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.
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10-course Homecooked 11pax Western Buffet for RI Buddies on 6Nov2014

did another of my homecooked meals for my friends for lunch on 6.11.2014.

usually for western dishes,  i did sit-down dinners serving course by course. but there’s advantage in having pre-cooked food & serving as buffet. though i enjoyed every minute of cooking (& often experimentation) for family & friends, the purpose is not just about food & cooking but to be part of the conversation & shared memories. 🙂

for this lunch, i did 10 dishes. 🙂

the best dish, most popular by far & winning hands down, was the #1 oven grilled miso salmon belly – marinated & kept in chiller for 3 days & in the oven for 15mins at 25odegC. taste was excellent, perfect combination of flavours.

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#2 miso belly pork

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#2 miso belly pork

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#2 miso belly pork

the #2 miso belly pork was an experiment. i used the same marinade for the miso salmon belly. i did slow braising using cold crackpot to 79degC, so the pork belly was very tender before marinate. however my marinade was just too little & did not infuse the flavours well. also i used the same 15mins oven grill to do the sliced pork (to save electricity). i think i need to use a hot pan on high heat then the searing could be done very quickly w/o overcooking the already cooked meat.

#3 the beer can chicken was another experiment! i brined a small 1kg whole chicken in usual sugar & salt (but boiled with a packet of chinese tea this time). i put sliced garlic under the skin & use a bbq meat dry rub. then i did the usual beer can chicken oven grill at 250degC for 25mins & 175degC for 15mins.

wa..this chicken was really tasty, moist & tender – my best roast chicken ever. 🙂 but no hint of any tea flavours though!

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#4 pumpkin tofu salad

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#4 rockets for tossing #4 pumpkin tofu salad

my helper prepared the pumpkin tofu salad. it’s a dish put together by my wife after dining at some place that served that. i could do this but my helper did this regularly for my wife’s packet lunch, so i got her to do it.

i did the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, sea salt & honey (did not have agave nectar) mix, and did the tossing when about to start the meal. 🙂

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#5 striploin – slow crockpot braising to 52degC placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled

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#5 striploin – slow crockpot braising to 52degC placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled

#5 striploin was another experiment – slow crockpot braising to 52degC (rare) placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled. i did this before for my daughter’s packed lunch. she said it was very flavourful.

today though it was overshadowed by the #7 tagliata di manzo, which had a better usa harry’s grain-fed angus striploin cut & was done on the spot just before start of the meal. 🙂

#6 kurobuta was prepared in the same way – slow crockpot braising to 79degC (well done) placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled.

the meat itself was very flavourful so the dish was well received. this was an experimental variation of my usual pan-grilled kurobuta.

i wasn’t confident of the result of the slow crockpot striploin so had a back-up usa harry’s grain-fed angus striploin which i decided to cook anyway.

#7 tagliata di manzo is commonly served in italian restaurants. e.g. as 1 friend mentioned during lunch, capri, but also in say alborgo, valentino etc.

i did this #8 “monterosso miky” seafood risotto with a vegetable base & prawn stock, so it’s a tasty dish. the prawns & squid were fried in butter separately, and the live mussels were cooked separately in butter, chilli padi, sliced ginger & orange peel. mussels were very tender & tasty too.

the #9 squid-ink seafood linguine was good too. one friend liked it especially for the mango clams. 🙂

the #10 pumpkin cheese cake was my second try. a really lovely cake. the first i made for family dinner on 24.10.2014 was very good. and it’s great that this one was just as good.

a very nicely balanced cake. it was though a bulkier cake than the other lighter cakes i made, and while i liked it a lot, it was a cake that i would probably not take 2 helpings at one go.

c.h.e.f andy

Pumpkin Cheese Cake

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake

after my chocolate lava cake, tofu cheese cake, tiramisu, banoffee pie, i experimented on pumpkin cheese cake after watching the video recipe by joy of baking.

the other cakes (except lava cake) were all no bake cakes, so while i could taste the cake mix & be confident of the taste, i had no idea how the experiment would turn out, whether i could get the right texture, or even if the cake could stand or collapse, and whether it would be burnt or not enough done.

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake

anyway, i experimented it. i had to make some adjustments-

  • i used 250g cream cheese instead of 1 lb (454g)
  • i used a lot less sugar, 4tbsp flat (about 60g) or 1/4cup

i made the usual biscuit base with 8 digestive biscuit (120g) crushed to sandy texture in a ziploc bag, then added 60g melted butter & pressed the “wet sand’ mixture in a 8” (20cm) spring-form cake tin line with parchment paper. then placed it in the fridge.

i dice cut & steamed 300g fresh pumpkin till soft. i added 250g cream cheese & 4 tbsp flat brown sugar, 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground ginger & whisked. then i added the softened pumpkin, and then 1 egg at a time, & whisked. i used a hand whisk at medium speed & managed to get a slight rough texture for the mix.

i whisked 250g sour cream & added 1 tsp brown sugar for the cream topping.

i emptied the cake mixture into the cake tin & baked in 180degC preheated oven for 30mins until cake is firm (when a toothpick inserted came out cleanly) while centre just a little jiggly. left it to cool. added the whipped sour cream & baked for a further 10mins. let it cool & then placed in the fridge overnight.

i put some roasted nuts (did not have walnut so used cashew & almonds instead). did not look that nice.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 8 digestive biscuit (120g)
  • 60g melted butter
  • cream cheese -250g
  • fresh pumpkin about 300g – diced & steamed about 20mins till soft
  • 4 tbsp flat + 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1.5tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 250ml sour cream
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. biscuit base – make the usual biscuit base with 8 digestive biscuit (120g) crushed to sandy texture in a ziploc bag, then add 60g melted butter & pressed the “wet sand’ mixture in a 8” (20cm) spring-form cake tin lined with parchment paper. then place it in the fridge.
  2. dice cut & steam 300g fresh pumpkin till soft. add 250g cream cheese & 4 tbsp flat brown sugar, 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground ginger & whisked. then add the softened pumpkin, and then 1 egg at a time, & whisk. i use a hand whisk at medium speed to get a slight rough texture for the mix. then whisk 250g sour cream & add 1 tsp brown sugar for the cream topping.
  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. put some roasted walnut nuts on top to decorate the cake.

Superb Homecooked 6pax Family Dinner on 24Oct2014

wife's quinoa salad

wife’s quinoa salad

had a 6pax family dinner on 24.10.2014. missing our son who is in london. 🙂

wife made a very nice quinoa salad, with some avocado & roasted nuts. i really liked this. she brought this salad with some packed food sometimes for office lunch in.

pan-grilled portobello mushrooms

pan-grilled portobello mushrooms

our helper made a pan-grilled portobello mushroom. this was also very nice with simple sea salt, pepper & olive oil.

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

i recently came up with a new very light miso salmon recipe. this was quite different from the miso belly pork & nobu miso cod recipe which used a lot more miso & infused flavours. i served this to my friends during 11pax lunch on 15.10.2014 (first attempt of the new recipe). they all loved it. & i did this the second time this evening. again it was everyone’s favourite. even my wife & eldest daughter who generally didn’t like salmon that much, liked this dish.

pan chargrilled kurobuta

pan chargrilled kurobuta

i did a pan chargrilled kurobuta. it was not as good as the other day. i should not play safe & try to cook it totally well done & have it just a little pink instead.

the tagliata di manzo (sliced pan chargrilled beef) was excellent today, both the USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5, very nicely charred for maillard reaction and nicely medium rare. my wife did the very nice restaurant plating with rockets & cherry tomatoes. 🙂

i did a squid-ink linguine today, with squid & littleneck clams (la la). it was excellent, and the la la were done very nicely. 🙂

& i have kind of perfected my “miky monterosso” seafood risotto, very sweet & tasty prawn stock (head & shells) with vegetables (celery, leek, yellow onions, carrots). 🙂

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pumpkin cheese cake (very 1st attempt)

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake (very 1st attempt)

1 charmed dish was my very first time new dessert – a pumpkin cheese cake. i could taste the cake paste i mixed & knew the taste was good. but it was the first time i baked it so uncertain about timing & texture & how it would turn out. as it turned out it was almost perfect – beginner’s luck! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy