|Chocolate Cheesecake fresh from the oven|
The recipe is rated as "easy". I would agree that it is fairly straight-forward, but it is quite time-consuming as you have to allow time to chill the dough before baking the base, time to let the cooked base to cool and a couple of hours to let the finished cheesecake chill in the fridge so, whilst it is indeed quite easy to throw together, it's not something you can whip up in an hour. You may have read my thoughts about the frustrations of baking with an app, as opposed to a good, old-fashioned book, in my last blog. Should you choose to make this (using either the Cake Days app, or the book), here are a few observations, tips etc.peculiar to this recipe. I hope they are of some use to you:
- Tip #1: when you come to press the dough into the baking tray, use the heels of your palms to press down if your hands are warm! The dough doesn't stick to your fingers this way.
- Observation/panic #1: When I took the base out of the oven, I was concerned to note that it had risen quite high on the baking sheet, leaving little room for the white chocolate top layer. Also a concern was that it felt undercooked. I was worried that the voluminous, molten mound before me wouldn't set properly and that it would be too liquid in the centre to form a distinct layer. However, I but my trust in the recipe (which I'd followed to the letter), left it to cool and was relieved to note that the centre of the base had deflated (leaving room for the next layer), held its form when lightly prodded, and, happily, appeared firm enough to paste the white chocolate layer on top without disturbing. In the end, I wondered whether this was all intentional as the sunken middle left a helpful lip around the edge of the baking sheet (as if by design).
- Fail #1: I deviated from the recipe in my method (only once!) and attempted to melt some Belgian chocolate chips in the microwave rather than making a bain marie. This backfired horribly - the chocolate seized/curdled and I had to throw it away. Such a waste! Fortunately, the night before I executed this project, I had bulk bough four 100g "milkybars" in Tesco as the had 20% off, and I knew they'd be useful for baking projects of some description.
- Observation/panic #2: When making the white chocolate layer, I feared that I had added the melted chocolate to the Philadelphia, icing sugar and egg mixture when it was still too warm causing the egg to react to the heat and form a grainy texture. I think it should have been a smooth batter. Once the cheesecake had been baked and set, this didn't seem to affect the flavour or texture though.
All in all, this is a really good recipe. I would say that the bake tastes better and better with age (to a point, obviously!) I also advise letting it stand for a good 20 minutes before eating as you taste the flavours more when it's closer to room temperature. I will definitely be making this again!