Thursday, September 14, 2017

No-bake ( homemade ) ube halaya / ube jam mini cheesecakes with ube milk jelly topping

I saw some fresh ube from the market weeks ago and got a bit teary-eyed .  You're such a weirdo , self 😁

The last time I had fresh ube was early this year and boy , I had a blast making ube goodies lol From ube halaya , ube ice cream , ube roll cake , ube cupcakes with ube cream cheese frosting ..... Yup , there are still a lot on my to-make ube list . 

Ube or purple yam ( there's also a white variety ) is a tuberous root vegetables . The tubers are usually vivid purple or lavender thus the name ( Wiki  ) . I think here in smoggy Hongkong , ube is a winter crop , during that time , the colour is more vivid and there's this hint of sweetness compare to what I bought few weeks ago . Back home in the Philippines , ube is commonly use in different kinds of desserts or just steamed and eaten on its own . Ube halaya or ube jam , is a popular dessert made of boiled / steamed and mashed / grated ube . You can find different versions on how to cook it online . Will post my recipe next time . 

This is such an easy recipe to make . I added a bit of yam paste to enhance the ube taste . Colour of the cheesecake will depend on the ube jam that you're using . You can adjust the amount of sugar according to preference . Recipe can be easily doubled and will nicely fit in a 7 or 8-inch round pan . 

Recipe inspiration  from 2人免焗小蛋糕 / 芝芝[著]. 芝芝  ( No-bake desserts for 2 ) 

Makes 3x2-2/3 inch mini cheesecakes 

Crumb base : 

80 grams ( Biscoff ) biscuits 
25 grams salted butter , softened 

* Place biscuits and butter in a mini food processor and whizz until mixture is well combined .

* Divide crumbs evenly into 2 ( 3x2-3/4 inch ) mousse tins , flatten crumbs with a metal teaspoon . Chill or freeze for about 20-30 minutes .

Filling : 

5 grams gelatin sheet
5 grams drinking water
100 grams whipping cream
40 grams milk
100 grams ( homemade ) ube halaya / ube jam
1/4 teaspoon ube paste ( optional ) 
100 grams ( Kiri ) cream cheese , softened 
25 grams caster sugar

* Soak gelatin in cold water for about 10 minutes until softened . 

* In a small mixing bowl , pour in whipping cream ( if it's too hot in your side of the world , chill bowl and beater first and place some ice cubes in another bowl under the bowl with cream in it before beating ) and beat until stiff peaks form . Chill in the fridge until needed .

* Combine ube halaya , milk and ube paste , mix well .

* Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy , add in the ube-milk mixture ,  beat until well combined .

* Squeeze off excess water from softened gelatin and combine with water in a small bowl ; place bowl into a pan with barely simmering water . Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved .

* Stir gelatin mixture into and the cream cheese batter and mix thoroughly then fold in the whipped cream and mix well . Divide mixture evenly and pour into the mousse tins . Chill cheesecakes for about an hour before pouring in the jelly topping .

Ube milk jelly topping : 

50 grams mashed ( steamed ) ube
about 1/8 teaspoon ube paste ( optional ) 
1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar
50 grams milk
2 grams gelatin sheet , soaked until softened

* Combine milk , sugar and softened gelatin in a small bowl , place bowl in a pan with barely simmering water .

* Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved , take off heat and add in mashed ube and ube paste , mix until well combined .  Divide mixture evenly and pour into the chilled cheesecakes . Chill overnight .

To un-mould the cheesecakes : 

* Ran a hairdryer around the sides of mousse tin for 1-2 minutes . When top begins to melt slightly , lift up the tin/ring . Chill for about 30 minutes before serving .

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Cherry-cream cheese oatmeal bars

Hi all ! Hope all is well in your side of the world ......

Still remember me ?! 😁

Anyway , I need to clear up a bottle of cherry jam and and a block cream cheese to make way for another purchase of yup , more jams and more cream cheese lol 

Hey , cream cheese is life ! And speaking of it , have you tried Kiri cream cheese ( see photo below after the recipe )  ?! No ? If you love to make cheesecake you should try this brand . I've been loyal to Philly cream cheese for years but after I tried Kiri , there's no going back . 

Since you'll be the one who'll mostly consume these bars , okay , I'm talking about me , the brand of cream cheese that you'll use in this recipe ( or other recipes ) is important . 

I'm not really fond of oatmeal in bakes and haven't baked oatmeal cookies since forever . However in this recipe , combined with pecans the taste of oatmeal seems like ambrosia heh ! to me okay , maybe it's the cream cheese between layers 😀 

This is a 4-layer cookie bar , basically made of pecans and oatmeal crust , the bottom crust is baked first and cooled before the filling is added . Filling consist of cream cheese and cherry preserves then top with another layer of the pecan-oatmeal mixture . Once baked , it is important to let it well-chilled before cutting ,  chilling it overnight in the fridge is a must .

Since there's still lots of fresh cherries at the market , I decided to add some to cherry preserves for texture contrast . Halfway through baking , I opened the fridge and saw the cherry slices still lurking inside ! Oh well .......

It's pretty easy to make and the texture and flavour combination is hard to beat !

Recipe ( with some minor tweaks ) adapted from Chef Joey Prats via Bake Happy Manila Facebook page 

Makes 12 or 16 bars , depending on the preferred size 

Crust : 

150 grams all-purpose flour
100 grams quick cooking oats
100 grams light brown sugar
1 gram baking soda
75 grams pecans , toasted and finely chopped
100 grams salted butter , cut into 1-cm cubes

Filling : 

250 grams ( Kiri ) cream cheese , slightly softened
35 grams caster sugar
25 grams whole egg

250 grams cherry preserves

* Preheat oven to 180ºC . Lightly butter an 8-inch ( loose-bottom ) square pan and line bottom and sides with parchment .

* Sift flour into a large bowl , add in oats , sugar , baking soda and pecans , using a wire whisk , stir until well combined . Add in the cubed butter , use fingers to rub butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs .

* Transfer 350 grams of the crust into the prepared pan and press to form an even layer , use the back of a spoon to smoothen the top . Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is starting to turn brown . Let cool for about 15-20 minutes .

* Meanwhile , combine cream cheese , sugar and egg in a mixing bowl , beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or until mixture is smooth and creamy .

* Using a small offset spatula , spread cream cheese mixture evenly on baked crust . Top with cherry preserves and spread evenly . Sprinkle the remaining crust evenly on top of the cherry preserves and lightly press . Bake for 35 minutes or top is golden brown .

* Remove baking pan from the oven and set to cool completely on a wire rack . Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill overnight .

* Unmold then cut and serve .