It always feels nice to be back to baker’s block and post something or other on baking. Off late, what attracted my attention is the spongy cake covered with white cream and red dust on the top sporting a damn tempting look, people are going gaga over. A bit of research revealed that the red dust is not coming from bit root, as I thought, but from simple red food colour which made life easy. The USP for this cake is cream cheese frosting which is a break from usual butter cream or whipped cream used for cake icing and which also brings in an interesting flavour. It can lighten up any occasion many folds which was also a motivation for me to bake it for my marriage anniversary.
If you are looking for a sophisticated, impressive yet easy to make dessert then Fruit Tartlets can be one of your choices. As we know tartlets are the miniature form of tarts which consists of two parts, one is crunchy shortbread crust and the other is creamy savoury or sweet filling. Obviously fruit tartlets will be topped with any of our favourite fruits. I always got tempted to find those fruit tartlets topped with all the possible colourful fruits while passing by the bakery shops in Europe and apprehended that those should be very difficult to make. But I was wrong. After trying my hand on them, I can vouch that tartlets are very easy to make and taste absolutely yummy 🙂
I love to bake cakes with different fruits to blend their flavours in the cake. However to bring variety, this time I baked the cake with a vegetable, carrot, which is perhaps the most easy to find in winter. With the grated carrot, what I prepare is a butter less, wholewheat cake which is topped with lemon flavoured cream cheese. I am not exaggerating, but the outcome was truly lip-smacking.
“Cheesecake” is a mouth-watering dessert, perfect enough to impress a special one on a special occasion. It consists of two or more layers, mainly a crust at the bottom and a thick soft cheese layer over that. Cheesecakes can be broadly categorized into two basic types: baked and unbaked. Each comes in a variety of styles determined by region. Today I am giving you the recipe of baked New York cheesecake. It’s very simple to make. Hope you will like it.
Ingredients to serve 8 – 10 :
- Butter – 6 tbspoon
- Digestive biscuits/Graham crackers (crushed) – 200 gm.
- Cream Cheese – 400 gm. (Those who don’t get the cream cheese try this recipe with cottage cheese or “chena” and please let me know how was it )
- Soured cream – 450 ml.
- Large eggs – 2
- Caster sugar – 140 gm. (approx. ¾ cup)
- Vanilla extract – 1½ teaspoon
- Lemon zest – ½ teaspoon
- sunflower oil for brushing
- 20-cm/8-inch Springform pan
For Strawberry Sauce topping
- Frozen unsweetened strawberry – 250 gm.
- Caster sugar – 55 gm. (approx. ¼ cup)
- Cold water – 1 tbspoon
- unflavored gelatin powder – 1 teaspoon
Put the biscuits/Graham crackers in plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are fine in texture or you simply crush them in a food processor. You can also use the graham cracker crumbs available in the market.
Melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Stir in the crushed biscuits, then spread in a 20-cm/8-inch Springform pan or tin brushed with oil. Now bake it for 6 – 8 min. in a preheated oven at 165°C.
Now place the cream cheese, eggs, 100 gm (approx. ½ cup) of the sugar, ½ teaspoon of the vanilla extract and the lemon zest in a large bowl and mix well with a hand mixer or put them in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base in the spingform pan and smooth the top. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven, 160°C/325°F, for 50 – 55 min. until set (but the center should be little wet). Remove from the oven and leave for 20 min. Leave the oven on.
Mix the soured cream with the remaining sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Spoon over the cheesecake in the springform pan. Return it to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, take a spatula or knife and run it around the inside of the cheesecake (the reason is to do that the cheesecake dose shrink as it cools and if we didn’t do that we will get a lot of cracking). Now let it come to the room temperature. Cover the pan containing the cheesecake with a clean foil and refrigerate it for couple of hours.
To make the strawberry topping take the frozen strawberries, thaw them out completely and then blend them in a blender along with the sugar until nice and smooth and then pour in a saucepan. Now to activate the gelatin take one tbspoon of cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder over it, leave it for 2 or 3 minutes until it becomes spongy. Now put the saucepan containing the strawberry sauce on stove over medium heat just to warm it (don’t boil). Then add the spongy gelatin into it and stir gently putting the gas in low to dissolve the gelatine. It will take like a minute or two. Skim off the foams forming on the top of the sauce and let it come to the room temperature.
Take out the cheesecake from the refrigerator and pour the strawberry sauce slowly over it keeping the cheesecake in the springform pan. Then again refrigerate it for about 3 – 4 hours covering with a fresh foil. For best result refrigerate it overnight. After that take out the cheesecake from the pan. You can leave the cheesecake in the bottom plate of the springform pan or you can place it in a serving plate. Now you can decorate it by placing a nice looking strawberry cut into slices (not all the way through) at the center of the cake. Cut a pie and serve the beautiful dessert.