24 July 2010

Almond Cointreau Cheesecake


I made a batch of almond biscotti some time ago, and it turned out a disaster! I must have overbaked it and sliced it so thick, biting into it was like trying to eat a rock. But I didn't want to waste it all, so i kept it in the fridge, thinking that one day I'd figure out how to 'recycle' it. 

And, today, the opportunity presented itself. I could make it into cheesecake crust! Just blitz the biscotti in the food processor till they resemble fine crumbs, and use it like crushed Digestive biscuits for the crust. For an extra edge, I added about 2 tsp of cocoa powder to get a chocolate almond crust. I thought this would be a nice complement to the chocolate topping I had in mind for the cake.

Let's get started!

Crust:
200g crushed biscuits (e.g. Digestive, Oreos)
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
90g butter, melted

Mix everything together. Then press into your baking pan. (I used a 9" springform pan.) Chill in refrigerator while you make the filling.



Filling:
750g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
150g sugar
1.5 tbs cornflour
1 tbsp Cointreau (or 1.5 tsp vanilla extract)
3 eggs


1 - Beat all ingredients except eggs till smooth and creamy.

2 - Add in eggs one at a time and mix till just combined.

3 - Pour filling into baking pan.  The filling should smoothen itself out.

4 - Bake in a water bath at 150 degC for 30-40 min or until the centre is almost set. (The cake will continue to bake from its own heat.) Then allow the cake to cool in the oven with the door ajar for half hour or so.

5 - Cover with foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, overnight if possible.



Chocolate topping:
2 tbsp chocolate chips
1 tbsp milk

Melt chocolate chips and milk in a double boiler (or just microwave).  Stir till well combined and glossy. Drizzle onto the top of your cheesecake in any pattern you fancy. Cover and return to fridge till ready to serve.  This is best done after the cake has chilled so that the chocolate sets up nicely and doesn't run or soak into the filling.


Water bath disaster:
I have a confession to make....  I had a disaster with this water bath method!! 
I wrapped my springform pan with 2 layers of foil, but the water still seeped into my pan and the crust became soggy :(  In future, I'm gonna ditch the water bath method and try the steaming method instead - placing the pan of water in the rack below the cake.

Apparently, this will not affect the texture of the cake much. If anyone has tried this steaming method with/without success, let me know please.



UPDATE: Despite the water bath disaster, the cake turned out pretty good =D  The crust dried out a little after spending a night in the fridge, and the texture of the filling was just right. The beneficiaries of the cake were all smiles after they each had a slice. What a relief!




5 comments:

Bakertan said...

Hi NEL,

The cheesecake looks very appetizing with the chocolate sauce drizzled over it. I know how you feel regarding the water bath. Ever since then I have been extra careful.

NEL said...

Hi Bakertan,
Fortunately, the crust dried out a little in the fridge overnight (just like you said). So it wasn't too bad in the end. *phew!*
This recipe without the sour cream was pretty good. Not as rich and heavy as I thought it would be,. But I'm definitely gonna try your sour cream version next time :)
Cheers!

Bakertan said...

Hi NEL,

Actually cheesecakes without sour cream or whipping cream taste really cheesy and nice! My friend baked such cheesecakes twice and I loved it. Asked her for the recipe and is waiting for her to send me.

I think your cheesecake is not as heavy because of the baking time. If baked longer it will be much denser, which is what I prefer.

I like to bake cheesecakes for longer duration because some cheesecakes I baked turned out 'watery' in texture when they were baked just until jiggly in the centre and the sides seemed to have set (followed instructions from books and recipes). The only cheesecakes I dont dare to bake for long period of time are chocolate cheesecakes. It seems like they set much better than other cheesecake and will become rock hard if baked longer.

These are just my 2 cents worth. Your experiences might turn out different. It will take some time to figure out how baking times and method of baking will affect the texture of cheesecakes. What I have mentioned may or may not apply to you.

Cheers and hope to see more cheesecakes from you =]

NEL said...

Hi Bakertan,
Thanks for taking the time to share :)
And you're right, every recipe turns out different for everyone. There are just so many variable factors.

You'll definitely see more cheesecakes from me. Hope to see more from you too :)
Hope you find time to bake soon.

Anonymous said...

very nice. i feel hungry just looking at it!

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