“Marge, it’s 3 AM. Shouldn’t you be baking?”
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. We’re back again & with another great challenge. It’s the Daring Bakers time of the month again, & this time it’s CHEESECAKE!! What caught my attention about this month’s challenge was the announcement : April 2009 Challenge – Time to get creative! The real challenge this month is to take this basic recipe and play with it. Make it unique. Make a showstopper of a dessert. Add flavor, sauces, decorations – dress it up and show it off. I tried!!For this month’s challenge, Jenny has picked a basic cheesecake recipe, courtesy of her friend Abbey T., who has tweaked and played with this recipe. She has made many variations, and anyone who knows Abbey, knows to ask her to bring a cheesecake!
Was surprisingly quick on the challenge this month; surprised myself too. Actually had these beautiful mulberries that the fellow who works for me brought home one evening. We chomped some, then some more, but there were far too many. Mulberries, one of a clutch of Indian berries, are a sign of Spring, but have a very SHORT shelf life. They just drop off the tree once ripe, making a royal mess of the place. They are beautifully coloured, & are plump & juicy.Checked the Daring Bakers forum that morning, & saw the challenge. Yippee, time to put the mulberries to some productive use! Followed the recipe as is, except for the cream cheese, used curd cheese instead, & got a wonderful cheesecake, though not as rich & creamy as the original would have been. I used a blend of digestive biscuits & almonds in the biscuit base.I flavoured the batter with concentrated mulberry syrup. The syrup was quite difficult to make coz the berries don’t let go of their stalks easily. I macerated the berries for an hour with sugar & then pushed them through a sieve. Phew … tough work. In the end though, they didn’t lend a huge outstanding kick of flavour, just a gentle mild berry flavouring.
The cheesecake itself was easy to bake, with a set of clear cut instructions from the host. You can find the recipe for ‘Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake’ here @ JennyBakes.com. The water bath ensures that the cake doesn’t crack on top while baking. I lined the inside of my tin with double foil too to ensure that no water seeped in. It didn’t, but resulted in an uneven side, so I covered the sides with slivered almonds to get rid of the flaw. My base got a bit soggy; suspect that was because of the mulberry syrup … The recipe itself – a WINNER!!!I did the top with a mirror glaze coz I remembered seeing a really old DB post at Meeta’s @ WFLH for a Strawberry Mirror Cake. More than anything else, I thought it just added to the finish & general appearance of the cheesecake, & gave me a chance to experiment. I love the contrast the ‘mirrored’ look offers. All in all, it was a fun challenge … & I did procrastinate typing out the post. I was so excited that I completed the challenge well in time, yet kept postponing putting my words down. Here I am, on D day, editing pictures & typing madly. Sigh…
Thanks a million Jenny, for such a fun & creative challenge, and for making ‘Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake’ famous, & very popular indeed!
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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.