Jan 25, 2012

Hey it's me, the amateur!

An album full of homemade food on facebook, why not make a blog about them?
Could you please email/bbm me with the recipe that you make today?  
These questions above are probably the reason why I finally decided to make a food blog. I didn't have much confident on making one at first, because I always thought that there are a lot of food bloggers that are more professional and experienced. So why should I compete and embarrassed myself among them? But then, I realized that hey! I don't blog to inform everyone about my food being extremely awesome and have the coolest photographs or whatever. I do have those days when budget is really tight, or when I make my kitchen so freakin' messy but still manage to keep my hands clean in the end to hold the camera and take a nice pic of it, or when I'm in the middle of my 'proud and arrogant' moment and decide to twist the recipe a bit but ended up in a BIG failure (seriously guys, most of the time you cannot be 'creative' in cooking/baking if you don't have enough skills. Esp baking!). Therefore, I just want to share to people what I've experienced so far.

I guess that's it about me. Moving on to my first food post! I might be posting some photos of some food that I've made all this time (and worth to post, regarding to the quality of photo, etc.)

NY Cheesecake
2 cups (200 grams) of graham cracker crumbs or finely crushed Digestive biscuits
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, melted

32 ounces (1 kg) cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons (35 grams) all purpose flour
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) sour cream (not low fat or fat free)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation : Grease, or spray with Pam, a 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan. Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.
For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan and place in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for about another 60 - 90 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. (The baking time can vary due to the differences in ovens, so make sure to check that the cheesecake is firm with only the center being a little wet and wobbly.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes.  Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).

Let cool completely before covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours, preferably overnight. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit sauces.
Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) cheesecake.

To freeze:  Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Then wrap in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.
Vie's result :
voila! it came out great :)

Vie's notes : Try not to overbake your batter, because cheesecake doesn't need to incorporate a lot of air. If you overbake it, it will usually turns out cracking after you bake it. Water bath can also prevents your cheesecake from cracking. To prepare a water bath for baking, cover your filled pan with foil and put it in a larger pan. add enough boiling-hot water to reach halfway up the side of the smaller pan. Check out this pic below if you're wondering what the hell water bath looks like.
 pic taken from here

I didn't use this method for my cheesecake because my oven is a small one so I cannot fit a larger pan more inside it. But if you can fit larger pan inside your oven, you could try this method to make sure your cheesecake will not crack. 

and btw, I didn't make the sour cream. So that is why the cheesecake has a plain top. You could try make it, it's pretty simple I guess.

original recipe here (provide vid tutorial, really helps for the amateurs!)

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