Friday, August 8, 2008
Dark & Handsome: My (First) Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
Imagine a sleepy-gloomy-stormy afternoon...me 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 daintily...err...no...barbarically 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
-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.
- 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!
- 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 chocolate...so 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