Cheesecakes

Hazelnut and a bit of everything cheesecake

Whenever I need to make a dessert, cheesecake always seems to pop in my head, it’s just one of those obvious choices and oh boy can I indulge in a good couple of slices myself.

For Eid (which was a few weeks ago) I decided to be really nice, I mean REALLY nice and make a hazelnut cheesecake. Anyone who know’s me will know that I can’t stand, very closely bordering hate nuts! With my family being huge nutty fans and me depriving them of nuts in chocolate brownies, trifle and every dessert involving nuts, I thought I’d do a good lil deed and spoil them with the hazelnut cheesecake.

You might be asking what this “…and a bit of everything…” means in the title of this post. Basically, the recipe requires hazelnut liquor, which obviously is not halaal, so I had to opt for an alternative. I could not for the life of me find a hazelnut syrup/extract and therefore decided to just chop up some bar one and caramel squares, I think it had to do with the fact that I was craving the bar-one cheesecake and caramel is just awesome 🙂 This clearly indicates that you can have complete fun with cheesecake, adding in whatever your heart desires – honeycomb, any type of chocolate, even some more…dare I say it…nuts 🙂

What makes this recipe unique is the flavour the vanilla pods bring to this classic recipe. On that note, here comes the recipe….

Ingredients:

For the base:

– 70ml whole hazelnuts

– 200g chocolate digestive biscuits

– 100g soft butter

For the cheesecake:

– 125ml water

– 20 ml powdered gelatin

– 500g cream cheese

– 250ml castor  sugar

– 2 Tablespoons Hazelnut syrup or anything your heart desires really

– 1 vanilla pod

– 250ml cream

For the topping:

– 8 blocks of chocolate (dark or milk depending on your preference)

Method:

1. Place the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan and toss for a minute or two over a medium flame, or until lightly toasted. Wrap the nuts in a clean tea towel and rub them between your palms to remove some of the skins. Or like me just get the fabulous Woolies hazelnuts which are skinless and beautiful 🙂

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2. Break up the digestive biscuits and place them, with the hazelnuts, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, or a liquidiser. Process to coarse crumbs, but don’t over-process, which will make the chocolate sticky. Place in a bowl, add the soft butter and stir well to combine. Press the mixture evenly onto the base of a non-stick 24-cm springform cake tin. Place in the fridge while you make the topping.

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3. Put the water in a little heat-proof bowl or ramekin and sprinkle the gelatine on top. Set aside for a few minutes, or until the gelatine has sponged. Put the bowl in a pot of simmering water (the water should come half-way up the sides) and stir occasionally as the gelatine melts. When the liquid is clear, remove the bowl from the hot water and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

4. Combine the cream cheese, castor sugar and hazelnut syrup or extract (or whatever you choose to include, this is where I added the chopped up bar-one and caramel squares)  in a large bowl, using a whisk or hand beater.

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5. Cut the vanilla pod in half, scrape out the black seeds with the blade of a knife, and add to the mixture. Add the warm gelatine mixture and stir well to combine. Whip the cream in a separate bowl until it forms soft peaks. Fold half the cream into the cream cheese mixture, and then fold in the other half. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and tap the tin gently on the countertop to release any bubbles. Place in the fridge for four hours to set.

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Fluffy goodness…yum!

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6. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Place in a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle. I used the Lekue Decorating Pen which you can purchase from Yuppiechef to scribble the chocolate all over the cake. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes, or until the chocolate is cold and set. Release the cake from its tin and voila!

This is the magical, easy to clean Lekue Decorating Pen

This is the magical, easy to clean Lekue Decorating Pen

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Basic Fridge Cheesecake

I’ve always said my blog would just be to document my kitchen “escapades” and that I wouldn’t pressure myself if I didn’t have time to post anything, but I feel so guilty…it feels like forever since my last post. I’d just like to thank everyone who has been encouraging/sweetly nagging me to post more recipes, it helps me slip out of my land of procrastination and laziness 🙂 Continue reading

Bar-One Fridge Cheesecake

Wow it feels like it’s been forever and a day since my last post. Since Ramadaan ended it feels as though my time has just escaped me. Well it’s that in combination with the flu and a frantic workload. With that, I haven’t really had a chance to slap on my apron and whip up something in the kitchen…that could be the reason why I’ve been feeling so stressed 🙂 Continue reading

Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

A belated Eid Mubarak to all! It was my second Eid-ul-Fitr as Mrs Hendricks *happy dance* and what a busy yet exquisitely beautiful day it was. The only problem is, there’s simply not enough hours in the day to get to everyone I’d like to see – I’m sure most of you with large families would concur. Nonetheless, I had a lovely day with both my families (Marks and Hendricks) and glad I got to see some of my dearest friends.

On Eid, it’s tradition to get together with the rest of my siblings and have lunch at my parents place and thereafter supper with my husband Raaziq’s, family. For lunch, I took what seems like the easy route and made two desserts, a Pavlova and a baked cheesecake 🙂
When making cheesecakes, I usually opt for the classic refrigerated version and therefore decided to attempt a baked vanilla cheesecake.

With it being my first attempt, I thought it would be best to follow the recipe quite diligently and to find the best ingredients. I found it quite difficult and somwhat aggravating to get my hands on a premium cream cheese which was both halaal and not low-fat/fat-free – but after running around the manic mall (day-before-eid, last-minute shopping) I finally found my saviour – the Lancewood Superior Cream Cheese. This recipe also requires a vanilla pod – this I found at Simply Spice in Kenilworth Centre for only R6 and my oh my did this just transform the recipe. Vanilla pods are magical!

Ingredients:

Base:

Melted butter, for greasing
250g plain sweet biscuits
125g butter, melted

Filling:

3 x 250g tubs cream cheese, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 eggs
3/4 cup cream

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Brush a springform pan with the melted butter to lightly grease.

2. Place the biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined.

3. Press the biscuit mixture over the base of the greased pan. Place in the fridge while making the filling.

The magical vanilla pod

4. For the filling, beat the cream cheese, castor sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the lemon juice, eggs and cream. Beat until well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.

5. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden and just set in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

6. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight to firm. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving.

NB: The great thing with this recipe as that you can go wild with the filling  (add chopped chocolate, nuts, etc.) and the decoration…

Shukran for reading and enjoy!

Sadie xxx

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