Blueberry Cheesecake

Baked this cheesecake for my dad's birthday a few days ago. Since i learnt baking cheesecakes, i realised that cheesecakes are among the easiest cakes to bake. The only problem is that living in a small town in Sarawak, some of the ingredients are pretty 'rare' and hard to get.

The other day i tried looking for sour cream, which is one of the ingredients in the original recipe, in one for the shops selling baking supplies. Somehow the people there had not even heard of such thing and i fruitlessly tried to explain what it is. So in the end i bought a can Nestle cream for replacement. It's always in moments like this that i start to miss our dear beloved T3$C0 where we can always pop in for anything anytime. FYI, i can easily get a bottle of sour cream for less than 1 euro.

As for the base, i used to use digestive biscuits but seems like it's another 'rare' thing to find over here. I was quite reluctant to use Marie biscuits at first but i was quite surprised with the end results. The base using Marie biscuits actually tasted really great especially with the almonds. So i was quite happy with the replacement.

Despite all the 'replacements', the cake turn out quite well and the family pretty much enjoy it. I mean in this town, we could never find cakes like this in the bakeries. Just a week earlier we bought a so-called 'cheesecake' (summore with the 'price' of a cheesecake) to find that it tasted more like butter cake. Yucks! So, no matter how 'cacat' mine is, i believe it'll always be better that those we got in bakeries here. Haha.


A: For crust:
150g Marie biscuits, crushed to powder
100g butter
50g almonds slices, toasted

B: Cheesecake filling:
750g soft cheese (Philadelphia)
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup Nestle cream
1/2 cup lemon juice (actually i think this is a bit too much, unless if u like strong lemon taste in the cake)
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp vanilla flavouring
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups blueberries

A: Base:
1. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with some butter.
2. Melt butter in a pan over slow fire.
3. Mix in the Marie powder and the nuts.
4. Press the mixture onto the base of the greased pan.
5. Chill in the refrigerator.

B: Filling:
1. Preheat oven to 23o degree C
2. Mix cheese and sugar with a mixer until smooth, around 5 minutes.
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
4. Add in the cream, lemon juice, flour, vanilla, and salt.
5. Carefully mix in the blueberries with a spatula.
6. Pour the filling onto the base and smooth.
7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
8. Lower the temperature to 90 deg C and bake for 1 hour.
9. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly ajar and leave the cake to cool for another hour.
10. Smooth a cup of blueberry filling on top of the cheesecake. Chill.

I think i'm a bit 'addicted' to cheesecakes now. Next mission: Oreo cheesecake!


Apple Pie

Tried my first attempt at baking an apple pie on Friday night. Hihi. Had been thinking of doing so for weeks.. Here's the recipe that i used.

2cups flour
1tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1cup butter
8tbsp cold water

Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
Rub in the butter and add in the water.
Mix the dough until even.
Then wrap in cling film and chill the dough for 1 hour.

Then prepare the filling:
5 green apples (Granny Smith)
1 cup sugar
2tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1tbsp lemon juice/vinegar

Peel, core and slice the apples.
Then mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice in a bowl.
Mix in the apple slices.

Take out the dough and cut into halves
Roll out one half of it into a 12'' circle.
Place the dough in a 9'' pie pan and trim off the edges.
Poke holes at the bottom of the pastry.
Fill the apples into the pie and dot with butter.
Roll out the other half of the dough and place on top of the the pie.
Stick the pastry together and use finger or fork to make the pattern at the edges.
Cut slits on the top pastry with a knife.
Bake in oven for 50-60minutes at 200 deg C.
Cover the edge of the pie with strips of aluminium foil to prevent over-browning.
Remove 15 minutes before end and brush the crust with egg white.
the result:
Haha.. Very happy. It's very easy to bake an apple pie actually. The only difficulty is making sure the pastry is fully cooked because of the juicy filling. Just make sure the pan is hot enough eg bake it at the bottom of the oven or use a baking stone.


Pandan Chiffon Cake

After the cupcakes, i decided to try baking chiffon cake coz it is a simple cake and seems easy to bake. So i googled a bit and found this recipe for pandan chiffon cake here. Even the recipe seems simple and i reckoned that nothing will go wrong if i follow it exactly. But i had no idea how wrong i was... Here's the result of my first attempt:

The cake turned out to be burnt at top, did not rise completely and the bottom half have a kueh-like texture.

After a few clicks here and there on the Net, i soon found out the likely causes for those problems. It puzzled me at first why i burnt the cake even though i followed the temperature 170°C. Soon, i learnt some important lessons about ovens and baking:

i. Each oven bakes differently depending on the size, type etc. So the temperature and time needed may vary.
ii. Temperature set on the oven dial may not be the ACTUAL temperature INSIDE the oven. Thus, it's best to use an oven thermometer.

Next is why my cake is shrunken and did not rise properly. The problem lies in this three words
"beat until stiff"
Being an absolute beginner with completely no experience at baking, i had no idea what this three words signify. I found out that beating of egg whites is one of the most important step in making chiffon cakes and i had just overlooked it. I only beat the egg whites until frothy and not until STIFF. Here is a perfect guide on how to beat egg whites.

Also, i learned something about mixers.. My standing mixer does not reach the bottom of the bowl. So the egg whites at the bottom remain unbeaten, resulting in the double layer of the cake with the bottom half tasting like kueh. So for my 2nd attempt, i removed the mixer from the stand and used it like a hand mixer, making sure that the egg white is fully beaten.

Next, i found out the correct way of folding the mixtures and its importance. The egg white must be folded slowly and carefully to prevent the egg whites from collapsing.

Hence, for my 2nd attempt:

At the end of the day, i am a big happy baker. I never expected to learn so much in baking a cake. Starting to feel like i'm getting the 'feel' of it. Couldn't wait to try another recipe!

First Post: First Fat Baked

Hulo. First post here. I'm still a beginner at baking and i set up this blog to record all my baking adventures.

And here's the results of my first attempt at baking a few days ago..

The cakes weren't perfect as they were too oily and a lil' over-baked.. Still, they were edible.. Hehe.. I'm looking forward to more baking to try.. =)
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