Wednesday, July 1, 2009

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 values of avocado 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 make 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 with 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

Chocolate Ganache

I made this chocolate ganache as my family Christmas dessert last year. I was in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, my hometown for 2 weeks. Spent great deal of time having fun and catching up with family members there. I was very thankful to my dad and my brother for sending my daughter and I back to Singapore. I was also in particular happy to see my dad enjoying himself with the company of my daughter, his grand-daughter.. My dad is a man with few words and sometimes all of my siblings including me have difficulties in understanding his thoughts and feelings. But we know he is a kind and responsible man and infact too responsible until sometimes cause headaches in the family :) Whatever it is we love him and we know he loves us too!
I was cooking 2 of my favourite dishes; the Indian curry chicken and a simple roasted chicken with lots of garlics, rosemary and butter for a simple family gathering. Decided to cook these dishes as I didn't have much time to prepare as I reached Singapore only 2 days before Christmas. So thought of doing something that I am familiar with. As for the dessert, I must admit that I am ambitious and daring to try on the new recipe for an important family gathering! Praise the Lord! Everything turned out find.

I got the 2 Christmas figurines when I was attending a baking workshop so they have become the centre pieces. Frankly the cake did not look appealing in the picture but it really tasted wonderful!. Take a small bite of the cake and let it sit in your tongue for a moment. Let your natural enzymes did the rest of the work... dissolving the cake bit by bit and you will enjoy the strong and smooth chocolaty punch flowing slowly from your mouth to your throat before ending in your stomach!! The berries cut the sweetness of the cake and create great balance of this dessert!



1/3 cup / 35g cocoa powder
1/3 cup/ 80ml hot water
150g dark eating chocolate
150g butter, chopped
1 1/3 cups (300g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup / 125 g almond meal
4 eggs, separated
240g fresh blueberries

chocolate ganache
200g dark eating chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup (160ml thickened cream)

1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Grease deep 22cm round cake bine, line the base and side.

2. Blend cocoa powder with hot water in small bowl until smooth.

3. Combine chocolate and butter in medium heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water, stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa mixture, sugar, almond meal and egg yolks

4. Beat egg whites in clean small bowl until soft peaks form, fold into chocolate mixture in 2 batches. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

5. Bake in oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stand cake in pan for 15 min before turning onto wire raxk to cool.

6. Arrange berries on cake, pour ganache over cake to partically cover berries. Stand at room temperature until set.

Method to make the ganache:

1. Combine chocolate with cream and stir over lower heat until smooth.


1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C/350 deg F. Grease and baseline an 8inch cake pan.

Notes :

1. This cake can make up to 3 days in advance. Store it in air tight container

2. The actual recipe called for raspberries. I am sure the cake looks much better with raspberries on top than blueberries as the latter did not bring out the colour of the cake.

3. Top with berries and chocolate ganache when you are ready to serve.

4. I find this recipe easy to make and fast but you need to plan ahead as the baking time is quite long.

5. It is suitable for special occasion due to the exotic chocolaty taste and also its gorgeous look, only if you able to find the right ingredient to decorate though!

This recipe was extracted from The Australian Women's Weekly.

Easy Chocolate Cookies

I was curious about piping at one point in time last year. Decided to make this simple recipe so that I can put the new piping bags and tips in use. Though the recipe was rather simple, it wasn't something I like. Infact I find the smell of cocoa powder rather weird without mixing some chocolate into the recipe. Perhaps because I am a chocoholic I find the recipe is too light and not to my liking.

However, if I didn't remember wrongly this was my very first time doing cookies piping. It was fun though to get different star shapes out from the same star-shaped nozzle with different pressures, angles and heights. It was quite a mess as I didn't know how to fill up the piping bag at that point. Anyway it was a good experience for an amateur like me to get a feel on how to work with some of the piping utensils.



200g butter/magarine
80g icing usgar
1/2 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essense
210g plain flour
15g cocoa powder, sifted

some chocolate chips for decoration


1. Cream butter and icing sugar till just combined.

2. Add egg, vanilla and mix well.

3. Fold in flour and cocoa powder.

4. Put mixture into a piping bag fitted in with a star nozzle. Pipe dough onto a greased and lined baking sheet and decorate with a chocolate chip in the centre.

5. Bake in a preheated overn at 180deg C for about 20min. Remove and leave to cool.

1. The cookies would not expand as not leavening agents are added in. So we can safely pipe the cookies near to each other.

2. Fill the piping bag hall full so that you can have better control when you pipe out the cookies. Shake your bag and give a few twists to 'lock' the dough in the bag

3. Do not put the nozzle too near to the baking sheet as this will leave not enough room to pipe out nice star shaped cookies. Too far will cause the cookies dough flow out too long and it would be nice looking.

4. I was silly to put the flat bottom of the chocolate chips facing up. Realised it looked rather weird after half way through:)

Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies

I am very upset to find out that the DVD that I have copied in all my cooking and baking pictures was able to only retrieve none!! There are a lot of photos taken for many of my experiments but have yet been posted for sharing in my blog :(( Begging my hubby to salvage the dics and hopefully he or someone can help to retrieve all the data... still crossing my fingers! The lost taught me a good lesson that is store your data well and always if possible don't delay your blog posting!

The pictures of this post and perhaps a few of the coming subsequent posts were saved as draft sometime ago or in another drives if you are wondering where are the pictures coming from. I could not remember where I got this recipe.

I am never good in baking cookies though it is the simplest baking project we could always do with our kids. I always need to increase the baking time or oven temperature than recommended. I discovered this after a few trials.

My husband and daughter love cookies a lot but I don't bake often as I think we should have these as treats. This is quite a wholesome recipe for older kids and it tasted semi-chewy due to the raisin and oatmeal but definitely not gummy type. It is crunchy somehow and tasty however may not be so suitable for too young kids unless you chop the raisins and blend the rolled oats into smaller parts. If you like semi chewy yet crunchy and chocolate flavoured cookies, you perhaps will like this!

The recipe below will yield about 48 cookies.

Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies


1 cup/ 223g unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup/ 220g brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essense
1 1/2 (190g) cups all purpose flour (sifted)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups/ 245g rolled oats
1 cup/ 145g raisin


1. Preheat oven to 175deg C. Grease and line the baking tray.

2. Cream butter and sugar

3. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla essense and continue to beat well.

4. Add flour, baking soda and cocoa powder and continue to beat until incorporated.

5. Stir in oats and raisin and mix well.

6. Drop one tbsp of dough on the baking tray and gently press using the bake of the fork.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

1. I have used about 170g brown sugar and 50 Castor sugar as I didn't have enough brown sugar in the cupboard.

2. I have also added chocolate chips into the recipe just to give a better texture and enhance the chocolaty flavour.

3. I have used about 1 cup (120g) whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup (70g) of all purpose flour to make them more wholesome.

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