Pre Chinese New Year Madness
Orange and Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake
The past week has been pure madness! People rushing everywhere. Rushing to buy last minute items the colour of prosperity. Rushing to bank those darned cheques. Rushing to catch the bus home. Me? I was rushing to get well. Of all the darnest luck, I am down with the flu 5 days before Chinese New Year. No peanut butter cookies nor crispy fried ngah ku. Not even a segment of a mandarin. I've been coughing like a chain-smoking crack whore the past couple of days. The result is a pretty sexy husky voice. Oh, and plenty of time to unpack, organise and bake. You see, I moved into my own place in December and kind of just threw everything into whatever space there was available. With the new year just a day away, I made sure everything was sorted in a orderly fashion and scrubbed the floors clean. Heck, I even managed to bake two cakes yesterday.
There is a reunion dinner at Aunt L's place tonight and I couldn't decide whether to bring the fail proof crowd pleaser, butter cake or something more risque like a cheesecake. Cheesecakes are one of those cakes that can vary from fluffy eggy ones (favoured by the Japanese) to those that are so dense they stick to the top of your mouth. I'm not a cheesecake person but I do, very rarely, crave for the odd one. I like mine light but dense at the same time. I decided to make one from Nigel Slater's recipe. You can just tell from reading a recipe that its going to be a good tasting cake. 500g of mascarpone and 200g of cream cheese. Yes, how can you go wrong with that? I had alot of ginger snap cookies from IKEA left so I decided to use those instead of digestives. It was a easy recipe to follow. And the result... Well, its good but I'm not sure if its worth all that money. The cheeses already came up to RM50. Well, I guess its definitely decadent in terms of calories and money. In hindsight, I should have realised that those biscuits were a lot oilier than digestives. It was not a good idea because it all stuck to the bottom of the loose-base pan. I cannot for the life of me pry it off without breaking the whole damn cake. So, butter cake it is then for the family!
Orange and Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake (from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diary)
- Melt 80g butter and crush 250g of digestives. Combine the two and press 2/3 of mixture into 8"-9" loose-base pan. Pop into the freezer to set.
- Meanwhile, turn on the oven to 140C and put the kettle on
- Beat together - 500g mascarpone, 200g cream cheese, 150g castor sugar, 3 eggs, zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
- Once combined, fold in juice of one lemon, 150ml cream and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Remove pan from freezer and wrap aluminium foil around the pan, making sure you cover it all the way up the sides of the pan. Do it twice so that the water doesn't seep in
- Pour cheese mix into pan. Place pan on tray and immerse in hot water (halfway up the sides of the pan). Bake for 50 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let cool in the oven completely
- Remove base from pan and press remaining crumbs into sides of the cake. This was such a messy affair.
- Chill for a few hours before serving
This cake softens very easily so don't worry about serving it straight from the fridge. 5 minutes later and its all soft like its fresh from the oven. Happy baking! Wishing all of you a very happy and harmonious new year. Gong Hey Fatt Choy!!!