Entry 20: Say Cheesecake!

Hello again, Koala fans!

A little while back, I made a small box of truffles for my sister’s birthday, similar to the ones I made in Entry 2. They went down very well, especially with my older brother, who may have “availed” himself of one or two of them…Anyways, given that my brother’s birthday was coming up, I asked my sister in law if there was anything in particular he would like and she suggested a cheesecake. Not a problem, I thought – I’ve made one before – twice, now I come to think of it. After a little casting around, I found a really cool looking chocolate cheesecake here:


With several different kinds of chocolate, a thick layer of cream on top and a calorie count best described as “yes”, I set to work:

"Wait, what's this I'm sitting on?"

“Wait, what’s this I’m sitting on?”

What the Koala is sitting on is a little birthday present from my folks, which I received a couple of weeks ago. My old red weighing scale has been replaced with a shiny new digital scale, which is considerably more accurate than its predecessor:

The bowl on this one is considerably shallower. One might almost say non-exsistent.

The bowl on this one is considerably shallower. One might almost say non-existent.

I don’t know whether its a good thing or bad thing that I’m able to say 97g of solid butter went into making the base of this thing. In place of Oreos, I went with something simpler this time. Ideally, I was trying to find a cross between a digestive biscuit and a double chocolate cookie. Unfortunately the only ones I could find had a layer of chocolate on top and I was uncertain how well it’d form a base. In the end I went with a normal plain digestive base; I felt that there was probably going to be enough chocolate in the main cheesecake itself, along with the chocolate sauce on top, that further chocolate would be surplus to requirements.

"Yay! More wanton destruction!"

“Yay! More wanton destruction!”

Given that I’m the one that has to clear up the kitchen after these things, I wasn’t keen on the idea of just crushing the biscuits as they were, for the simple reason they would end up all over the kitchen. Fortunately, I had a brainwave and wrapped them in clingfilm:

A crushing victory for tidiness.

A crushing victory for tidiness.

After that, it was pretty simple to melt the butter and turn it all out into the tin:

A buttery biscuit base. As alliterative as it is tasty.

A buttery biscuit base. As alliterative as it is tasty.

With the easy part out of the way, it was time to work on putting the cheese in the cheesecake:

If you felt bad about the 97g of butter in this, then you really don't want to see this photo.

If you felt bad about the 97g of butter in this, then you really don’t want to see this photo.

The ingredients were pretty close to the ones I used in the Bailey’s cheesecake, along with the methodology itself. After beating the cream cheese and sugar together, it was just a matter of adding the other ingredients one at a time and whisking between them. The part where the recipe talks about using half the melted chocolate in the cheesecake and saving the other half for the sauce was quite interesting. However, it is very, very important you pick the right type of chocolate to do it though. I went with an 85% cocoa bar and the “chocolate sauce” was very distasteful. Fortunately, I had a plan for that, which I’ll cover in a bit:

The various cheesecake ingredients being swirled together.

The various cheesecake ingredients being swirled together.

Not pictured – the part where I realised I’d forgotten the sour cream and had to run to the shop to get some. >.>

After following the baking instructions, the cheesecake seemed rather underdone, which was confirmed with the skewer test. (Pro tip – if you’re going to try any of the cakes or cheesecakes on here, get yourself a skewer. It makes all the difference between a good cake and a bad one). I put it back in the oven for another 10 mins at 220*C, which really helped to firm up the middle, although the top got a little singed as well. It was at this point that I made a fatal mistake. After you take a cheesecake out of the oven, RUN YOUR KNIFE AROUND THE EDGE OF IT. The reason being, as the cheesecake cools, it shrinks. If it’s still firmly gripping the sides, then you end up with a little cheesecake Grand Canyon running through your masterpiece. I was lucky in that it was only a tiny split but it could have been much worse.

With the cheesecake itself done, I took it down to my parent’s home so that my brother could pick it up. Given the amount of travelling, I waited on doing the cream topping until I was there, to save it getting damaged. I also stopped by Hotel Chocolat on the way through. Although they mainly do boxed chocolates, they also do individual bars and other bits that, in theory, would make great cheesecake decorations. There was, however, some risk involved:

We will never speak of what transpired after this photo was taken.

We will never speak of what transpired after this photo was taken.

I eventually left the shop with some caramel flavoured chocolate sticks, some chocolate gemstones, an extremely fat koala and an empty credit card. Once I was safely at my parents, I set to work on making the chocolate sauce:

Caramel and cream. There's probably a song in there somewhere.

Caramel and cream. There’s probably a song in there somewhere.

It was actually an idea I picked up from when I made the truffles. If you add too much cream, the ganache doesn’t set properly and it’s hard to roll into a ball for truffling but if you apply the same idea here, it makes an amazing caramel sauce. A few chocolate curls later and the cheesecake was ready:

The finished cheesecake.

The finished cheesecake.

I did manage to try some of the off cuts as I was trimming the edge and the cheesecake seemed pretty good but I’ll have to wait until I hear from my brother or sister-in-law for the full report. Looks really neat though! ^_^

2 responses to “Entry 20: Say Cheesecake!

  1. Sarah Boys

    It was an AMAZING cheesecake xx

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