Sunday, March 1, 2015

Baker's Corner: American Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake




I'm back on the blog! Didn't expect to be back so soon but turns out that my girls are not as difficult to manage as I initially thought they would be and they probably want mummy to continue blogging! ☺ Of course I probably won't be as regular in posting content as I used to be but something is better than nothing isn't it? Anyway, more details on motherhood and my little munchkins in a later post. For today, let me try and stay focussed on this decadent dessert. 

These past few years, every Chinese New Year has always been very eventful with us holidaying somewhere in South-East Asia or visiting family in India or else have relatives visiting us here in Singapore. However, this year has been very different - quiet since we didn't have any major plans but busy nevertheless with the little ones taking up most of our time (as usual!). Over the course of the holiday, we took them to the mall and to a relatives house so by their standards, they had an action-packed long weekend. For the first time since they were born, I found the time to get reacquainted with my kitchen! I was able to make Schezwan Fried Rice, Masala Dosa and this American Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake. My angels were so good that they not only allowed me to make the cheesecake but also photograph it, eat it and even blog the recipe  

Being severely deprived of sugar during my pregnancy due to pesky gestational diabetes, blog or no blog, I was desperate to get back to making desserts. I flipped through my Mary Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes book and found this recipe which I thought looked pretty darn good. I love...love...love cheesecake and if you have been following my blog, you probably have seen my previous post on Japanese Cheesecake. This American Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake is a baked cheesecake and is sweet, rich and luscious so should be served in small portions. Using a spring-form cake tin for this is important so you can get out the perfect slice. Please don't try to make this recipe low-fat by using low-fat cream cheese because then it just wouldn't work as well. I was supposed to use crushed chocolate flavored digestive biscuits for the crust but I didn't find them in the supermarket so I ended up buying plain digestive biscuits to which I mixed in cocoa powder. The strategy worked so I didn't feel too bad about not trying hard enough to search for the chocolate biscuits. Moving on, the best part about this cheesecake is that you don't have to be neat and fret about perfection. On the contrary, the more random and haphazard you are, the better will be the marbling effect. Now isn't that a refreshing change? You can expect the cheesecake to crack on cooling but it's no biggie....the taste more than compensates for the minor cracks on the surface. 

Okay then....I have to rush back to mommy duty now. Try this recipe and I'm sure you will love it!



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American Chocolate Ripple Cheesecake

Preparation time: 20 min
Baking time: 30-35 min
Makes: One round 20cm (8-inch) cheesecake
Serves: 6-8
Recipe level: Easy
Recipe Source: Mary Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes


Ingredients:

For the base:

100gm (4oz) plain chocolate digestive biscuits or 100gm plain digestive biscuits with 1 tbsp sweetened cocoa powder
50gm (2oz) unsalted butter

For the cheesecake:
150gm (5oz) plain chocolate (40-70% cocoa solids depending on your preference)
675gm (11/2 lb) full-fat cream cheese
220gm (7.7oz) caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Method:

1. Get all the ingredients ready and get them to room temperature before starting


2. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C/Fan 140 deg C/Gas 3. Lightly grease an 8-inch spring-form cake tin.


3. Put the biscuits into a plastic zip-lock bag and crush finely with a rolling pin. Melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the biscuit crumbs (if you are using cocoa powder, add it in now). Press firmly into the prepared tin and leave to set in the refrigerator. 



4. Break the chocolate into small pieces and microwave it in a large bowl until uniformly melted. Cool slightly.


5. Measure the cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat till soft (I used my Kitchenaid for this but you can do it manually as well). Take care to not over mix.


6. Add the caster sugar and beat again until well mixed.


7. Beat in the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time. Make sure the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.


8. Spoon half the cheese mixture onto the biscuit crust in separate spoonfuls. Add in the melted chocolate to the remaining cheese mixture and stir well to mix. Spoon this chocolate mixture in between the plain mixture in a random and haphazard way. Swirl the top with a butter knife to give a marbled effect. 


9. Bake for about 30-35 mins or until the cheesecake becomes puffy around the edges but is still very soft in the centre. Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool down completely. Chill well in the fridge and then loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the tin using a small palette knife.

As you can see mine cracked a little bit which I assume could be due to the fact that I was in a rush to get it done and I didn't let it cool down sufficiently in the oven. 


10. Serve chilled!




Notes:

  • It is highly recommended to use a spring-form tin. Just greasing the tin with butter is sufficient and lining it with greaseproof paper/parchment paper is not necessary
  • Instead of using a microwave to melt the chocolate, you can also do it in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water on the stove-top
  • Avoid over-beating of the batter. Over-beating incorporates additional air which can cause cracks on the surface of the cheesecake
  • The plain cream cheese mixture is less sweet than the chocolate cream cheese mixture so if you want your cheesecake to be less or more sweet, you can alter the ratio of the plain and chocolate mixture. I used 60% dark chocolate for this recipe and it worked quite well but next time I think I'll go up to 70% for a more intense chocolate flavour
  • Avoid over-baking. The cheesecake will continue to bake after you switch off the oven. The center of the cake has to be slightly moist. 
  • It is important to cool the cheesecake in the oven completely and then refrigerate until well chilled before serving. I would highly recommend chilling for a couple of hours. Overnight would be even better
  • Dip a knife in warm water and wipe dry before slicing each piece


Cheers,


2 comments:

  1. That looks amazing Megha ! I love cheesecakes too . I can totally relate to the feeling of enjoying desserts after having GD during pregnancy .. Love my desserts now :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks colorful and appetizing :) btw how did the photo go from step 9 (slightly cracked and dull) to step 10 (shiny and unbroken)?

    ReplyDelete

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