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In spite of being a serious part time baker, I had so far never attempted the famous and much loved cheesecake in my own kitchen. This rich and creamy dessert dates back from several thousand years in Greece. It is believed that the first cheesecake was baked to feed athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. The recipe was successively passed down from the Greeks to the Romans and thereafter to different countries in Europe who brought their own twist by adding their native ingredients to the cheesecake. Italians use ricotta cheese, while the Greeks use feta. Germans prefer cottage cheese and the Japanese use a combination of cornstarch and egg whites.

The American version of cheesecake, as we know and love it today, was not born until the 18th century. The staple ingredient in our present day cheesecake is cream cheese, a soft, mild-tasting cheese accidentally invented by a New York dairy farmer. So far my only venture with cream cheese was to whip it into a deliciously creamy frosting for moist oil cakes like carrot or red velvet cupcakes. For my very first cheesecake trial, I had a tough time choosing between the classic New York style and a lighter cake topped with strawberries by my friend Sheetal. I’ve had her recipe for years and I feel it is now time for it to go public on my blog. Thank you for this wonderful foolproof recipe dear!

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

Ingredients:

For the Biscuit Crust

90 g plain biscuits

40 g butter, melted

For the Cream Cheese Filling

250 g cream cheese

200 ml double cream

2 eggs, room temperature

80 g caster sugar

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the Strawberry Sauce

200 g fresh strawberries

3 teaspoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons caster sugar

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 170oC. Line the base of a 20cm spring form pan with double layer of parchment paper.

  • Crush the biscuits and mix well with melted butter. Spread the biscuit crumbs over the base of the pan.

  • Press it down to form a uniform layer and place the pan in the refrigerator for about 30 to 40 minutes.

  • Meanwhile prepare the filling by beating all the ingredients well with a hand held mixer until smooth.

  • Spread filling over the biscuit base and bake at 170oC for 40-45 minutes until the filling is almost set.

  • For the strawberry sauce, combine the chopped strawberries with lemon juice and sugar and set aside.

  • Once the cheesecake is baked, remove from oven and leave it to cool completely to room temperature.

  • Top the cooled cake with the strawberry sauce and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

  • Remove the chilled cake from fridge and top with fresh strawberries and chocolate curls before slicing.

My First Cheesecake

Mon très cher Hithertododos,

Happy Birthday! I truly hope that you have an awesome one with loads of fun, presents, wishes, Facebook wall posts and of course, a fabulous birthday cake! Well, I baked you a classic butter cake, with chocolate chips, almonds and cherries, all swirled in as one. I could not make up my mind as to which flavour I’d pick so it was simpler to merge them in a single cake so that you’d have a taste of everything with each bite.

I must say that I’m very lucky to have been your friend for so many years. Thanks for your never-ending support and your words of encouragement every time I needed them, for the optimism and confidence you helped me find in myself and for being my strength whenever I felt defeated and depressed. With our small dedicated team, we built the famous Facebook group Moricienneries – The Mauritius Stories and it’s still alive, making hundreds of Mauritians across the word smile, thanks to your talent and imagination.

You’ve been my inspiration so many times and I just want you to know that you’ll always be my friend, beyond words, beyond time.

MARBLE POUND CAKE

Ingredients:

200g butter, softened

1 cup caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 eggs, room temperature

2¼ cups self-raising flour, sifted

¾ cup milk

2 tbs cocoa powder

3 drops red food colouring

50 g dark chocolate chips

50 g almonds, chopped

50 g glace cherries, chopped

For the Vanilla Butter Icing

50g butter, softened

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp boiling water

Method:

  • Heat oven to 160°C fan bake. Grease a 22cm springform cake tin and line the base with nonstick baking paper.

  • Place butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. Beat in vanilla essence and eggs, one at a time.

  • Stir in sifted flour in two batches, alternating with the milk. Divide the mixture between three separate bowls.

  • Beat cocoa powder with 1 tbs hot water to make a paste. Add it to one portion of batter and stir in chocolate chips.

  • Stir red food colouring into another portion and leave one plain. Add almonds to the plain portion and cherries to the red one.

  • Drop large spoonfuls of the different mixtures into the prepared cake tin, alternating the colours.

  • Drag and swirl a blunt knife through the mixtures to create a beautiful marble pattern. Tap to remove air bubbles.

  • Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out cleanfrom centre. Cool in tin, remove and cool completely. Makes 12 pieces.

Hope that your birthday’s full of surprises!

I wanted a plain coffee cake for tea. It reminded me of the simple recipe I had bookmarked from La vie est belle earlier this week. Well, mine did not turn out light and fluffy as in her lovely pics. 

Still it was dense and moist with the nice rich taste of condensed milk she mentions in her post. Not overly sweet as I would expect for a cake using sweetened condensed milk as the prime ingredient. I recommend this with a glass of Nescafe frappé.

CONDENSED MILK CAKE

 

Ingredients:

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup all purpose flour

½ tbs baking powder

50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk

2 tbs unprocessed cocoa + 2 tbs hot water

Icing sugar, for dusting

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
  • Grease and line a 9″ cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Place butter, condensed milk and eggs in a large bowl.
  • Whisk till butter gets incorporated for 1 minute.
  • Sift over flour and baking powder. Fold in carefully with a metal spoon. Batter will be quite runny.
  • In a small bowl, dissolve cocoa in hot water and add 1/3 of cake batter to this. Mix well till cocoa is well combined.
  • Pour batter into pan alternating between the chocolate and white cake mixture to give a marble effect.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. My cake did not rise too much.
  • Cool completely on wire rack before serving. You can dust the cake with icing sugar if you wish.

 As you can notice from the recipe, I tried to marble the cake but the colours diffused into each other and I failed to achieve the desired look 😦 Hmm I’ll try again but for now lemme enjoy my piece of cake.

Oh wait! I’ll share the iced coffee/frappé recipe before I leave [If you dnt buy Nescafe this should give you a good excuse to do so].

NESCAFE CLASSIC FRAPPE

Ingredients:

2 tsp Nescafe Classic

2 tsp sugar [white or brown]

3 blocks of ice

50 ml cold water

100 ml cold milk

Method:

  • Put coffee, sugar and 1 block of ice in a shaker.
  • Gently close shaker and shake until the sugar dissolves.
  • Pour this foam into a tall glass [250ml] over more ice.
  • Add the milk. Stir and serve with a straw.

There are other coffee recipes on the Nescafe website that can be of interest to you. Now you won’t have to skip your usual dose of caffeine on a stifling hot summer day 🙂

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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