Monday, August 31, 2009

Baked Mango Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

This Food & Travel magazine has been in my loo for ages and I've been wanting to make the mango cheesecake in it for just as long! I finally made it last weekend. I added my own raspberry sauce just because I've never tasted raspberries before and needed a reason to use them ever since I saw that they were available at the supermarket! I'm glad I did make this because it wasn't as hard as I thought all cheesecakes were to make. It tasted great too, though I personally prefer chocolatey types like Oreo Cheesecake to fruity ones.

Baked Mango Cheesecake
serves 8

200g digestive biscuits
1/2 cup butter, melted
500g (2 pkts) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mango yoghurt
225g sugar
5 eggs
1 fresh mango, cut into small cubes

for the raspberry sauce:
1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
1 cup sugar

Place biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with rolling pin until they become fine crumbs.
Combine biscuit crumbs and butter.
Place crumb mixture into 8" springform pan and press down to form a base. (I find a potato masher comes in handy here)
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.
Place cream cheese, yoghurt and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Beat on medium sped until well combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition, until just blended.
Mix the mango into the cheese mixture.
Pour batter into tin.
Wrap the bottom half of the tin in double layer aluminium foil.
Place tin in a larger tray filled with about 3cm of water.
Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for about 50-55 minutes or until top is slightly brown.
When done, use a butter knife to run around the rim of the cake to loosen the cake from the pan.
Allow to cool, then chill in refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving.

For the raspberry sauce;
Cook the raspberries with the sugar over low heat for a few minutes.
Strain the puree in a metal strainer and force pulp through with a spoon.
Serve cheesecake with raspberry syrup generously poured over the top.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

With the lack of birthdays in the near horizon, I thought I'd bake something easy with which the kids could 'help'. They haven't 'helped' in the kitchen for a while because birthday cakes are too delicate to have too many cooks! So, I decided to make cookies since they can't go wrong much! Seeing as the kids like chocolate chips, and I had plenty of yucky oatmeal gathering dust in the cupboard, I went with chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

It was a hit with the kids. At least there was plenty of nutritious oatmeal in it, so I didn't feel too guilty when they gulped down dozens at a time... 

Here's the batter which the kids helped mix.

All in a row, ready for the oven...  

Smells heavenly... 

Here's a jar for Cousin Amanda. I bought these lovely glass jars simply because they were nice! Now I have a reason to actually use them!

Delicious with a tall glass of cold milk.

Here's the recipe I used:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups uncooked oats
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars and butter and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, milk and vanilla and mix till well blended.
Add flour, baking soda and salt.
Beat at low speed until soft dough forms.
Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 9-10 minutes.
Let cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets.
Cool completeBoldly before storing.

Warning: There might not be any left to store!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Classic Rolled Fondant

I've got some requests for the recipe of the fondant that I use for covering cakes. I've tried recipes off the internet, as well as from books, and this is a hybrid of these recipes, with some tips I learned through trial and error. Here's wishing you plenty of fun with fondant!

Classic Rolled Fondant

1 kg icing sugar
1 tablespoon gelatine powder
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup glucose water (sometimes labeled as glucose syrup or maltose syrup)
1 tablespoon glycerine
2 tablespoon Crisco (vegetable shortening)

1. Sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and put around 1/2 cup aside.
2. Place cold water in a metal bowl and sprinkle gelatine over the water. Leave for 5 minutes.
3. Fit metal bowl with gelatine mixture over small pot of simmering water. Make sure bottom of bowl is not touching the water.
4. Stir gelatine mixture until totally dissolved and liquid is clear.
5. Add in glucose water and glycerine. Stir until well mixed.
6. Add in Crisco and stir till totally melted. Remove from fire.
7. Make a well in the centre of the icing sugar and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix thoroughly with a lightly greased spoon. It should form a sticky dough.
8. Move dough onto a clean, greased surface and knead with lightly greased hands.
9. Gradually add leftover icing sugar by sprinkling onto dough and kneading.
10. Stop when the right consistency is reached. Fondant should resemble a smooth stone and when dropped, it should spread slightly, yet keep its shape.
11. If the fondant is too dry, add warm water, if it is too sticky, add more sugar.
12. Wrap twice with cling film and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Do not refrigerate. Fondant can keep for weeks.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eva and Solomon's Birthday - Mickey & Minnie cake

Eva turned three on 4/8/09 and Solomon one on 13/8/09. So we had a combined celebration on Sunday. Since I dropped Eva's last cake, I thought I'ld make the same design again, with just a few small changes. Then hubby suggested a similar one for Solomon, except in blue (of course).

So, I made two 7" round cakes; chocolate fudge for Solomon, filled with chocolate ganache and strawberry butter for Eva, filled with fresh strawberries and cream. Then I made strawberry and also chocolate mud cupcakes.

The cakes were covered with pink and blue fondant and also white polka dots. Then I stuck in a Minnie sticker (recycled from the last disaster) for Eva and a baby Mickey one for Solomon. The cuppies were topped with simple fresh cream swirls and decorated with sprinkles, mickey shaped cut-outs and whole strawberries.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Eva's 3rd Birthday - Pink Minnie Mouse cake

Today is Eva's birthday. I decided to make a smaller cake accompanied by cupcakes because I find large cakes are so much more work. Eva loves Mickey and Minnie mouse, so I made a pink Minnie mouse cake for her to bring to school.

First, I had to make a cake stand to accommodate a cake and also cupcakes. So I nailed two cake boards onto a piece of sawed off broomstick and... Viola! No need for a RM100++ cupcakes stand from Wilton!

Anyways, I didn't have much time, so I made a chocolate mud cake which was easy and I didn't have to waste time waiting for the butter to reach room temperature. I made a 7" round cake and 9 cupcakes.

I covered the cake with pink fondant and put white dots. Then I wrote with fresh cream and stuck a Minnie Mouse sticker on the top with the aid of a bamboo skewer. I piped a shell border with fresh cream. I'm still quite crappy when it comes to piping.

For the cuppies, I just did big swirls of fresh cream and stuck in Mickey Mouse shapes cut out of a black plastic/paper sort of material which I found at the stationery shop. Then I tied pink ribbons round the cups.

I loved the final assembled product. However, while transporting it to school, I dropped the tray of cuppies! It was a grand mess.. *sigh* Luckily the top tier was salvageable so Eva still had a cake to cut in the end! Poor thing, I'll make another for her this Sunday when we celebrate her's and Solomon's birthday with the family.

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