Friday, January 21, 2011

Kitchen Venture #3: Mini cheesecake

It's been over a month since I blogged about my kitchen ventures. Truth be told, I only spend time in the kitchen cooking/preparing meals when I am back in Perth. In Singapore, I eat out when meeting friends and with family to satisfy my cravings. Even when I am home, it is takeaway mostly. Mummy hardly cooks, and it is just so much easier to go out.

Anyway, I thought Chinese New Year is nearing, and so is Valentine's Day. Decided to blog about this kitchen venture I did in Feb 2009 for you guys who want to do something special for the family or for the someone special. It take just mere minutes to prepare and throw together. The result is pretty awesome too. Very amateurish but hey, for a lazy person like me to actually want to do this, it must be pretty easy!

I remember my sister having a frozen cheesecake phase because they are just so easy to do and you don't need to bake or anything. I was really bored on a weekend afternoon and decided to use whatever ingredients I have left over in the fridge. I like doing things my way so I rarely follow any recipes. I read them then keep them in mind for the basics. This is my first attempt, and on my very own too. Was just really happy it turned out well and even my landlords love it.

My lady landlord loves baking and all, so she has these white little ramekins (instead of ramekins, you can use all kinds of little containers or even cookie shapers placed on plates which will be even easier to remove and present straight away) at home. I used them but taking the cheesecake out of it after was a headache. TIP: Line the ramekin with clingwrap and make sure it covers the base and extend out of the ramekin top. You can just pull on both sides of the clingwrap and up comes the cheesecake!

Anyway, ingredients for this particular cheesecake: Digestive biscuits, butter, a tub of Philadelphia cream cheese dip by Kraft (Strawberry flavour), condensed milk, blueberries, 1 bar of Toblerone chocolate.

1. Crush digestive biscuits to the crumbs. As crumbly as you like. Or pour it into a sandwich bag and tie it shut, Roll a rolling pin on the bag of biscuits. Fast and easy. Or if you have no rolling pin, just use your fist eh. For five ramekins, I used about 5-6? Depends on how thick or thin you want the base to be!

2. Melt sticks of butter in the microwave. If you want to do it over the stove, by all means. Pour melted butter into the bowl of biscuit crumbs and make sure they are coated evenly.

3. Spoon the butter crumbs mixture into the ramekin and spread evenly. Use a spoon to pat it down smooth. Freeze the ramekins for 20 minutes or more while you continue to make the top cheese part.

4. Spoon the tub of strawberry cheese into a bowl and squeeze condensed milk into the bowl. Depending on how sweet you want the cake to be, a quarter of a cup of condensed milk should do it for most people. I used more because I have a sweet tooth. STIR WELL with a spoon.

5. Chop blueberries into halves. Add that to the cheese mixture. Stir again.

6. Once biscuit base is set and frozen, take ramekins out of the freezer. Spoon berry cheese mixture into the ramekins. Fill it to about half of the ramekin. Well, you want to be generous, you best get 2 or more tubs of that flavoured cheese and alot more ingredients! Use spoon to smooth the top and return to freezer.

7. After about 20 minutes or more, you can go about melting the chocolate pieces. In fact whenever you feel like melting chocolate, do so. As long as the chocolate top can harden and freeze in time! I used Toblerone since they will have that nice nougaty bits. I also microwaved them for 30 seconds, leave them in there while you take out the ramekins again.

8. Make sure chocolate's melted through (microwave again if need be, adjust accordingly) and spoon them smoothly over the cheesecake. Make sure it covers the top properly. Place 3 blueberries on top in a sweet triangle shape. Return to freezer and you can leave them in there overnight. If you do it in the morning, it should be ready for your dinner party.

Here's a photo of my 5 little cheesecakes still in their ramekins. Not perfect but sure look cute.

Photo credits:
Anyway, dont be afraid to put your own stamp into this recipe. Switch the cheese flavour (use plain if u want and add fresh fruist or peanut butter or chocolate or marshmallows, anything), use different berries or fruits, choose your favourite chocolate. Only arrange fruits on top when serving for more 'real' fruits taste. Make it a more generous helping, or into a big cheesecake (if so, add gelatin to hold). It tasted abit like ice cream cake at the end of it. I supposed kids love it and a good end to a dinner always. I liked the crunch of the harden chocolate and then the soft cheesecake against that nice buttery base.

So give it a go, and I am sure you will do it so much better than I did mine. Because it will have your love and patience put into it. Good luck and send me any pictures if you do make it! Tell me if you had any trouble or special tips you use! =)

Photo credits:

Till my next kitchen venture, Mayy xo

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