Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Never Too Late / Il n'est jamais Trop Tard


I waited twenty-four years to have my first cheesecake experience. It was three months ago in Denver where I had Kahlua Cocoa-coffee cheesecake. Nobody told me that once you have a bite of a good cheesecake, you get addicted to it and there is no coming back. The following day, my husband and I had another slice and the next day another one. Three days in a row all we had for late night dessert was Cheesecake, and the same flavor.
Now eating cheesecake is pretty easy but baking it is a different story. You see I have never baked cheesecakes before. I have, what we call: “cheesecakebakophobia” . Basically, my worst nightmare would be ending up with a giggly, uncooked cheesecake that would ooze out of my spring-form tin and landing in my baking sheet or worst in my oven.
And then, it all changed two months ago when I saw Haalo’s cheesecake. I was mesmerized. It was meant to be. Haalo’s cheesecake was going to be my first cheesecake baking experience. Why her cheesecake, you might ask? It has nothing special, does it? I went with this one because I trust Haalo’s recipes. If I had to list all the successful concoctions that went from her blog to my table, I would have to change my blog name to “Haalo’s second Kitchen” or “Cook almost anything… at least twice”. Secondly, as she was explaining the outcome of her cheesecake, she said three magic words that were like music to my ears: “it's soft and creamy but with a wonderfully light texture. The topping adds that bit of sweetness and the base is appealingly crunchy”. And what better than a creamy, light cheesecake with a crunchy crust.
The recipe is very easy to follow and I was surprised to see that the cheesecake doesn’t cook in a water bath like most of cheesecakes do. I halved the recipe and used the last handful of cherries found at the market this weekend to decorate the top along with my strawberry jam.
When slicing the cheesecake, I was charmed by the small bites, great for entertaining to pop in your mouth. Haalo was absolutely right about the texture. It’s creamy yet not heavy and very fresh with the ricotta cheese. You almost don’t have to use your teeth, except for the crust that is just buttery and crunchy with the adding of quick oats. The only thing that I would do differently next time is to use less jam for the topping because it was a bit sweet for my taste.
Other than that, it was a great experience, more addictive than eating the cheesecake. I came out victorious and I am proud of myself. I was a good girl this time; I only had one slice of it. Fine two…maybe three. It was late, I don’t remember.

Cherry and Strawberry Cheesecake

Baked Strawberry and Cherry Cheesecake

Recipe: adapted from here
The crust:

- 5 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 ounces quick oats
- 4 ounces graham crackers
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
The filling:
- 13 ounces light cream cheese
- 4 ounces ricotta cheese
- 3 ½ ounces caster sugar
- 5 ounces light sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 1 tbsp flour
The topping:
- 9 ounces cherries or any fruit in season and depending on your taste
- 7 ounces strawberry jam

Make the Base:
Butter a 20cm/8inch round spring-form tin - line the base with baking paper.
Place the butter in a saucepan to melt - when melted add the rolled oats, cookie crumbs and sugar and stir well to combine.
Pour the mixture into the lined tin and press it down firmly to create an even base.
Store in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
Make the Filling:
Place the cream cheese, ricotta sugar and sour cream into the bowl of a mixer and beat until smooth.
Add the eggs, vanilla paste and plain flour and continue to beat until smooth.
Pour this over the chilled base and cook in a preheated 180°C/350°F oven for 40-45 minutes or until the filling is just set.
Remove from the oven but allow it to cool in the tin.
Make the Topping:
Place the jam into a small saucepan and heat gently until the jam has melted.
Let this cool a little before spreading it over the cold cheesecake, then top with your fruits.
You will notice that the cheesecake will have shrunk away from the sides of the tin so the some of the topping will ooze out over the edge.
Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. For best result,take it out of the fridge one hour prior to serving.


Cheesecake aux Fraises et Cerises

In francais please: adaptée d'ici
- Pour la base:
- 125g de beurre, fondu
- 100g de flocon d’avoine
- 100g de petit biscuits secs, hache finement au robot
- 2 c.s de sucre brun
- Pour la garniture:
- 375g de cream cheese Philadelphia allégé, mou
- 100g de fromage ricotta
- 80g de sucre en poudre
- 125g crème aigre, allege
- 2 eggs
- 2 c.c d’extrait de vanille ou pate de vanille
- 1 c.s de farine
- Pour la decoration:
250g de cerises, ou votre fruit prefere de saison
200g de confiture de fraises

Preparer la base:
Beurrer un moule a cheescake (20cm de diametre) et garnir le fond de papier sulfurise.
Melanger le beurre fondu aux flocon d’avoine, sucre brun, biscuits jusqu’a complete incorporation.
Verser le mélange au fond du moule et bien applatir avec votre main pour obtenir une base uniforme. Mettre au frais 10 a 15min.
Preparer la garniture:
Mettre cream cheese, ricotta, sucre et crème aigre dans le bol d’un mixeur ou avec un batteur et melanger jusqu’a ce que le mélange devienne soyeux et lisse.
Ajouter les oeufs, vanille, farine et continuer a batter jusqu’a ce qu’elle redevienne lisse.
Verser sur la base prealablement refroidi et faites cuire dans un four prechauffe a 180C pendant 40-45 min ou jusqu’a ce que le cheescake soit ferme mais un peu mou au center quand vous le bougez legerement.
Laisser refroidir dans son moule.
Preparer la garniture:
Mettez la confiture de fraise dans une casserole et faites la tiedir. Entre temps, épépiner les cerises et mettre de côté. Verser la confiture sur le cheesecake encore tiede et decorer avec les cerises a votre guise.
Couvrir et mettre au frais pendant des heures ou toute une nuit.Sortir du frigo une heure avant de le servir, pour une meilleure degustation.


Lisa Johnson said...

That looks so good! I've never made a cheesecake and I keep planning too. I like the look of this recipe and just may try it.

Claude-Olivier Marti said...

Et bien, tu sais ce que je pense des cheesecakes....que du bonheur. Celui ci a l'air tout particulièrement réussit...j'en ai l'eau à la bouche! Bravo !!!! biz

Anonymous said...

fan de cheesecakes aussi, il m'aura fallu atteindre les 30 ans ! je te bats !
Froussarde comme je suis, je me limite aux recettes de Loukoum/beau à la louche, avec un régal assuré !
Bravo pour toutes ces belles cerises ....

Deborah said...

Cheesecake has to be my favorite cake. This looks amazing!

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

I would love to have my first bite of cheesecake as an adult! Firsts get too few and far between as we age, and it takes more work to keep seeking them out. Gorgeous photos here Rose!

Anonymous said...

My favorite quote "it was late, I don't remember" :-D

Your first cheesecake looks great! Gingersnap-pear was the recipe I tried (also my first cheesecake).

Warda said...

- Anali, thanks a lot.

- Claude, je sais tres bien que tu es expert en la matiere. Merci de tes compliments.

- Marion, Les cheesecakes de Loukoum sont un reel plaisir pour les yeux. Je suis sure que les tiens doivent etre aussi beau, talented as you are.

- Deborah, I am glad you like it. Thanks.

- Amanda, Thank you very much. I am glad I didn't know what cheescakes were before, I would have been a lot heavier by now.

Warda said...

My dear Nikki,thank you very much. The gingersnap- pear cheesecake sounds and looks delicious with real slices of pear...Yum. This was a great choice, my fellow first time cheesecake baker.

Nora B. said...

Can't believe that you waited that long! Love those cherries on your cake. Cheesecakes are popular with my friends and family - I always get requests to make it for parties. There is a recipe that I've used from Tyler (he used to host Food 911) that never fails.

Anh said...

Rose, oh I do you know what you mean.... cheesecake is one of the most addictive desserts on earth.. And how much I admire your beautiful creation here!

Renee said...

Oh gosh, that looks so good! I never really liked cheesecake as a child, but I tried it again as an adult, and it is indeed addictive! Beautiful job!

Shayne said...

beautiful, need I say more.

Mandy said...

such a pretty cheesecake! I can't believe it's your first attempt. Bravo. Now can I have slice? :D

Cakelaw said...

OMG - I really, really want to try this cheesecake - it looks devine!

Warda said...

- Nora, Actually I wrote down Tyler's cheesecake recipe a year ago but never tried it. Your friends are very lucky to have you bring cheesecakes for parties. My kind of parties.

- Anh, you are always so sweet my dear. Thanks.
- Nan, thanks a lot. Our taste buds change when we grew up.And it's mostly to sweets that we get addictednever to vegetables...

- Shayne, thank you very much.

- Mandy, of course you can. I kept a slice hidden away just in case you stop by.

- Cakelaw, thank you so much. Trust me, you will love it.

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! que dire de plus? que j'ai l'eau � la bouche � ce n'est pas sympa de ta part !!ton cheese machin truc nous dit "mangez-moi;mangez-moi!!!"biz

LILIBOX said...

bienvenue au club des addicts aux cheesecakes .
J'adore ceux aux Cherries .
Celui la est magnifique !

Warda said...

- Mima, OMG, cute....bientot l'anglais n'aura plus aucun secret pour toi. Mais mon prefere c'est: cheese machin merci de me rapeler la chanson:"mangez-moi, mangez-moi, mangez-moi" maintenant, je ne peux plus l'enlever de ma tete. Bisous.
- Lili, welcome back. merci beaucoup ma chere. Je m'aurai bien passe de dependance, crois-moi.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

dunno what you were worried about girl ! this ones got me drooling all over the place. Well done.

Aimée said...

Nice! Welcome to the wonderful world of cheesecake perfection. I love, love, love cheesecake, and this one looks absolutely stellar! Great job!

Warda said...

- Kate, that's so sweet of you. Thanks.
- Aimée, I enjoyed making it, and eating it too very much. Thanks for your nice words.

Helene said...

Superbe! J'adore !

Warda said...

- Merci ma chere Helene.

Anonymous said...

You have a lovely blog here! Cheescake, mmmmmm, let me count the ways!!!!!!