After a “nightmare”, I am back to my all time favourite topic : food. Food glorious food!!!!
Now, I do not believe in throwing food away, but then, who does? However, you hear about the amount of food thrown away every single day on the pretext of health and hygiene. I totally agree health and hygiene are paramount to one’s well-being. However, in some cases it is sheer paranoia. We have been having food beyond it’s “sell by” / “use by” date and we are still here and in fairly good health. Some times I feel these are gimmicks and sales tactics. Anyway, that opens a huge debate and we shall do that another day. Interesting topic, though. I might follow it up soon.
However, today it is all about cheese cake, coffee and walnut cheese cake to be precise. I had some Phili (that’s cream cheese, for the uninitiated) lying around and you know how soon this delicate darling (oops!, sorry, cheese) can get spoilt.
So, the machine in my head started moving…….took up speed…….sometimes, I feel there is a mill up there, revolving and rotating and making huge sounds…..
Mind you, it was only 150 grams (when I weighed it). Checked my larder cupboard and found ingredients…….I love making and eating coffee and walnut cake (with or without icing). I realised I had everything I needed except fresh cream. Done! It had to be a coffee and walnut cheese cake. Time for a”recipe transfer”…oh whatever…..as long as it tastes good and maybe, looks good?
I set to work on my experiment and was quite pleased with the results.
Here, I am sharing the recipe with you…..it is quite rustic but I can assure you the taste and texture were spot on.
- Cheese cake mix
150 gms Philadelphia (or any cream cheese)
150 mls double cream
1/3 cup caster sugar (standard American cup measure)
2 tsp gelatin
2 tbs water (room temperature)
2 tbs coffee granules dissolved in 1 tbs hot water and cooled to room temperature
(Adjust the amount of coffee. If you like a strong coffee flavour, this amount works, if not reduce it to 1.5 tbs of coffee granules)
1/2 tsp powdered Vanilla (you can use Vanilla extract about 1 tsp instead. )
- Cheese cake base
8 Digestive biscuits
Handful walnuts (optional)
5 tbs butter, melted and at room temperature
Few pieces of milk / dark chocolate
Walnut pieces, chopped roughly
Grease a 9 cms spring form cake tin with oil spray / butter. Make sure it is greased well
For the cheese cake base, in a blender / food processor, grind together the digestive biscuits, walnuts and melted butter. Make sure it is well powdered, so it is to cut through later. You could even use the pulse button on your food processor to do this.
Pour it on to the base of your prepared tin and spread. Press it in, so it sets. You could use a palette knife or the bottom of a steel kathori to do this. Once it is smooth and well set, place the cake tin in your fridge to chill until you get your mix ready. (15 – 20 minutes)
For the cheese cake mix, in a clean bowl, empty your double cream and beat with a hand beater until you achieve stiff peaks. (there are several videos on you tube with tutorials for this procedure)
In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. At this stage the mixture may become a little runny. Don’t panic unless it is too runny. Mix in the coffee and vanilla at this stage.
Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on the water, Heat this in the microwave for about 20 seconds and stir the mix. If it is not done, put it into the microwave for another 20 seconds. The gelatin should dissolve completely in the water. Next, you have to make sure the gelatin mix is cool but not set. (this can be tricky).
Pour the dissolved gelatin mix into your cream cheese mix. Blend it in.
Then fold in the double cream carefully making sure you do not lose air. You can do this using a metal spoon. Add the double cream little by little (in 3 portions) to the cream cheese mix and fold it in gently.
Take your cheese cake base out of the fridge and spread the cheese cake mix that you have made over the base using a rubber spatula. Once you have all the mix in, smooth the top with a palette knife. Cover the pan with a cling film and chill overnight on the fridge.
You can serve your coffee and walnut cheese cake as it is or decorate as you wish. Well, you still need to de-mould it before you decorate.
Run a knife around the sides of the cake. Loosen your spring form tin and lift the ring gently. You could make the sides smooth using a palette knife. Dip the knife in hot water and gently run it round the sides of the cake. (Same technique as you would use to smooth your icing).
You could leave the base as it is and put it on your serving plate.
I made a simple deco with melted milk chocolate and roughly chopped walnuts. Melt milk chocolate in your microwave or on a double boiler with a tiny knob of butter (for gloss). With a teaspoon, smear all over the surface of the cake. Sprinke the chopped walnut and smear some more chocolates. You can go wild with the decoration. I have a few more ideas for this cake, which I am going to try and will keep you posted.
Yes folks, its work in progress.