Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Dear 'Best Dad Ever', I hope that you have a wonderful birthday today.

And i hope that you like the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake that i'd baked for you as your birthday cake. 

Never mind that you have another two birthday cakes sitting in the fridge. That's one of the advantages of having a pastry chef as a friend. Maybe i should find myself one too and get him/her to stuff all kinds off confections in my fridge. Yep.


I still remember my first experience with cheesecake.

Two words: Bloody Disaster. Literally. I accidentally cut my fingers really deep when trying to cut the lime into two with a semi-blunt knife. Totally epic fail.

I thought that the process of making a cheesecake would almost be the same as making a normal butter/sponge cake. I didn't consider the techniques that are needed to bake a perfect cheesecake which are:

1) To include the bain-marie (water bath),
2) To cover the cheesecake witth a foil when the top has browned when it's only halfway baked,
3) To let it cool down slowly in the oven for an hour or more.

As a result:

ARGHH!! Run for your life!

Undeniably the ugliest cheesecake in history.

But i've been practicing, and as you can see, i'm improving a little :D.

This Chocolate-Chip Cheesecake is perfect for those who love the combination taste of cheese and chocolate. It's creamy, tangy and chocolatey. A very delightful dessert indeed! I would be happy to eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper for like... a week. And get myself really sick.

I chose Chipsmore chocolate-chip cookies as the bottom crust of the cheesecake. This cookie brand has been my favourite ever since i was little! You can choose your own favourite brand for the crust.

The one thing that i need improving is the leveling of the crust. Some areas have higher crust then the others. Any tips to share? 

One very useful tip that i've learnt from a food blogger: Beat the cream cheese with a mixer until it's creamy/soft only (DO NOT over beat the cream cheese). Then beat the rest of the ingredients using only a wooden spoon to avoid overbeating.

Follow this tip and you won't regret it. Promise.

I'd folded in the chocolate chips into the batter but in the end they sank to the bottom and became part of the bottom crust. Which is not really a bad thing actually.

You can go crazy and sprinkle the top of the batter with lots and lots of chocolate chips. I'd decided to be graceful and only sprinkle a little bit. =D

In the end it did have a small crack but i'd covered it up by drizzling hershey chocolate syrup all over! And TADAA!

My Rating: 8/10

(Adapted from Baking Blonde's Blog and a few amendments made)

Bottom Crust:
2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 TBS butter, melted

Cheesecake batter/filling:
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.)  Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 TBS flour
3 large eggs
1 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chip, or more if desired

Chocolate syrup as garnish


Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease 9-inch springform pan.

Fill an oven safe cake pan (I use a 9×9) 3/4 full with warm water. Set on bottom oven rack while oven is preheating.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter, stir to combine.  Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and increase oven temperature to 350.

In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese until creamy. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth. Add sugar and flour, beat to combine. Add  eggs one at a time beating only to combine after each addition. When adding the third egg, also add the lime juice and vanilla extract; beat until combined.

Using a spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips. Gently pour batter evenly into prebaked crust.
Then sprinkle as many chocolate chips as you desire at the top of the batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 50-65 minutes or until edge is set and center moves slightly. Watch carefully and do  not overbake.

Shut oven off and allow cheesecake to cool in oven for 1-4  hours. Run a warm knife around edge of cheesecake after 1 hour.

Place in fridge to cool completely. (Remove the pan of water)

Allow to chill at least 24 hours before serving for best flavor and texture.

Drizzle chocolate syrup all over if desired.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Choco-Chip Jaffa Muffins & A New Blogger Design!


A new blogger design. LIKE, FINALLY.

Do you know how much i lurveeeee my new blogger design??
I can't stop staring at it like a weirdo!

It's all thanks to Jessica @ The Frilly Coconut! She's just so talented!
I wish i could give her all the muffins above as a token of appreciation. :D

If you wanna get a new pretty blogger/wordpress/twitter design at an affordable price, i HIGHLY RECOMMEND her service!!


Okay, back to the muffins.

These muffins turned out to be quite crusty on the outside (not sure whether it's supposed to be crusty originally. If not, YIKES!), and light and moist on the inside. They're surprisingly not too sweet either, which is good news for the diabetics, and bad news for people with sweet-tooth (i.e. yours truly). Boo.

I was also quite disappointed that the orange flavour wasn't strong enough. Fortunately the chocolate chips made the muffins taste a whole lot better. I wish i'd put the whole bag of choco-chips into the batter. Tsk.

The next time i make this, I'm gonna pour some orange juice into the batter. And add a little bit more sugar.

What i really love about buttermilk is that it can make your cake to be really moist!

Grating the orange zest was the best part of the process. The sweet and sour citric scent that filled the kitchen was the best natural air-freshener of all!

The batter must be lumpy. Or else you're fired.

The domes of the muffins were slightly higher than the ones shown in the recipe book. Yours truly over-filled the muffin pan holes.

My ratings: 5.5/10

However, all my family members commented that the muffins were scrumptious and that i should bake these more often. Their ratings are: 7/10

Until now i'm still wondering whether i've raised a very fussy tongue. Hmm.

(Taken From The Australian Women's Weekly Easy Baking Book)

2 1/2 Cups (375g) Self-raising flour
100g Cold butter, chopped finely
1 Cup (220g) Caster Sugar
1 1/4 Cups (310ml) Buttermilk
1 Egg
3/4 Cup (135g) Dark Choc Bits
2 Teaspoons finely grated orange zest


Preheat oven to 200c/180c fan-forced. Grease 12-hole (1/3 cup/80ml) muffin pan.

Sift flour into large bowl; rub in butter. Stir in sugar, buttermilk and egg. Do not overmix; mixture should be lumpy. Stir in Choc Bits and zest.

Divide mixture into pan holes; bake about 20 minutes. Stand muffins in pan 5 minutes before turning, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool.