Monday, 7 April 2014
The dark side /-/ Speculoos cheese cake with malted pretzel Crust
I must sound like a really pain in butt sometimes. That up tight, stick to rules, Miss manners who is buzz kill at any party. Well at least this is the persona, I have been told, that I portray whenever I bake something; in particular fancy cakes. Like the classic pre horror tale, I am experience a sense of satisfaction but the price is I do have a lot of unnecessary conflicts with others. Gosh I have my own Mr. Hyde and the drug which unleashes it is my obsessive nature in kitchen.
Come to my dark side, we have cake for you…
Like the story I really try to not fall into the trap of it. I struggle against my need to weigh all ingredients to the T. The salt is measured to the gram in sweet recipes; NOT EVEN the odd sprinkles and M&Ms is spared my wrath. Come to think of it I haven’t used a cup measurement in years…. Beside for the odd holding of chocolate chips or in photos (yes, my kitchen does not look that nice nor is the set up practical when you cook the real thing)
The worst part about it is I become incredibility short tempered if anything is misplaced or my things have been tampered with. I know nobody means to be annoying (well at least I hope so) but when you have to run across the room to get a baking tray THAT should have been in the kitchen. RAGE!!
I remember the last time I really lost my nut was when my dad opened the oven door while I was baking the last batch macarons. Not a big deal right? Not when you spent most of that hour testing out the oven to find the perfect temp and testing out a better macaron method. That night was not a pleasant for people around me.
I guess you could call it burning the dessert calories. Being evil takes work you know! Maybe that’s why I can eat cake almost everyday.
You would be wondering why I am listing all my negative kitchen traits here. You probably never want to work with me or hire me by the way I describe myself. However I have come to realise people like you better if you are honest with them. I am a far from perfect person in and out of kitchen, however I do it all for the sake of creating something which hopefully is almost flawless.
Now unlike my baking I do for cakes, desserts is a more relaxed affair. Cheesecake has to one of the best desserts in history of desserts. It is low effort, high reward, you can go a fancy or as relaxed as you please but best of all it can be prepared in advanced. For me, nobody does cheesecake like Nigella Lawson and no one shall EVER turn down a Cheesecake from Ms. Lawson
All this worry about cheese cake is really unnecessary if you have been taught the right way to do it. A few things I learnt from her are use a food processor, bring to room temperature ALL of the ingredients and as much as it pains you, DO not the rush the cooling process.
This cheesecake is a double delight for those are into caramelized goodness of snack food. Now you may not think that pretzels are caramelized but in all honestly if you bake any carbohydrate or sugar with dry heat it becomes caramelized. Why do you think it has the lovely rich brown colour we all drool over?
Cookie butter has finally reached Aussie shores and about time too! I was sick of trying to make it only to eat it all within three days… As magic as cookie butter is, I find majority of recipe that use it do not count for that fact it is NOT peanut butter; meaning the sweetness of the desserts become unappealing. Not here but using a bit of custard power, you can reduce the sugars but still give that stability when you use sugar in cheese cake.
I am taking on the classic part ricotta cheesecake because I find it “lighter” than the full cream cheese version; not in calories but the taste. The salty, malted crust is on this cheese cake is almost better than eating pretzel themselves and means people would gladly eat the WHOLE piece of cake instead of leaving it to last or on the plate. Malty, salty and trashy for a Monday dessert; If you need an excuse think of a way to saying “good job!” for surviving the long day of the week.
Cookie butter cheese cake with malt pretzel Crust
Makes one 23cm cake
250g cream cheese
150g ricotta (full fat from a deli)
1 egg yolk
100g caster sugar
25g custard powder
100g sour cream
200g cookie butter
170g salted pretzel, crushed well
30g malted milk
60g butter melted
Pre heat oven to 160C (non fan forced).Line the base of a 23cm spring form pan.
Combine in large bowl the base ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Using a metal spoon push into the base of the prepared tin until evenly formed crust is made. Place in the fridge until needed.
In food processor, combined the cream cheese and ricotta. Scrap the food processor down. Blend on high until combined. Add eggs, sugar, custard power, sour cream and cookie butter; blend until well combined and smooth mix is formed. You may need to scrape it down.
Pour in to the pretzel base prepared earlier. Give it a gentle tap on a bench to rid it of air bubbles. Bake in pre heat oven for about 1 hour until light brown on the top and set. About 5cm of the edge should be set when it is ready). Leaven in oven, with the door slightly open to cool. Chill over night before unmoulding.
To un mould, run a hot sharp knife around the outside of tin before releasing the spring form tin.