Friday, August 8, 2008

Dark & Handsome: My (First) Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Imagine a sleepy-gloomy-stormy and my giant butt (yes, we could make a few separate entities) seated in a comfy sofa, in front of a big screen TV, watching Beautiful Cooking (if you understand Cantonese, please please pleaseeee watch this program, if you aren't rolling on the floor laughing...I'll give up my muffin tray - and probably get a new silicone ones afterwards LOL), sipping refreshing mint tea, and devour this dark chocolate cheesecake (I managed my between laugh snorts and inhaling the cake in a harmony no taichi guru could ever teach).

Yeah, that was quite an afternoon I had...hehe.

This month seems to be the month of my firsts. First it was my first roast chicken, and now it's MY FIRST EVER CHEESECAKE!!! WOOHOOO!

It all started as an idea for a friend's bday. A super sweet girl that I am (haha), I wanted to bake her some kind of cake/muffin/bread/other baked goods.

So I asked:
me: Hey, what's your favorite cake? (I didn't realize the suicidal nature of this question, I was expecting chocolate, berry, etc anything I can throw into a muffin batter lol)
her: I like many kinds of cake
me: Yeah...but you gotta love something the most? (yeah yeah this is going to be easy...choco..strawber..)
her: Cheesecake! I love many kinds...but I definitely love cheesecake the most!
me: (gulp) Oh!!...(gulp)...Is it like...easy to make? (my Gowddd, I never made cheesecake before!)


My First Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

The recipe was adapted from Epicurious, I just cut everything in half. If I were to fail, I didn't wanna fail BIG. Hehe

The Crust
-12 sticks of chocolate cream wafer (the recipe called for chocolate wafer cookies, which I could not find in my nearest supermarket. I know wafer, I know cookies, but never heard of both together, let's just make it up then)
- 6 pcs of chips ahoy (wafer + cookies, right?)
- 1/4 stick of butter, melted, cooled
- 1 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 175C. Since I don't have a food processor, I crushed the wafer and the cookies in a plastic bag, pour into a mixing bowl, add melted butter and sugar, lay at the bottom of the pan (you should use a spring form pan, but since I didn't have one, I just used 1 small aluminium foil pan and my medium bread loaf pan..oppps). I baked my crust for about 10 minutes, and let it cool while I prepared the cake. I kept my oven on as recommended by the recipe.

The Cake
- 3/4 of 250gr 80% Dark Chocolate Bar, melted, cooled (I used Cadbury. The recipe called for a better quality chocolate, I just selected the cheapest of the bunch hehe, and it was sufficient)
- 2 packs of 250 gr cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 eggs

In the recipe, this part sounded easy. Easy enough for me to think that I COULD do it. In reality....

The recipe instructed us to use food processor. I don't have one and I was prepared to use a whisk...until I remembered my friend's hand mixer at the bottom of my kitchen shelf (how did it even get there? A longggg story), which I had never tried operating my entire life. I was SUDDENLY determined to use it. As in, all materials were ready by the mixing bowl and I was still trying to assemble the mixer, fumbling about the user manual. Finally, sous chef had to help and brace yourself, bitches, here we go:

- Cream cheese, chocolate powder and sugar into the bowl
- Sous chef break the cream cheese blocks into smaller chunks using a fork, me taking out the pans with the crust from the oven
- Sous chef was ready with hand mixer on hand, me holding the mixing bowl with oven mitts (we didn't know how the mixer was gonna behave, it could be very very naughty, we were expecting the worst)
- Sous chef tried mixing using low speed, some cream cheese pieces were definitely flying all over the place (yes, that explained the white thingy on your face now)
- Mixing continued, sous chef got the hang of it and now happily switched to turbo (!!!)
- Me, throwing eggs into the mixture, 1 egg at the time, in this order: crack egg - pour egg in - run to the kitchen to throw egg shell - run to the bathroom to wash hands - put on oven mitts - back to mixing bowl holding position - get ready for the second egg (this could be the new sport for the Beijing Olympics. I'm so gonna win a gold medal for this)
- Finally, I threw the last drop of melted chocolate into the mixture, and sous chef did an excellent job mixing. It was smoooooooth
- The mixture was poured into the two pans and baked for about 30 mins (the small pan) and 40 mins (the big pan)
- I let the cake cool, then chill in the fridge and had to repeatedly saying "NO!" to sous chef's repeated question: "Can we try now?"

As I said, NO!

The Topping
- 1/2 cup cream
- the remaining of the chocolate bar (if you haven't already finished it)
- 1 tbsp sugar

In a sauce pan, mix everything together and stir on low heat until smooth, let cool for a bit, pour while still liquid. As I failed to pour the topping 1 cm off the edges, I just pour it all over the top. More topping won't hurt, aye? Let cool, refrigerate.

I am not good with cake decorating...and I don't have the pipe thingy, or the silver balls, or the sugar roses, or the happy bday thing on white this was what I did for the bday cake:
- Write on some sparkly army green paper
- Cut off the edges
- Stick the paper onto some toothpicks with scotch tape

This post is dedicated to my good friend, Foodaholiv, may your days stay vodkaLIVcious!
Thanks for inspiring me to make my first very own cheesecake.

...oh, and apologies for making you the victim of all my baking "experiments" LOL


noobcook said...

congrats on successfully adding cheesecake to your impressive resume ;p ... the photos are lovely ... and your writing is so lively & entertaining as always :D

Grace said...

frankly, it looks perfect! i guess the first time's a charm for you--nicely done! and thanks for the chuckles. :)

joanne at frutto della passione said...

Good for you for improvising with the cookie crust!!! I have to find substitutions all the time so I know how you feel, the cake looked amazing and I may try the chocolate chip cookies for a crust next time too!!

Ning said...

really dark and handsome, worthy to fall in love with. :) only you can make a dark cheesecake look too good to eat!

canarygirl said...

Heee! What a fun post! NO testing the cheesecake! lmao You did a great job, Rita!

tigerfish said...

Mei Nu Chu Fang....I watched that while in California using satellite(via Jade channels)...hee heee....
But I have lost track of it ever since my move to Taiwan, then now back to Singapore. The old professional famous chef (the judge) who seems "toothless" can be so funny sometimes! Hahhahha! esp when he spits out the food!

Lisa said...

I am cracking up over here! Not only because you're so funny, but because I can't have a piece of that cheesecake. I love the "dark and handsome"—that's great! You really went over the top for your first attempt, and it's gorgeous. I can't believe the crust, wowie.

Sharon said...

I like the decorations better than the usual frilly flowers. oh, and I bet the Chips Ahoy were great as the crust!

Ben said...

I don't even want to look at it, it is so handsome that I will be braking my diet and be covered in chocolate in no time. :-| Why something so good has to be so bad for your body? There is something wrong with this world...

Dwiana P said...

I need one slice of this yummy chocolate cheesecake please........!!

A.G said...

teh srilanka yoo.... nek kene yo ono teh Dimah tp tetepo seng paling tok cer to teh tong dji.. :P

chocynya slurup... berat paling hehe..soale ono cis'e :p wah dadi kelingan aku jek due piladelpia nek kulkas... meh tak apake yooo :D

eliza said...

woohoo girl, you could bake perfect cheesecake now! :D
fyi, if you could find OREOS in HK, then use it for chocolate cream wafers :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Mmm..mmm..dark, rich and sinful! Congrats on your first cheese cake.

KC said...

That is some cheesecake!! Dark, Handsome and looks so Rich.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

You are indeed sweet to bake a cheesecake. It looks delish. And from the previous comment -- dark, handsome, and rich -- I'd marry this cheesecake in a heartbeat.

Lori Lynn said...

The cake looks great, but I am really impressed with your calligraphy!

Simplicity said...

not bad for 1st timer boooo
looks great,how was the taste?
jujur, gue baru tau ada dccheesecake..hihiih maklum tinggal dikampong

SIG said...

I love that! Hehe, I also use Old Gold. Hope to try that. Love also the Happy birthday signs.

noble pig said...

What a great friend you are! This looks amazing and choco wafer cookies are so hard to find! WHY!

Love all these firsts!

Jescel said...

oh my goodness, you are indeed a chocoholic.. hahaha.. tha cheesecake looks addicting.

Jescel said...

by the way.. i tagged you.. pls. see my blog.

jason ho said...

oh man...looks sinful but ooooooooooh so lovely!!

Kevin said...

Your cheesecake looks great! Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts!

daphne said...

Well done mocha! I could sink my fork into that dark cheesecake!! It looks wonderful!

Mrs. L said...

The cheesecake looks yummy. Maybe I'll have to try my hand at making one!

elsye said...

hohohoho....look great Rit, I'm drolling over my PC :P...