For many years I wondered where I could get cream cheese. I just couldn’t find it in any store/supermarket. I looked online but it just wasn’t to be found. So I enrolled for this baking course that promised to teach me how to make a cheesecake. I packed my bags and left. There was just no looking back. I was so excited I could barely sleep the night before.
So I got to the class and what followed could only be described as madness, nothing short of it.
The instructors were not prepared, the class was overbooked, there were no chairs, the workstations were filthy, the helpers were running about like a mad bunch and of course I had to land next to the class snoot.
In short, three long days of one disaster followed by another. I did make some good friends in the bargain. Thank god for silver linings.
So when the husband found his way home after his (very separate) vacation, I decided to hang (straining, just straining) some yogurt and make us a chocolate cheesecake. That’s all there was to it. It was right under my nose all this while and I went around the world looking for it.
It was good. Of course, I found the recipe on the net but I tweaked it a bit. I love chocolate but then I can’t handle too much of it and this was supposed to be three sinful layers of chocolate. The process I must say is quite violent. It involved beating, whipping, crushing and that was just the beginning. You can imagine why the little ones will need some parental guidance making it J
So for those of you who want to try it and have never thought of making it because you couldn’t find the right ingredients or they were too expensive, I’m going to try and simplify it as much as I can.
Cream cheese : You can either buy it at a gourmet store or you can take a piece of muslin and hang (strain) some yogurt (dahi). Keep in mind if you leave the yogurt out too long it might (actually most probably will) turn sour. So take a big sieve (chalni) or a steaming basket and line it with the muslin and then pour the whisked yogurt into it. Stand the basket/chalni in a metal pot and put it into the refrigerator for about 6 – 8 hours.
Cooking/Semi-sweet/Bitter-sweet chocolate : Don’t fret over the name. if you don’t have it or can’t find it then just use any plain chocolate you can get your hands on (Cadburys is probably the best).
Cooking butter: Well and good if you can get your hands on it. If not then just use good old Amul. A little salt does bring out the flavor of anything chocolaty.
Sugar : I know this recipe doesn’t mention whether to use plain old granular sugar or caster sugar or powdered. Just please use what you like. I personally prefer caster or powdered.
This is what my chocolate cheesecake looked like. I must say I am quite proud of it (the cake and the picture). All my very own work with no help J
Recipe time J
Makes : Fills up a 7 inch cake tin (use a 6 inch spring form if you prefer to)
The Base :
- 60 grams chocolate biscuit crumbs
- 90 grams digestive biscuit crumbs
- 75 grams melted butter
The Cream Cheese Filling:
- 170 grams chocolate
- 340 grams hung curd/cream cheese
- 100 grams sugar
- 1 ½ eggs (yeah I know that’s difficult) lightly beaten
120 ml cream
- 115 grams semi-sweet chocolate
- 80 ml cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat the oven to 180⁰ C and grease your cake tin.
- The Base : If you haven’t already then crush the biscuits and make fine crumbs. Mix both the varieties in a large bowl and pour over the melted butter (butter in biscuit bowl not the other way around). Mix well with your fingers (it really is the best way). Line the bottom of the cake tin with the crumbs (try making it as even as possible). At this point you would want to pop the tin into the refrigerator for a bit. The freezer will do if you’re in a hurry like I always am. If you’re going to pick the refrigerator (it’s going to take the better half of an hour at the least) then preheat the oven just before you start to make the cream cheese filling.
The Cream Cheese Filling :
- Set up a double boiler and melt the chocolate. Once melted and smooth (you don’t want lumps darling. Really) take off the heat and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl cream (yes, you might want to whisk it or beat it. Whatever sails your boat buddy) the cheese, cream and sugar. It needs to be smooth. Make sure there are no lumps please.
- Once the chocolate has cooled enough (feels just warm to the touch) pour it into the cream cheese mixture and beat beat beat till it’s all smooth.
- Now half of the lightly beaten eggs go in. whisk whisk whisk as hard as you can.
- Now the other half and then beat again
- Pop into the oven for about an hour (keep checking. I’m not to be blamed if you end up burning it J I told you to check)
- Place on wire rack to cool
The Ganache :
- Remember we’re only making the ganache once the cake has cooled completely. So once it’s cool to the touch then break the chocolate into little bits and place into a large bowl.
- In a pan, heat the cream and butter just to a boil.
- Pour the hot cream/butter over the chocolate and let stand for approximately 5 minutes
- Stir till smooth and then pour over the cake (of course your supposed to spread it out evenly)
- Let it cool for 15 minutes and then cover it and pop into the refrigerator
- 6 – 8 hours should do it (I’d love to give you instructions on how to eat it as well but this time I will allow you to experiment J)
Well I hope you enjoyed reading this and making the cake just as much as I enjoyed instructing you J
I will write about my trip sometime next week when I feel inspired enough. I know it’s been long since I’ve been back but I do hope that I’ll write and you’ll read.