Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Avocado Cheesecake

I made this 3kg cheesecake for my Godmother. I didn't know till she told me that she is a cheesecake lover! I have been browsing around some baking books and sites on cheesecakes. I am quite hesitant to make a non-bake cheesecake whenever there are children around since the cakes will normally call for fresh eggs which may be harmful to kids due to the presence of salmonella bacteria in the eggs. I find lemon, mango, orange and even chocolate cheesecake is quite common. I decided to go for this recipe due to the nutritional value of the avocados and was really curios on how it will turn out as avocados by nature are quite bland in taste.

The original recipe did not call for a sponge. I was concern that without the sponge it may not able to give the good height for a birthday cake should be. I decided to follow another recipe to bake a sponge for my cheesecake. I had baked this sponge for my trial on mango cheesecake before so I was pretty sure that this sponge recipe would work out fine in terms of height, volume and texture. As I predicted it did turn out well!

The only thing that I overlooked was that I should have increased the volume for the avocado cream cheese filling. As you can see in the 2nd picture, the avocado cream cheese filling was thin for all layers. The sponge layers were thick and had somehow overshadowed the taste of the avocado cream cheese.... an outcome that was so unexpected! I was doing the layering and creaming midnight so just could not do anything to add the cream cheese volume in the wee hours :(

I did the cake in 2 days' times. I baked the sponge on the first day. On the second day I did the creaming and assembling. I like to spread out the tasks this way in order not to stress myself up as I still need to take care of my daughter :)



110g butter diced
200g finely crushed digestive biscuits
2 tbsp brown sugar
40g toasted and chopped shelled pistachios
35g chopped pumpkin seeds

500g Cream Cheese (room temp)
140g Castor sugar
1tbsp lemon juice
1/2 vanilla essence
450g avocado puree
1 1/2 tbsp + 1 tsp powdered gelatine dissolved in 100ml water
300ml Thickened cream/ Heavy cream

Whipped cream
50g rough chopped pumpkin seeds
100g toasted and chopped shelled pistachios

Method to make biscuit base

1. Melt butter in pan over low heat. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Fry until fragrant.

2. Pressed into a greased 23-cm loosed bottom cake pan/ springform cake pan with the back of a metal spoon or with your hand.

3. Cover cake pan and refrigerate for 30 min.

Method to filing

1. Beat cream cheese, sugar, lemon, vanilla until smooth. Beat in avocado puree. Set aside.

2. Pour gelatine into cream cheese and mix until combined. Blend in cream.

3. Divide the filling into 3 bowls. Pour in the first layer of cream on the biscuit base. Stack the first layer of sponge on the cream. Repeat the same process ending with cream filling covering the end layer of sponge.

4. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours for the cake to set.

5. Transfer the cheesecake to a cake board and decorate with whipped cream, pumpkin seeds and pistachios. Chilled before serving.

Note :
1. Increase the volume of the filling if you intend to add a sponge in the cake~

2. I used the loose bottomed cake pan since i didn't have the springform cake pan.

3. Wrapped the bottom of the pan with a cling wrap. This will help to ease the transfering process of the cake from the pan to the cake board without tearing the biscuits base. If you know any other better method of transfering please do share with me.

4. Decorate with whipped cream the last.

5. Roast pistachios in advance.

6. Use room temp cream cheese otherwise the mixture will be lumpy.

7. I will share will you the recipe on how to make a suitable sponge for cheesecake in another post.

8. If you ever know how to choose a ripe avocado please do share with me :)

The recipe was extracted from Cheesecake Seduction

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cheese Biscuits

I find this recipe pretty interesting uses a little chicken stock for flavouring. It is very easy to make also. This is a tasty savoury treat to enjoy with the whole family. Most kids will naturally love star-shaped cookies. My daughter was indeed attracted by the shape!

I made this together with the melting moments and therefore had cut the recipe into half. However, I will post the full recipe here.

A : (sifted)
360g plain flour
2 tbsp chicken stock
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

200g butter
250g grated cheddar cheese
1/2 egg lightly beaten

1/2 egg lightly beaten with pinch of salt

1. Rub butter into the dry ingredients and mix till it resembles bread crumb.
Add 3/4 portion of grated cheese and mix weell
3. Add egg to combine the dough well. Cover with a cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes
4. Preheat oven to 180deg C.
4. Rolled out dough into 3mm and use star shaped cookies cutter to cut out the star.
5. Greased and line baking tray. Place the cut cheese stars on the baking tray and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes or more until golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and let it cool completely before storing.

1. As both cheese and chicken stock are salty, my advice is to reduce the amount for both if you don't like salty stuff.

2. Though recipe call for 20-minute baking time, I find that I always need to increase baking time to another 10 -15 minutes to get the right result for my oven.

3. This biscuit tastes better and crunchier if you bake slightly longer.

(Recipe was extracted from 'I can Bake' from Agnes Chang)

Melting Moments

This was one of the first few cookies i tried baking. I did this recipe together with the cheese start biscuits. Both recipes were taken from Agnes Chang's cookbook called 'I Can Bake'. I cut down the ingredients into half for both recipes as my purpose was mainly to test and do experiment on how my oven works on cookies baking.

My daughter loves these cookies a lot and I love to see how she enjoyed nibbling bit by bit of this small little treat! I am sure younger children will love these cookies a lot as they don't need to chew a lot and it melted in your mouth within seconds. I baked this as snacks for my daughter during the peak of the China's scandal of the melamine tainted dairy products last year. I am not sure if I could somehow use and modify this recipe and used it to make the crust for the pineapple tarts. I should try it out soon before Chinese New Year!

I wasn't very happy with the look of the cookies though. It was my very first experience in using piping tip, coupler and piping bag. I can still remember I was struggling on how to put the coupler in the bag, how to fill the bag with the mixture, how to squeeze, what angle and strength. It was quite a mess!


200g butter
80g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ tsp salt
120g self raising flour
120g corn flour

Some icing sugar for dusting


1. Preheat oven at 170deg C.

2. Cream butter, icing sugar, vanilla and salt until just combined

3. Add self-rising flour, corn flour and mix into a soft dough.Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a big star nozzle. Pipe onto a greased baking tray to form into the shape of a rosette

4. Bake for about 15 to 20 min

5. Cool at rack, sprinkle some icing sugar on top if desired. Store in air tight tin before serving.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Basic Butter Cookies

I have not been updating my blog for more than 2 months. October and November this year were rather busy months, full of ups and downs in my history of life. I was busy in the early part of October to prepare for my daughter's 2nd birthday. Later part of October I was saddened very much by the departure of my late fifth uncle. He was my uncle, the brother whom my dad doted a lot. Though he seldom came back in the early years after his marriage and migration to Holland, he made more trips back to visit us in recent years. This favourite uncle of mine somehow was very closed to me and my other siblings though we don't see him often... this kind of bonding, love and respect that we had for him is unexplainable .. yes blood is always thicker than water! I grief until today for the loss so does each one of my family members in KL especially my dad but we know that we have to move on with lifes. We miss him....

Then I was busy in November with my cake decorating class that I signed up in August and also my daughter fell illed with fever. I am now in KL visiting my family and I am glad to see that at least everyone looks and feels 'okie' and better now. As the year is going to end soon, I thought I better spend some time now writing and posting the rest of my baking adventures this year. So you will be seeing more new posts about pies, tarts, cookies and especially cake decorations! Check it out!

This recipe was done quite a while ago and was my first experiment of making cookies. The recipe was extracted from the 'Biscuits, Breads & Cookies' from Lynn Bedford Hall. I definitely have not read and seen enough baking recipes books but I do think that this is a book that I should get one for my baking library soon as I like the varieties yet specialised for both the modern and traditional recipes introduced.

The cookies tasted very buttery and crunchy. The used of good quality butter is important i think. Though I am a chocoholic but i prefer the original basic vanilla flavoured cookies than the chocolate ones for this recipe.


(Make about 30)

220g Bread flour
110g Unsalted butter
170g Castor sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
Few drops of vanilla essence
1 tsp Cream of tartar
½ tsp Baking soda


1. Preheat oven 180deg c. Grease the baking pan.

2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat.

3. Sift the bread flour with the baking soda and cream of tartar. Add to the mixture and stir until incorporated. Mix to a soft dough and then shape into a ball with your hands.

5. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 12 minutes or until pale beige in colour. Cool on wire rack.

I had doubled up all the ingredients and made another batch of chocolate butter cookies. The recipe and method are as follows:
- Sift 2 tsp cocoa powder with the dry ingredients and add about 43g grated
semisweet chocolate to the dough.


1. Space each cookies about 2 inch as the cookies will expand a fair bit.
2. The dough does not meant for cookie-press therefore it did not keep its shape well. So don't use cookies cutter for this recipe as the shape will run.
3. Use scraper to scrape and transfer the rolled and flatten dough to the baking tray.
4. I need to increase the baking duration to another 10 - 15 minutes for my oven. So you may need to check how your oven works. The best way is to test baking one before putting the whole tray in. That will save a lot of hassle of taking in and out the whole tray from the oven to check whether it is cooked and to me it is safer to have one biscuit spoiled rather than the whole tray!

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