Deconstructed Strawberry Cheese Cake – Soooo Delicious!

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake @ relish gardens

revisiting the deconstructed strawberry cheese cake @ relish gardens earlier on 1.12.2014 very much piqued my interest to give it a go.

the presentation & especially the taste was great! (above photo). i did not have any recipe & searching the internet did not yield much results. anyhow i make a good pumpkin cheese cake & figure i can do it with strawberries w/o much difficulty.

the end result was pretty good (see top photo). my biscuit crust was excellent, cripsy, tasty. cream & strawberries were great too. the cake though was much below the very tasty & better textured cake relish had.

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

to experiment, i started with the full (not deconstructed) version.

i tasted caramel & nuts in relish’s version, so i added 50g caramel (leftover from making my banoffee cake) & about 50g cashew nut mill (baked crispy 2mins+ in microwave then pounded in a mortar) to 7 digestive biscuits (105g) & 60g butter.

i blended 200g of strawberries, 250 cream cheese & 100ml of whipped cream with 3 tablespoon brown sugar.

I first baked the biscuit crust for 15mins in a preheated 180degC oven, & left it for another 30mins to dry out & become crispy. then i poured the cake mixture into the springform cake tin & baked for 30mins.

i let the cake cool & then topped it with 200ml whipped cream with 1 teaspoon brown sugar & 1 teaspoon vanilla essence.

result was above.

caramel cashew nut digestive biscuit base

caramel cashew nut digestive biscuit base

caramel cashew nut digestive biscuit base

caramel cashew nut digestive biscuit base

caramel cashew nut digestive biscuit base

caramel cashew nut digestive biscuit base

for the deconstructed version, i did the same thing & left the biscuit crust in the fridge overnight & break it into bite-size cookie pieces next day. they were delicious, nutty & caramel flavoured. ^^

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i baked the cake mix separately in a baking dish. the cake mix tasted great before the baking, but the texture & taste was quite far from the excellent cake i had at relish.

my thoughts are to increase the whipped cream to 200ml, reduce the strawberries to 120g, and reduce baking time to 15mins.

whipped cream

whipped cream

strawberries

strawberries

i made 200ml whipped cream separately.

& served another 250g cut strawberries.

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

for assembly of the deconstructed cake, it was straight forward.

everyone D-I-Y & added their own caramel nut biscuits, strawberry cake & topped with whipped cream & strawberries. it was really delicious!

but, it can be improved.

c.h.e.f andy

Strawberry Cheese Cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

made my first strawberry cheese cake last evening on 8.12.2014. 🙂

enjoyed a very nice deconstructed strawberry cheese cake at relish gardens on 1.12.2014 (sorry, that’s the only thing i like there).

deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

relish’s deconstructed strawberry cheese cake

a word about relish’s deconstructed strawberry cheese cake (in above photo) –

the biscuit base had a feel of caramel, very nice. the strawberries were caramelised. the cheesecake was delicious & there was a dollop of cream on top, the peak of decadence…

i looked through quite many online recipes. could not take to any of them, so decided to experiment my own concoction recipe.

i was aiming to experiment the right taste & texture first then later deconstruct them & put them together when serving. 🙂

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i used the same 8in spring-form for my tofu cheesecake. i decided to use the same 7 digestive (105g) & 60g unsalted butter for biscuit base. this time i added 2 tablespoon of caramel (leftover from banoffee cake preparation). so i melted/softened the butter & caramel & added the digestive crumbs & mixed thoroughly. i also added 1 teaspoon of finely minced ginger.

i then pressed the “wet sand’ mixture into the spring-form lined with parchment paper. then placed it in the fridge.

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i did not bake the biscuit base. the biscuit flavours came out quite well. the texture was a bit softer than my usual biscuit base…my daughter was very apt in the description – she said the biscuit base held together i.e. was solid but texture was like “lao hong” & not crunchy.

so maybe i will try baking the base next time, and then break into small pieces for deconstructed cake. ^^

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i blended 200g cream cheese & 200g chopped strawberries in the blender & added 2 tablespoon brown sugar. then i added 2 eggs. i emptied the custard mix into the cake tin & baked it in a preheated 180degC oven for 30mins (same as for my pumpkin cheese cake). the set aside to cool down.

i did not have sour cream so i used whipping cream (with 1teaspoon brown sugar) & whisked to soft peaks. this can be added separately for the deconstructed version.

then into the fridge overnight.

i caramelised some fresh strawberries with 1 tablespoon brown sugar on a pan. when cool, added to garnish the cake.

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

strawberry cheese cake

i like the cake. can be improved of course! ^^

the taste was not as fragrant as my pumpkin cheese cake. the texture was less confirm & consistent. pumpkin cheese cake was overall a better cake c/w this version.

maybe i need to fold in some whipped cream to this custard mix.

having a family dinner on christmas eve, so will experiment a deconstructed version. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 7 digestive biscuit (105g)
  • 60g melted butter
  • cream cheese -200g
  • fresh strawberries about 200g (cut small pieces)
  • 2 tbsp flat + 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml sour cream
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. biscuit base – make the usual biscuit base with 7 digestive biscuit (105g) crushed to sandy texture in a ziploc bag, then add to 60g melted butter & 2 tbsp caramel & 1 tsp ground ginger and mixed thoroughly. press the “wet sand’ mixture in a 8″ (20cm) spring-form cake tin lined with parchment paper. then place it in the fridge.
  2. cut in small pieces 200g fresh strawberries. add 200g cream cheese & 2 tbsp flat brown sugar & blend in blender. add 1 egg at a time, & blend. then whisk 250g sour cream to soft peaks & add 1 tsp brown sugar.
  3. bake the cake – pour the cake mixture into the cake tin & baked in 180degC preheated oven for 30mins until cake is firm (when a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly) while centre just a little jiggly. leave to cool. add the whipped sour cream & bake for a further 10mins. let it cool & then place in the fridge overnight.
  4. caramelise 6 large strawberries cut in 1/2 with 1 tbsp brown sugar in pan. when cool, place on top of cake to garnish.

Return to Petite Menu on 8Apr2014

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lavendar pumpkin soup

went back to petite menu with my RI buddies for 7pax dinner on 8.4.2014. kind of soon as i just had a great dinner here at petite menu on 22.3.2014, but enjoyed just as much. 🙂

we all decided to take the S$36 4-course tasting menu since it featured the restaurants’ signature dishes. it came with the lavendar pumpkin soup, smoked duck salad, a choice of mains = pan-seared seabass or chicken leg confit, and the deconstructed blackforest.

we asked if some would like to try the ribeye, they could top-up the S$5 difference (ribeye was S$20 & the seabass & chicken confit were S$15 on the menu). the restaurant was under no obligation of course to consent to our requests (& we were ok if they were unable) but for this time they agreed. so 2 took the chicken confit, 1 took the seabass & 4 had the ribeye.

#1 this the second time i had the lavendar pumpkin soup. everyone agreed the lavendar fragrance was overpowering (like eating perfume) but the soup turned out to be quite good when eaten with the wakame seafood. the crunchy granny smith apple balls added some unusual texture. everyone quite liked/didn’t mind it. 🙂

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smoked duck salad

#2 smoked duck salad – duck was good (a bit salty), tomatoes good with mesclun salad & some dollops of creme fraiche.

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chicken leg confit

#3 the chicken confit (rather unusual) looked & smelled excellent, and came with purple cabbage & pumpkin puree. 1 friend said it was very tender. 🙂

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pan-seared seabass

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pan-seared seabass

#3 the pan seared seabass with quinoa salad was also par excellence! i thought the taste & texture of fish was very good (usually seabass has mud taste & falling apart meat texture), the foam, the flavour of sauce, the artisan presentation which enhanced the flavours & dining experience made it on par with most fine dining restaurant standard. 🙂

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grilled ribeye

#3 the ribeye was a large serving for S$20, but it was quite disappointing. i had a very good onglet (hanger steak) here at last visit & ribeye is a better cut than hanger steak so i was expecting better. the cooking was actually ok, the browning (searing) & the medium rare doneness were ok, but the quality of the cut was not great. 1 friend left 2/3 of the steak with tendons etc though i finished mine completely. also the seabass was very good here so i would not order the ribeye next time.

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kaya toast

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deconstructed blackforest

my friends were impressed with the dessert. the deconstructed blackforest was excellent. we ordered 2 servings of kaya toast to share & they all liked it too except 1 friend commented the helping was too small c/w the blackforest.

the bill came to S$48nett pax, including 4x top-ups & 2 extra orders of kaya toast. everyone was full & happy! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Dinner @ Petite Menu Aqueen Hotel on 22Mar2014

onglet steak

onglet steak (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

my daughter wanted to try petite menu. she booked a 4pax dinner on 22.3.2014.

parking was horrendous. it was not something unexpected though. i had called to ask for directions to the car park & was warned that there were few lots. i followed the directions & entered from tyrwhitt road behind the hotel at 7.30pm but could not find any carpark. after dropping the others, my daughter & i circled the area & finally was lucky to find a just vacated lot along a row of shophouses at king george avenue.

well, i guess it was worth the trouble. the quality of food at petite menu & artisan presentation was outstanding really for the price. 🙂

i read a few reviews & blog posts & was looking forward to try the S$36 4-course tasting menu (bottom photo). unfortunately this was the restaurant week & the restaurant only served the S$35 3-course RW menu & ala carte. restaurant week had gone off my radar for the last 2 years. there were many good offers when it first started here but these days the RW set menus were often not as good as the regular ones.

on this occasion though, the S$35 RW menu included onglet steak (the flavourful hanger steak near the last rib which my wife & i like which we were first introduced in the early days at petite salut). so we decided to order 2 RW sets & i replaced my salmon with lavendar pumpkin soup (a lower price option) as that was an oft commented dish here.

duck salad S$11

duck salad S$11

smoked salmon (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

smoked salmon (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

lavendar pumpkin soup S$8

lavendar pumpkin soup S$8

pan-seared onglet (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

onglet steak (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

the smoked salmon was excellent – sweet, light, not salty.

the duck salad was very good standard even though by comparison, the salmon was better. the duck was done nicely, tender & flavourful, tomatoes were sweet & plating outstanding, and it was only S$11.

the lavendar soup was strange (some might say interesting or unique). lavendar was overpowering but taste, texture combination was ok when combined with the wakami seaweed.

the hanger steak was a good helping, medium rare, tender & flavourful, i would have preferred more charred, the sauce was good & so the presentation (above & top photos). overall quite excellent. i asked the waiting staff how this stood up with the S$20 torched ribeye steak on the menu. he thought the ribeye was even better.

salted egg soft shell crab fettucine S$15

salted egg soft shell crab fettucine S$15

mushroom risotto S$14

mushroom risotto S$14

my daughters ordered 2 main courses, mushroom risotto & salted soft shell crab fettucine, which were popular dishes here.

both were very good. risotto was slightly wet but very tasty, texture a bit past al dente. the fusion salted egg soft shell crab pasta was very good. it reminded us of laksa pesto, one of the early fusion pasta which we first tried (like >10years ago) at willin low’s wild rockets. i will probably try making this at home.

deconstructed black forest S$8 (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

deconstructed black forest S$8 (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

kaya toast S$7

kaya toast S$7

4-course tasting menu S$36

4-course tasting menu S$36

our 2 RW sets came with dessert & coffee so we picked 2 deconstructed blackforest cakes, which was rated highly by many food bloggers. and it was indeed excellent, the chocolate, cream, pitted cherries, and the soil that came in a tiny planter to be emptied over the cake in a bibimbap stone ware bowl. pretty, delicious & fun. 🙂

for the free dessert we thought might as well try the kaya toast. it was again very well plated, very fusion & artisan, with green kaya, toast and expresso in the middle. like the lavendar pumpkin soup, i did not dislike the dish, it was good, ok, but not something that attracted me to order again.

overall the food was not just looking nice but actually good tasting which to me was most important, so the delightful presentation enhanced the dining experience. a S$20 ribeye (if it is same or better than the onglet steak) is good value, & the risotto & pasta dishes at S$14 & S$15 were all quite outstanding for the price. and likewise the blackforest cake. there is also a $15 pan-seared seabass which i don’t mind trying & another oft commented dish – chicken leg confit. i am not hot on duck confit so can skip this one, can try also if someone else order…haha! 🙂

will be back.

c.h.e.f andy