Tag Archives: Strawberry

I love cheesecakes!

21 Jan

Yes, I’ve got a sweet tooth AND I love rich food.  Not good for the waist line at all!  Doesn’t help that I’m short either.  This means that I have to spread the guilt around when I bake (or in this case, don’t bake) .  A potluck is always a good excuse to cook something sinful in terms of calories, but a bad time to experiment with a new recipe or so I’ve learnt!

In Singapore, there’s a very popular dessert / snack called Jelly Hearts.  They cost a pretty penny to buy but are really popular despite the price.  After having tried to make it myself, I reckon that if you aren’t fussy about appearances, I could probably make a decent one.  I have also discovered that my freezer shelf is lopsided after cutting my cheesecake.  The layers had set in uneven layers.

There isn’t actually a recipe that would give me the exact measurements for the aluminium tin pan I had.  So I tried to guess the amounts required.  Not too good I must say – the crust was over the top thick and the jelly not thick enough!  I didn’t help things by spilling a good portion of the jelly when I banged into the fridge whilst trying to put the cake into the freezer.  Also, I didn’t have time to nip out to get the strawberries (which do a mainly decorative job in my opinion)  I’m just waiting for another potluck to try this thing out again with the correct proportions (as I have written below) and maybe with some strawberries.

Strawberry Jelly Cheesecake

Makes a 20cm by 20cm by 5cm cheesecake (the correct proportions)

Ingredients

150g digestive biscuits

75g butter

250g cream cheese (room temperature)

1 tbs gelatine powder

50 g sugar

1/2 cup hot water

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 box strawberry jello

Method

  1. Crush the digestive biscuits into crumbs.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir and repeat if required.  Be careful not to burn by over heating.
  3. Mix the biscuit crumbs into the butter and pour into baking tray.  Place baking tray into the freezer to set biscuit base.  It should take about 20 minutes.
  4. Bring the cream cheese to room temperature and add sugar and vanilla essence, blending until smooth.
  5. Dissolve gelatin in hot water and add to the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Pour cream cheese into baking pan and put into the freezer for 30 minutes until set.
  7. Follow the instruction on the box of jello to prepare jello.
  8. Pour jelly over the set cream cheese layer and put in the fridge to set.
  9. Cut and serve chilled.

Tips

  1. It’s always easier to blend cream cheese after bringing to room temperature.
  2. The biscuits can be crushed with a rolling pin and a plastic bag or a food processor.  With the plastic bag, be careful not to make a hole in it, otherwise, it’s going to be a mess!
  3. You can use an electric mixer to blend the cream cheese but I use a food processor as I don’t have a mixer.  You could even do it manually but it takes arm endurance sometimes.
  4. Using the freezer cuts the setting time.  If you wish to leave the cake in for more than 30 minutes, I suggest you use the fridge to set the layer to avoid ice crystal formation.
  5. Don’t allow the gelatine to cool before mixing with the cream cheese as it will set on the edges of the container you used to dissolve it, resulting in a cream cheese layer that is too soft.
  6. Make sure the cream cheese layer is set well before proceeding with the next layer otherwise it will mix.
  7. You can set the jello in the freezer if you are in a hurry but remember to bring it down to the fridge to chill to avoid ice crystals!!
  8. You could use lemon jello or raspberry jello too!  In fact, you could be adventurous and try other flavors!

Strawberries and cream muffins

6 Dec

I’m sure I’ve raved about how fresh the food is in Melbourne and how CHEAP it is.  At the market, the strawberries were going for ONE dollar a punnet. Who could resist?  I was greedy and got 2 punnets.  It was even cheaper than the time when I got them for 1.50 and thought I had a steal!

But as with all cheap food, the strawberries were on the brink of being overripe and would rot by the end of the day if I didn’t eat them or do something with them.  Jam would be difficult considering how ripe the strawberries were.  What’s more, I had just made another batch of apple jam.  I remembered how Fanny enthused about some really good strawberry muffins.  It all sounded just delicious.  Plus this would be a new thing to try – muffins which weren’t just mixing everything in a bowl and then baking the batter in tins.  It would involve actually layer different flavors in the tins!

I tried to do a step by step demonstration with each muffin tin being one step.  But it was getting dark fast so the other shots didn’t turn out.

By the time the muffins were out of the oven, the sun had set.  So I had to make do with my lousy apartment’s lights.  What a waste!  But the muffins were just out of this world. Especially when fresh out of the oven!

Strawberries and cream muffins

Adapted from lululu at home

Makes 12 medium sized muffins

Ingredients

1 punnet of strawberries chopped

Muffin batter

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup raw sugar

113g butter, melted

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup milk

Cream cheese filling

100g cream cheese brought to room temperature

1/4 cup raw sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients for the batter in a big mixing bowl.
  3. Combine all the wet ingredients for the batter in a separate bowl and mix well.
  4. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring to just mix into a batter.
  5. Place cream cheese filling ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.
  6. Fill half the muffin case with batter.
  7. Then place some strawberries as the next layer.
  8. Cover with a teaspoon of cream cheese filling.
  9. Cover with a tablespoon of batter.
  10. Top with more strawberries
  11. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean after stabbing the muffin.

Tips

  1. I used 3/4 of a strawberry for each muffin.
  2. The strawberries will discolor after a day so it is best to eat it quick! (But honestly, it gets finished really fast anyway)
  3. The quickest way to melt butter is to chop it up and nuke it in the microwave for about 10 seconds and additional 5 second interval until it’s all melted.  I would recommend bringing the milk to room temperature as well.  Cold milk will solidify the butter again and make all your efforts go to waste.
  4. I use 2 spoons to transfer the batter and cream cheese filling for better control and not to spill it everywhere.  1 spoon scoops and the other one scrapes the first spoon.  I know some people use ice cream scoops but I don’t have that.