September 27, 2012

Baked Strawberry Cheesecake

This is officially my favourite baked cheesecake. Think of luscious roasted strawberries with juices to die for, topped on a strawberry-flavoured cheesecake. It has ricotta in it, which makes it so light and fluffy compared to the only cream cheese ones. I actually first saw this on Raspberri Cupcakes, and I instantly wanted to make this particular one since I was craving for cheesecake recently. 

Strawberries are in abundance and are so cheap these days, which makes it perfect to use them for a cheesecake. I have never roasted fruits before, so I was a little skeptical of the idea of baking strawberries. But they came out so juicy and succulent, perfect for pairing with the cheesecake. Thanks to Steph (Raspberri Cupcakes), I will be roasting fruit more often now! You might have already seen it, but I tried to hide the ugly cracks on top of the cheesecake with the strawberries. This always happens to me whenever I bake a cheesecake.

I decided to use a recipe from Donna Hay for the biscuit base because I had run out of them and was too lazy to bake a batch. It came out fine, but probably next time I would use biscuits and process them up in a food processor for the base. It was just tasted a little bit more buttery to me...other than that, it was perfect, and next time I will definitely remember to buy more ricotta from the store for this cheesecake.

Baked Strawberry Cheesecake
Makes one 8 inch cheesecake

Adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes and Donna Hay.

Cheesecake filling
330 grams ricotta
500 grams cream cheese, softened
1 cup of strawberry jam
1 and 1/2 tablespoon of cornflour (cornstarch)
1 and 1/2 tablespoon of water
4 eggs

1/3 cup of almond meal
3/4 cup of plain flour
1/4 cup of sugar
90 grams of butter, chopped

500 grams of fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (350 F). Make the base by combining almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until a dough forms. Press the mixture with the back of a spoon on the base of a lined/greased 8 inch round springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes until light golden and set aside.

2. Make the filling by placing the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs and strawberry jam in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until just combined. Combine the cornflour and water together in a small bowl and add to the cream cheese mixture. Process until smooth. Pour the filling over the biscuit base of the prepared cake tin and bake for 1 hour until golden and a little wobbly in the center. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for another hour. Transfer to a wired rack to completely cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (390 F). To make the strawberries, hull and halve the berries and place them in a roasting pan. Add the brown sugar and toss to combine. Pour over the vinegar and toss again. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the berries soften and the juices are present. Allow to cool completely, then arrange on top of the cooled cheesecake before serving.


September 16, 2012

Neapolitan Layer Cake

So I was invited to a party last week. I was so excited about it that I planned what to make 3 days in advance. It only seemed fitting that a neapolitan cake would wow the guests and act as a thank you gift to the party host for inviting us. Distinctive layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry that is most familiar to me in my childhood (actually in ice cream form and yes, I was spoilt for the amount of ice cream I was allowed to have). Strangely enough, I remember only eating the chocolate part and leaving out the rest for my mum. But now, I love neapolitan ice cream in its whole form and eat every part of it (my favourite is still chocolate!).

I was only able to take photos of the cake before transferring it to the cake carrier so that's why the frosting-covered baking paper is still stuck to the cake (I use it to easily lift the cake onto the container). So I would like to apologise for the mess I had to capture, which honestly is quite embarrasing to me...but the main component in the pictures is the cake, right?

So would you like to see what's hidden in this cake? Here it is, the three neapolitan layers! I was surprised to see it look so similar to its ice cream form, and it seems that my hard work has paid off. I had some problems with the strawberry swiss meringue buttercream, but it came out all right at the end. I think it was due to the amount of strawberry puree and butter it had in it. The cake was also a little dense, but it was a real crowd pleaser and by the end of the day, there was none left...not even crumbs. I was so happy to see people enjoying the cake and commenting on how good it looked. Looks like I'll have to make this cake again soon, applying some changes to the recipe.

Since I followed the recipe from Annie's Eats and only made minor changes to the cake (I didn't add strawberry gelatin to the strawberry layer), I will direct you to her site which has all the detailed instructions and information you need to make this. Check it out HERE.

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