Search Results for Cheesecake

Mango Cheesecake

Regular readers of my blog should know by now that my family loves cheesecake (link to other cheesecake recipes on my blog), that I like trying new recipes — experimenting and tweaking — and that I am cheap. ALDI brand for me and extra points if the ingredients are on Special.

It’s almost summer here and that means more fruits available at the stores. I saw mangoes at a great price, so I grabbed two. Just two.

It’s also birthday season at the Yewnique Farm and my older daughter saw the mangoes and asked what my plans were for those golden pieces of tropical deliciousness. I told her I wasn’t sure yet. Later, while talking with my younger daughter, I wondered if a Mango Cheesecake might be a good idea for older daughter’s birthday. Younger daughter affirmed, “That’s what she told me she wanted!”

In case anyone is wondering, yes, we do eat fruits as they are. They don’t always get turned into cakes.

So, the hunt was on for a mango cheesecake recipe — or, recipes — and the wherewithal to be creative and make it mine.

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Pandan Cheesecake with Pandan Kaya Topping

I’ve made cakes with pandan (screwpine leaves) flavour several times now.

I think I have finally found a way of making a Pandan Cheesecake with a topping that the whole family likes!

There are three parts to this cheesecake: the base, the cake, the topping. It is a relatively easy recipe, but it does take time, and there are some ‘exotic’ ingredients which some readers might find challenging to obtain. An Asian grocery store (or well-stocked cosmopolitan supermarket) should have these ingredients. (Then again, I may be spoiled and don’t know how good I have it!)

Base

  • a packet of sweet biscuits (like Marie), crushed to yield 2 cups
  • 2/3 cup of melted butter
  • 1 tsp (or so) of cocoa powder (optional)

Note: Most recipes I’ve looked at call for 1 cup of crushed biscuits and 1/3 cup of melted butter. To me, the base ends up too thin and sometimes rather crumbly and does not hold well. I decided to double the amount here — 2 cups crushed biscuits, 2/3 cup melted butter — and I am extremely satisfied with the result. Your mileage may vary.

Method:

Combine crushed biscuits and melted butter until well combined. Press firmly into base of a 22cm (9-in) spring form pan. Chill until firm.

Filling

  • 2 Tbsp. gelatine, dissolved in 1/3 cup water (sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir to combine, and then microwave on high for 45 seconds)
  • 2 x 250g packet cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 x 400ml can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 drops of pandan paste
  • 4-5 drops of pandan essence

 

Method:

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.

Add sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, pandan paste, and pandan essence and beat again until smooth.

Add gelatine mixture and beat again until smooth.

Pour into crumb base. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm. This will take several hours.

Topping:

I got the recipe for the kaya topping from this blog. That recipe is for a pandan kaya layer cake. I just looked at the kaya part for the topping. I tweaked the pandan juice part and the coconut milk part because I lazy (yes, I meant to write it that way). I used pandan paste and *gasp* canned coconut milk! Hey, it worked, okay?

  • 300 g water
  • 1/2 tsp white agar-agar powder
  • 40 g sugar
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 40 ml pandan juice (4-5 drops of pandan paste into 40 ml of water)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Place all the above into a big enough saucepan and let sit for at least 30 minutes. That’s right. Just let it sit. Don’t stir, don’t beat, don’t heat. Just let it be.

  • 120 g coconut milk
  • 35 g white hun kwee powder

In a big enough bowl, combine the coconut milk and white hun kwee powder until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Hun Kwee Powder

Hun Kwee Powder

Hun Kwee powder, sometimes spelled Hoen Kwe  or Hun Kwe, is mung bean flour (starch). This might be the most challenging to obtain. I had to visit three different Asian grocery stores before I found this. (I have purchased this before, so I knew which particular store had it, but I thought I’d try my luck at a couple of others before making the trip there.)

According to a forum, you can use corn flour/starch in place of hun kwee powder. I have not tried this, so I can’t tell you how successful it will be.

  • 5 drops pandan paste
  • 1 big drop yellow food colour

 

Method:

Place saucepan over low heat and stir agar-agar mixture till agar-agar powder dissolves. (Mixture is now very hot but not boiling.)

Turn off heat. Add coconut milk mixture. Stir thoroughly. Add 5 drops pandan paste and 1 big drop egg yellow food colour. Stir thoroughly.

Turn on heat to medium-low. Cook and stir agar-agar mixture till thick enough to coat sides of pot thinly. Turn off heat. Stir till residual heat dissipates. (Mixture should now be thick enough to coat sides of pot thickly but thin enough to flow smoothly.)

Pour over cheesecake and chill until firm.

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Without all the la-di-da:

Base

  • a packet of sweet biscuits (like Marie), crushed to yield 2 cups
  • 2/3 cup of melted butter
  • 1 tsp (or so) of cocoa powder (optional)

Filling

  • 2 Tbsp. gelatine, dissolved in 1/3 cup water (sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir to combine, and then microwave on high for 45 seconds)
  • 2 x 250g packet cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 x 400ml can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 drops of pandan paste
  • 4-5 drops of pandan essence

Topping:

Part 1:

  • 300 g water
  • 1/2 tsp white agar-agar powder
  • 40 g sugar
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 40 ml pandan juice (4-5 drops of pandan paste into 40 ml of water)
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Part 2:

  • 120 g coconut milk
  • 35 g white hun kwee powder

Part 3:

  • 5 drops pandan paste
  • 1 big drop yellow food colour

Method:

Base

  1. Combine crushed biscuits and melted butter until well combined. Press firmly into base of a 22cm (9-in) spring form pan. Chill until firm.

Filling

  1. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, pandan paste, and pandan essence and beat again until smooth.
  3. Add gelatine mixture and beat again until smooth.
  4. Pour into crumb base. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm. This will take several hours.

Topping

  1. Place Part 1 into a saucepan and leave for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Combine ingredients in Part 2 and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Place saucepan over low heat and stir agar-agar mixture till agar-agar powder dissolves. (Mixture is now very hot but not boiling.)
  4. Turn off heat. Add coconut milk mixture. Stir thoroughly. Add Part 3. Stir thoroughly.
  5. Turn on heat to medium-low. Cook and stir agar-agar mixture till thick enough to coat sides of pot thinly. Turn off heat. Stir till residual heat dissipates. (Mixture should now be thick enough to coat sides of pot thickly but thin enough to flow smoothly.)
  6. Pour over cheesecake and chill until firm.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

Strawberry Cheesecake – Take 2

My daughter found a new way to make the base for a cheesecake. I love it so much that it is going to be my go-to method from now on.

I have made Strawberry Cheesecake before for my daughter’s 17th birthday, and I made one again for my son’s 15th. I guess you could say we all love cheesecake around here.

Base:

  • 1 packet of chocolate cream cookies (eg Oreos) crushed until fine
  • 1 tbsp (or so) melted butter

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. gelatine, dissolved in 1/4 cup water (sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir to combine, and then microwave on high for 30 seconds)
  • 2 x 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed strawberries

Topping:

  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 x 57g packet of strawberry flavoured jelly crystals

Collar (optional):

  • 135g chocolate (milk, dark, white, your choice)

Method

  1. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter. Press firmly into base of a 22cm (9-in) spring form pan. Chill until firm.
  2. In a blender, or using a hand-held electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add gelatine mixture, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and mashed strawberries. Blend until well combined.
  3. Pour into crumb base. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm. This will take at least four hours.
  4. Place sliced strawberries over the top.
  5. Prepare jelly but only use half the amount of water needed, ie, if the instructions call for 500mL of water, only use about 250mL. We want a jelly top, but we want it to be firm and not too wobbly.
  6. Return to fridge and chill until firm. This will take at least a few hours (preferably overnight).

To make chocolate collar:

  1. Fold two layers of foil or baking paper around the outer circumference of the cake tin, ensuring that it is 2-3 cm higher than the sides of the cake. Cut paper to meet exactly around.
  2. Spread paper flat on work surface and tape down (if necessary).
  3. Melt chocolate. I did it in the microwave for one minute on HIGH.
  4. Spread melted chocolate onto paper with spatula. Let it cool and set slightly. Chocolate needs to be firm enough to hold its shape, but not too firm that it will crack when bent.
  5. Remove cake from springform pan and place on a serving dish.
  6. Bend chocolate-coated paper around cake, pressing gently against the sides of the cake.
  7. Return cake into fridge to chill until set (about 15 minutes).
  8. Carefully peel away paper from cake.

Strawberry Cheesecake

 

 

No-Bake Pandan Cheesecake with Pandan Agar Topping

I made a Pandan Cheesecake for my daughter’s birthday last November.

This is a tweaked version of that recipe.

Ingredients:

sam_1098

Base:
1 – 1 1/2 cup crushed biscuits
1/3 to 1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling:
2 x 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon pandan extract
1 teaspoon pandan essence
1 1/2 Tablespoons gelatine, dissolved in 1/3 cup water*

* sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir well and heat gently in a saucepan until dissolved OR heat in a microwave oven on High for 45 seconds

Method:

1. Combine biscuit crumbs and melted butter. Press into a 24cm (9.5 in) square springform cake tin. Put in the refrigerator to chill and set.

sam_1099

sam_1100

2. In a large bowl, add ingredients for filling one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour into  cake tin over the base. Chill until firm.

sam_1102

Topping:
100 ml coconut milk
400 ml water
1/2 teaspoon pandan paste
13 g agar powder*
75 g sugar
pinch of salt
desiccated coconut

agar-powder

* agar is a plant-based gelling agent. Commonly used in South-east Asian cuisines/desserts. Because it is plant-based, it is suitable for vegetarians/vegans, unlike gelatine which is animal-based. Agar can be found in Asian supermarkets and some urban/urbane mainstream supermarkets. If in a pinch, gelatine is a good substitute. (Pandan paste and pandan essence may be more difficult to obtain!)

Here is an interesting article about the difference between agar and gelatin.

Combine all the ingredients for the topping — except the desiccated coconut — in a small saucepan. Stir over high heat until it boils. Then, lower heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

If you are using gelatine, you do not need to boil the mixture. Using warm/hot water should be sufficient.

sam_1103

Pour agar mixture over the chilled cheesecake and, working quickly, remove as many bubbles as possible. Agar can set at above room temperature! It was >30C today and you can actually see traces where the bubbles were! The agar was setting as I was popping the bubbles!

Put back in the refrigerator to chill (if necessary).

sam_1105

Sprinkle desiccated coconut over the cake.

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Serve!

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Enjoy!

Pandan Cheesecake

My youngest turned ten and couldn’t decide between a cheesecake and a Pandan cake. “Why not both?” she asked. “A Pandan Cheesecake!”

A Pandan Cheesecake? Does such a thing exist? Has anyone tried combining the two?

A quick search on the internet revealed that, like almost everything, there is nothing new under the sun. If you think of something, chances are, somebody has already thought of it, created it, and posted it on the internet.

I found a recipe that called for eggs and required baking. Since we prefer chilled cheesecakes (ie no baking required), I decided to just wing it!

One of my go-to cheesecake recipes involves a can of sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. I decided to replace the lemon juice with coconut milk, pandan extract and pandan essence.

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Recipe: Strawberry Cheesecake

Miss Seventeen asked if she could have a cheesecake for her birthday. Much to her older brother’s chagrin, it was not a chocolate cheesecake she wanted, but a strawberry cheesecake.

This is a no-bake cheesecake.

Base:

  • 1 cup sweet biscuit crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. gelatine, dissolved in 1/4 cup water (sprinkle gelatine over cold water, stir to combine, and then microwave on high for 30 seconds)
  • 2 x 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed strawberries

Topping:

  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 x 57g packet of strawberry flavoured jelly crystals

Method

  1. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter. Press into base of a 22cm (9-in) spring form pan. Chill until firm.
  2. In a blender, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add gelatine mixture, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and mashed strawberries. Blend until well combined.
  3. Pour into crumb base. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm. This will take at least four hours.
  4. Place sliced strawberries over the top.
  5. Prepare jelly but only use half the amount of water needed, ie, if the instructions call for 500mL of water, only use about 250mL. We want a jelly top, but we want it to be firm and not too wobbly.
  6. Return to fridge and chill until firm. This will take at least a few hours (preferably overnight).

To serve, run a knife along the edge of the pan before releasing the spring form to unsure the jelly stays intact.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Foodful Friday: Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit-and-Jelly Topping

Note: When I say jelly, I am NOT referring to fruit preserve. I am referring to a gelatin dessert-type of food. US Americans refer to such foods by the brand name, Jell-O.

Now that I’ve got that cleared up….

I made this for my younger son’s birthday recently. He said he wanted a cheesecake and so I tried.

Ingredients:
Base:
1 1/4 cups sweet biscuit crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling:
2 x 250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk

Topping:
1 x 400g can mixed berries
1 x 85g packet jelly crystals (I used Port Wine flavour, but I reckon any berry flavour would work just as well.)

Method:

  1. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter, press onto the base of a 24cm spring form pan. Chill.
  2. Beat cream cheese until smooth, add lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk and beat well.
  3. Pour into prepared crumb crust. Chill until firm.
  4. Top chilled cheesecake with canned mixed berries.
  5. Prepare the jelly using 3/4 the amount of water the packet directions call for. I do this so the jelly will be firmer and not so wobbly. Pour jelly mixture carefully over the cheesecake.
  6. Return to refrigerator and chill until firm.
Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit-and-Jelly Topping

Lemon Cheesecake with Fruit-and-Jelly Topping

Candles are optional. 😉

Japan Trip — Days 1 and 2

As some of you may know, my older daughter went to China for a three-week intensive Intermediate Chinese program in Shanghai.

After the initial bout of homesickness, she managed to find her way around, make some friends, and gorge on noodles and dumplings. She also found time to go to Shanghai Disney resort. Twice.

My sister, who lives in Tokyo, invited my daughter to go visit her before heading back to Melbourne. I decided to join her there. Just me. The rest of the family stayed in Melbourne.

First of all, my sister lives close to Haneda airport and there are NO direct flights from Melbourne to Haneda; all the flights involve a stopover of several hours. Taking that into consideration, I decided it was better to fly to Narita and take a bus/train/anything but a taxi to my sister’s place.

The flight from Melbourne to Narita takes a little over ten hours. While it is the start of summer here Down Under, it is almost winter in Japan. It gets dark by 5pm and it is cold. Not freezing cold, but still cold especially when the wind blows. BRR!

Susannah flew from Shanghai and arrived in Haneda at around 4.45pm. I arrived in Narita around 5.20pm. By the time I got through immigration and customs — I nearly went through without collecting my luggage!! — found an ATM and withdrew money, bought a Suica card, and found the airport limousine counter, it was 6.40pm. The next available bus was 7.30pm. Had I been more efficient, I could have caught the 6.30pm bus. Oh well!

The view while waiting for my airport limousine bus. It may have been cold and dark, but the atmosphere was busy and pleasant. Friendly staff approached me to ask when my bus was due.

Meanwhile, my ever-capable daughter took the monorail from Haneda Airport to Hamamatsucho station, changed to the subway at Daimon station and got off at Azabu Juban station. Not bad for a first-timer, eh?

Looks confusing, but is VERY well organised and maintained.

The ride from Narita Airport to the hotel where my sister was going to meet me took an hour and a half. Better than waiting around for six hours at a stopover airport.

Sister and Daughter met me at the hotel and we went for a late dinner (it was nearly 10pm by this time!). Then taxi back to my sister’s place.

Day 2 – Sunday, 17 December 2017

Walked my niece to her ballet school. It is a small one-studio school and her class only has two students. After dropping her off, we went to a Family Mart — there is a Family Mart on every block in Tokyo! — to have breakfast.

Onigiri with bits of seaweed and a cup of coffee.

Polished that off and went back for a steamed pork bun.

Tokyo Tower

Picked up my niece from her ballet class and went to visit Tokyo Tower.

View from under the Tower.

Some views from higher up:

 

Tokyo has lots…

…and lots…

…and lots of buildings!

 

A look down the tower.

New Tomorrow Cafe

Then, we went to New Tomorrow Cafe where we met up with my brother-in-law’s cousin and her family and had lunch together.

Entree/Appetizer/Starter/First Course

Main: Roast chicken with spaghetti bolognese

Dessert

 

Western cuisine, obviously, and very yummy! Highly recommended!

Susannah rushed off after lunch to meet up with an Australian church friend who is living in Tokyo working among university students. We walked her to the bus stop and my sister told her where to get off and what connection to take to her meeting point. (When I was 19 and still living at home, I would not have been able to take public transport to an unknown place — even with clear directions — if my life depended on it! But, it’s a new generation, new technology, and my daughter is pretty savvy and has more common sense than her mother.)

My sister and I took her two young daughters to a playground. The younger girl met a former school mate and his dad who were kicking a football back and forth. She joined in and for the next hour or so really showed her ball-handling skills. That girl is good!

Stopped by at a supermarket to buy ingredients for a cheesecake because my sister wanted me to show her how to make one. While we were making the cheesecake, we were expecting Susannah to call us to let us know she was back at the local subway station, when, lo and behold, she walked in the front door! How did she manage to find the house? Why, after she got off the train, she walked to a store that had free wi-fi, logged onto Google Maps, typed in the address, locked it in, and followed the directions, of course! Duh! I now know I don’t have to worry about her getting lost ever again.

Japan Trip — Days 1 and 2

Japan Trip — Day 3

Japan Trip — Day 4

Japan Trip — Day 5

Japan Trip — Day 6

Japan Trip — Day 7

 

November Happenings

We celebrated Older Daughter’s birthday last Friday, about a week early, as she was going to be away on her actual birthday.

That’s the Mango Cheesecake I made for her birthday.

The following day, we saw her off at the airport.

She is off to spend three weeks in Shanghai, China for an intensive program of Intermediate Chinese. This program is equivalent to one semester’s worth of study. Very exciting, indeed. After one year of Introductory Chinese at Monash, her Chinese is already better than mine!

Since Older Daughter is in China, she wasn’t able to be here for the Girls’ Brigade Presentation Night.

Younger Daughter received an award for Best Junior.

Birthday Time Again

There are six people in our family and three of them have birthdays within 38 days (inclusive) of each other.

Today is our youngest’s birthday, which also happens to be my younger sister’s birthday. My daughter’s due date was October 31 and I fully expected her to be born a few days before that because all her siblings were born before their due dates. October would have been a good month, too, because then we would all each have our own birth month.

Older daughter was due 3rd December but made her appearance, with some urgency, on the 30th of November. Had she been born on her due date, she would have shared a birth month with her father. When younger daughter missed her due date, and continued to ‘bake’ for another six days, I was beginning to wonder if we had somehow miscalculated her Estimated Time of Arrival. Nope, not only did she want to share a birth month with her older sister, she had to share a birthday with my sister.

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