Regular readers would know how much i adore cheesecakes!

In my very humble opinion, BEST cheesecakes are from home. Coffee joints ones really cannot make it -_-

Photobucketfinger print by beep. spot it? ^.^

A recent trip to our regular coffee joint, one bite was all i needed. I knew immediately that they changed their supplier! And true enough, they did (i checked). The latest supplier was crap. They cut down so much of the cream cheese used that i really think they oughtta call it Oreo CREAM + GELATINE Cake instead of Oreo Cheesecake. I detest it so much that i walked to the counter with the cake and spoke to the person in charge — my first time! i usually will just close both eyes –

In the end, they exchanged another slice of cake for me and promised that they will speak to the Manager regarding the new supplier’s cake quality. (they better, otherwise… i’ll not go back again!)

I say, don’t pray pray with cheesecakes hor, especially if i am to eat it! Ha!

When i first saw the cake on Smitten Kitchen’s blog, i knew i had to bake it. MUST.

It’s my kinda cake totally. Heh.

1 layer of chocolate truffle, 1 layer of cappucino cheesecake and 1 thin layer of sour cream topping — my new favourite on cheesecakes! (remember yam cheesecake and pumpkin cheesecake?? *wink*) — how could i not bake it???!?! :P

So baked i did… but a couple of months later after much procrastinating. Heeeee.

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That also because Darcy requested it. A chocolate cake, please? he said. Any kind!

Darcy was desperately craving for my cakes.. which is quite abnormal. Maybe, just maybe, the lack of cakes in the house lately contributed to it.  Moreover, bossacafez was coming over the next day.. so all the more i should bake it! :D

I didn’t have much problem with the recipe except for the crust. Being a lazybumbum, i kinda skip the part where i gotta press the Oreo crumbs up the sides — i’m impatient! — hence, the ugly side crust *hide*.

Photobuckettook too long to photograph.. until everything was jelly soft :P

You know, i had such a hard time decorating the cake!

The chocolate gotta be at the right temperature for me to pipe it out nicely. The first attempt was terrible – chocolate was too hard = lines were uneven – then, my second attempt was still terrible – chocolate too soft = no lines!

It was during my third attempt that i managed to get it right… but not without a mess. The chocolate was everywhere when i squeezed it to pipe despite certain efforts to downplay the whole piping thingie. By the time i finished decorating, i was completely drained out — it took so much strength to pipe the chocolate out, goodness gracious me!! –  and had a tummy full with chocolate. I kinda swore off chocolate at that particular moment. HAhahahaa!

Cappucino Fudge Cheesecake

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Crust
180-200g crushed oreo
5 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter

Ganache
1 cup single cream
15 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur (i used a combi of Baileys and rum)

Filling
2 * 250g packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 – 2/3 cup sugar (own preference)
1 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Topping
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rum

A handful of chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)

(i piped them out instead with chocolate)

Make crust: Finely grind cookies. Add butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 1 minute. Transfer crumbs to 8-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Wrap plastic wrap around fingers and press crumb mixture firmly up sides to within 1/2 inch of top edge, then over bottom of pan.

Make ganache: Bring cream to simmer in large saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and Kahlúa. Whisk until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Pour 1 1/2 cups ganache over bottom of crust. Freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later for decorating.

Make filling: Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until blended. Scrape down bowl, making sure you get to the bottom, where little pockets of unmixed cream cheese love to hid. Beat in flour. Stir rum, espresso powder, vanilla in small bowl until instant coffee dissolves (i just dissolved the powder with 1 tbsp hot water) ; beat into cream cheese mixture. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.

Pour filling over cold ganache in crust — it will go nearly all of the way to the top, don’t panic. Place cheesecake on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until top is brown, puffed and cracked at edges, and the center two inches moves only slightly when pan is gently shaken, about one hour. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing topping (top of cheesecake will fall slightly, making room for topping). Maintain oven temperature.

Make topping: Whisk sour cream, sugar, and rum in medium bowl to blend. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, spreading to cover filling completely. Bake until topping is set, about 5- 10 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Refrigerate hot cheesecake on rack until cool, about three hours.

Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Spoon reserved ganache into pastry bag fitted with small star tip. If you’d like to make an approximation (perhaps less rushed?) of the above decoration, pipe 6 diagonal lines atop cheesecake, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat in opposite direction, making lattice. Pipe rosettes (or, uh, stars if you realize you do not have the energy nor inclination to practice rosette piping at that hour) of ganache around top edge of cake. Otherwise, have fun decorating freely. Espress(o) — ow — yourself!

Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans, if desired. Chill until lattice is firm, at least 6 hours.

Do ahead: Cake is best made a day ahead, so the flavors have time to settle. The cake also takes enough time to make that it’s best not to rush through it the day you want to serve it. It can be made up to four days ahead. Wrap loosely in foil, forming dome over lattice; keep chilled.

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Oh, if you must know, the cake was polished off the very next day and everyone was begging for more! AND it was a very very rich cake i tell ya. Not for the faint hearted ones :P

p.s : i still have no idea why i cant slice the cake perfectly without having the chocolate stained all over the sides of the cake, despite following every instructions! :(

How do the experts do it???????

pps : using my new prime lens for the first time!!!! :D

coffeemacs

Coffee Macarons

Source : here

Makes about 4 dozen small macarons

181 grams almond flour
243 grams powdered sugar
138g egg whites
3 grams egg white powder
2 grams of finely ground sea salt
81 grams granulated sugar
3 tsp coffee, finely ground

In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg white and the egg white powder. Whip in medium speed until egg whites start to increase in volume. I know a lot of recipes say to whip the egg whites at high speed but I find that it is better to start slower to build a better structure for the meringue.

When the egg whites are almost fully whipped and very fluffy, slowly start adding the sugar, sprinkle it in. After all the sugar is incorporated, continue to whip the meringue in high speed now until semi stiff peaks have formed. This is when we will add the orange zest and the food coloring.

Add the meringue to the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture and with a spatula, fold the meringue into the dry ingredients. This is called “macaroner” and is also a tricky part. It is better to fold slowly and test a couple of macaroons because it is possible to over fold this mixture. We are looking for a shiny mass. For this amount of ingredients, I would say that it will only take about 10 to 15 strokes. But again, it is better to check for consistency. We are looking for a mass that spreads a little but not too much otherwise our macaroons will be flat.

Pipe the mass onto half sheet pans lined with silpats. Sprinkle the wet macaroons with cocoa nibs.

Let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes so they dry. We want the tops to not stick to our finger when we touch them. This will ensure a crack-free macaroon.

Have your oven preheated at 325 degrees. Bake one sheet pan at a time positioning it in a middle rack. Bake for about 8 minutes and rotate sheet pan to ensure even baking. It should take about 14 minutes but that depends on the oven. We want to be able to pick up the macaroon without it falling apart but we don’t want to over bake it either. It is better to bake it slowly so no browning occurs. Remove them from the oven and slide the silpat onto a cold surface. Let them cool on the silpat.

Chocolate ganache

150g dark chocolate

80g cream

Double boil both and let cool before piping.

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Do pardon the not-so-good-looking-macarons!

I kept them in the fridge for 3 days, jammed together in an airtight container before the hardworking Sherie got the better of me. Grin. (i just wanna eat them, not photograph them then!)

We churned out quite many batches. 4 trays to be exact, i think.  2 trays piped by me and the other 2 by bossacafez. One would assume that coming from the SAME meringue batter, the temperamental cookies would look the same right???

You’re now in for surprise :)

All 4 came out looking very different!

How strange can it get?

First 2 trays with prettiest feet ever, but one with plumper shells than another. Then, the final 2 trays, no visible feet.. and if you will, a little dome was visible on some!

Oh well, feet or no feet, they were sure delicious. Pssstttt, i think the friend almost had a heart attack seeing how much i could eat in that short 3 hours! Muaaahahhahahaaaha. Please call me Ms. oink! :@

coffeemacs1

I sprinkled the macarons with cocoa nibs and also coffee granules.

I like the cocoa nibs better. Coffee granules melted whilst baking and added a very bitter taste while gobbling the cookies.

Macarons baking again??

You bet! ;)

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