is time to make the raspberry coulis.  Place the raspberries into a pan, together with the lemon juice, water and sugar.  Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes.  Leave to cool thoroughly.  While it is cooling, check the sweetness of the raspberries and adjust sugar level if necessary as they can be really tart.

Ingredients for raspberry coulis

Ingredients for raspberry coulis

Lovely cooked raspberries

Lovely cooked raspberries

9.  Process the raspberries throughly to a smooth paste either with a hand held processor or in a larger processor.  Now sieve the raspberry paste into a jug or bowl to remove the seeds.  You will need to squish the juice through with a tablespoon.  Put into the fridge to cool.

Sieving raspberries for raspberry coulis

Sieving raspberries for raspberry coulis

10.  Before serving remove from the fridge to warm up a little.  Cut into smallish slices and place onto a plate, then drizzle over some of the raspberry coulis.  I served the cheesecake with some homemade shortbread for added texture.

Raspberry Cheesecake With Raspberry Coulis

Raspberry Cheesecake With Raspberry Coulis

Two Media Mentions In The Guardian

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Steenbergs was mentioned two articles this weekend in The Guardian which was most kind of the two authors – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Yotam Ottolenghi – so thank you both. 

Both talk about Steenbergs spices within their recipe ideas, so if you are looking for what to do with cardamom or how to use za’atar they give some excellent recipes.  I think the Savoury Aubergine Cheesecake (Eggplant Cheesecake) sounds amazing and I will have a crack at that soon.

Here are the links:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/mar/06/cardamom-recipes-hugh-fearnley-whittingstall

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/mar/06/aubergine-cheesecake-vegetarian-recipe-ottolenghi