16 March 2007

Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake, Two Ways

Ever since I baked my first cheesecake, I've been looking forward to the time when I can beat up some cream cheese in my very old, vintagey, electric mixer again. Peabody, who's very much a cheesecake fan I believe (look at the number of cheesecakes in her archives!), has chosen cheesecake as the theme for HHDD #10. Ah! Perfect timing! What's a better excuse to have that sinful thing baking in my oven other than participating in an event?

Firstly, I think if cream cheese were a person, he/she would definitely be the one who always ends up in the limelight no matter how much the others try to steal it from him/her. I don't know if it's a good or a bad thing, so I'll leave it to you to decide.

I had liked the combination of white chocolate and cranberries that I previously tried for my cupcakes and had tried to replicate it in the cheesecake, though not very successfully. The delicate flavour of white chocolate was overshadowed by the very distinctive taste of cream cheese. Nonetheless, the cream cheese and cranberry jam pairing worked perfectly for me, though my mother did say there was too much jam.

Somewhere between removing the baby from its springform tin and spreading the whole cheesecake with tons of cranberry jam I got bored. So I changed my mind, cut up the lonely, pathetic kiwi that was sitting in the fridge and arranged it over half of the cheesecake and pulverised the remains into a sauce to be drizzled over the green half.

To be honest, the kiwi didn't taste much like one alongside the overtly egoistic cream cheese. The green half photographed really well though, credits to the beautiful kiwi.

P.S.: As usual I couldn't decide on which photo to post, so I'll just post everything! Well, almost everything. Yes, I'm indecisive! And yes, I'm greedy!

Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake
(adapted from Sweet Food)

2 digestive biscuits
1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
50g white chocolate, chopped
125g cream cheese, room temp.
30g caster sugar
1 egg

2 tbsp cranberry jam
1 kiwi, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tsp honey

- Grease the bottom and sides of a springform tin.
- Finely crush biscuits with food processor for 30 secs. Alternatively, put them in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin.
- Transfer biscuit crumbs to a bowl and mix with butter to moisten all the crumbs.
- Press biscuit mixture firmly into the base of the tin.
- Refridgerate until firm.

- Preheat oven to 180 degC.
- Melt chocolate using a bain-marie.
- Beat cream cheese until smooth.
- Add sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add egg and then the melted chocolate.
- Pour cream cheese mixture into the springform tin and bake for 30 mins or until just firm.
- Leave cheesecake to cool to room temperature then refridgerate until firm.

- Carefully remove cheesecake from the tin.
- Warm jam in a saucepan adding a little water to get the right consistency, if neccessary. Spoon generously over half the cheesecake, allowing some to drip over the sides.
- Arrange kiwi slices over half the cheesecake. Process the remaining kiwi and honey in food processor for 10 seconds. Drizzle over the cheesecake.

*This makes a 4-inch mini cheesecake and is only 1/4 of the book's recipe. And because I did only half of each variation, I would serve 2 slices, 1 of each flavour to each guest, thereby serving 4. For an 8-inch cheesecake(serves 10-12), I would quadruple the recipe.