Sunday, July 8, 2007

espresso cheesecake brownie

Mummyji's very pleased with her latest cake, baked specially for Mahmahji's birthday. It's a delightful combination of both mummyji's favourite bakes, cheesecake and brownie. The recipe's taken from Dorie Greenspan's Baking. There are plenty more yummy recipes in that wonderful book, which mummyji intends to explore each weekend, or where time permits. Mummyji skipped the last step of adding the sour cream icing layer though, thinking it might be too rich for the folks. The cheesecake layer calls for only 1 block of cheese (Mummyji used philly), 2/3 cup sugar, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon flour and 2 eggs. And of course, the coffee (1.5 tbsp of instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water). There isn't much flour in the bottom brownie layer, which has 2 eggs, about 100g of dark chocolate, 75g butter and 1/3 cup sugar. The original recipe calls for 1/2 plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder, which Mummyji changed to just using 1/2 cup of organic self-raising flour. Mummyji also substituted the 1 tsp pure vanilla extract to using 1 fresh pod of vanilla bean instead. Pure vanilla extracts has some percentage of alcohol which might render Mummyji's cake un-halal, so it's fresh vanilla beans for her cakes!
The pretty thing about this cake is the marble effect on the top, which was the part which mummyji enjoyed most. Globs of the brownie batter was dropped onto the cheesecake layer and a sharp knife used to swirl and lovely patterns were created as a result. It was not unlike the henna tattoos that mummyji's drawn on the babes's hands for hari raya. Of course Mummyji didn't use a sharp knife to do the henna tattoos on the babes' hands, those were piped from the henna cones bought from Arab Street...
The next day, after about 12 hours in the refrigerator, the cake was taken out for mummyji to embellish. There was a great plan to melt some chocolate, spread it out on a foil, cool it in the refrigerator while mummyji made some icing with icing sugar and milk to write the words, happy birthday, on the chocolate piece, then place it on top of the cake. As it turned out, the icing was too runny, so when the words were written, the icing spread out and turned into 2 thick squiggly white lines...So it was think-on-your-feet cake deco for mummyji then, who in between eating up spoonfuls of dark choc glob with white icing lines, mixed some melted dark choc with cream cheese and piped that around the cake's base. There was a box of chocolate-coated coffeebeans, which mummyji had bought earlier from Candy Empire, as well as some choc mint sticks, from the same temptation-filled store.
This is the result of Mummyji's art attack on the cake... Ta Dah!

The bigger round chocs are Meiji macadamia chocs.

In her excitement to present to Mahmahji the cake, mummyji'd forgotten all about birthday candles....and yea, the white liquidy stuff the choc coffee beans sit atop is some of the disappointing runny icing, used here to stop the beans from rollling around.
Anyway, Mummyji was pretty pleased... Best compliment of the day? Z saying that it looked store-bought!

and here's a beaming Mahmahji, who sang several rounds of the birthday song for herself, who's gleefully proclaimed herself as a full hexagenarian, even though she is rightfully only 59..
And we thank Mahmahji for all the yummilicious Saturday night dinners she's lovingly prepared for all of us and we pray we have many many more of these dinners to enjoy!

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