Sunday, October 29, 2017

No-bake mango cheesecake

Philippine mango season maybe over but that doesn't mean late season produce back home will not trickle up here in smoggy Hongkong ! I was just lucky enough to find some cheap mangoes at the supermarket few days ago , a bit on the small side but it tastes sweet much to my surprise ! I usually hoard some seasonal fruits like strawberries , cherries and blueberries and freeze them but it's hard to do with mangoes . Why ? Because almost all the time the mango slices will fall into my mouth and not into  freezer bag pfffft ! I just can't resist juicy and sweet mangoes especially during its season and that's the best time to freeze as much as you can just in case , you know , a sudden craving of something that reminds you of home ..... 

In this cheesecake , the trick is to use a very sweet mangoes and cooking the mango flesh is the best way to extract its wonderful flavour . Unlike last time when I made a mango entremet where I added mango extract to add more mango flavour to each layer as the mangoes that I used were a bit tasteless . 

I used my stash of very sweet frozen mangoes in this no-bake cheesecake as the fresh ones that I bought though sweet pales in comparison when it comes to flavour . 

The recipe is almost the same as the No-bake ube cheesecake I made last time . I just guesstimated the amount that will nicely fit in my 6-inch mousse ring and if I have 200 grams instead of 155 grams cream cheese at that time this cake will be much more taller . You'll need a 6 x 3-inch for this recipe and loose-bottom pan will be much better than using a springform pan , alternately , you can use a 7-inch pan or use several small mousse rings or some clear water glasses or plastic dessert cups .

If using gelatin powder instead of gelatin sheets , you need to adjust the amount especially if the weather is hot but you can use the same amount if that's your preference . You also have to take into consideration the amount of  liquid in mango purée so adjust accordingly .

For the mango topping , I used 6 mangoes but they were on a small side so I only got about about 10 pieces of ( half ) balls in each mango . To make a nice and ( almost ) neat topping , slightly stack the second circle ( or line ? ) of mango balls on top of each other . Mango ball will slide off as you stack it so you need a bit of patience and chilling the balls will help . To make mango balls , you need a melon baller , if it's not available , just cut mango flesh into a small and uniform cubes .

To make the mango topping stay in place , you need to add a wine jelly . I didn't actually use all the jelly maybe about two-thirds of it , just enough to hold mango together . Initially , the taste of wine is a bit stronger , not being a wine or beer drinker , so even a small amount of alcohol is too much for me but after a day , the taste of it will dissipates . You can use sweetened lime or lemon juice instead of wine to make the jelly .

This recipe is flexible / forgiving , just adjust ingredients especially the gelatin accordingly . 

The taste of this cheesecake ?! Imagine you're eating Häagen dazs mango ice cream ..... But then I tend to exaggerate 😁 Remember to use the very sweet mangoes in this cheesecake , you can get away by using a slightly sweet mangoes for your topping but never in cheesecake ! If you can find Philippine mangoes and the sweet ones , thank you vey much , so much the better !

Makes one 6 x 2-inch cheesecake with about 1/2-inch fresh mango topping 

Recipe can be easily doubled to fit nicely in 8 or 9-inch ring / pan 

Mango purée :

465 grams sliced ( very sweet ) Philippine mangoes , frozen or fresh 
35 grams caster sugar 
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

* In a small saucepan , combine mangoes , sugar and lemon juice , stir to combine . Let stand for 30 minutes before cooking . 

* Let mixture boil over medium heat then turn down heat to low , simmer for about 15 minutes or until mangoes are very soft . Strain cooked mangoes through a fine sieve for smoother texture . Let cool completely before using . Make it a day ahead . Yield is 365 ml , leftover can be frozen . 

Crust : 

120 grams Biscoff cookies , finely crushed 
40 grams salted butter , melted 

* Combine crumbs and butter together and press into the bottom of a 6x 3-inch mousse ring or a loose-bottom or springform pan . Use the back of the spoon ( or a glass with smooth bottom ) to smoothen and neaten the crumbs . Chill or freeze in the fridge for 30 minutes . 

Cheesecake batter : 

8 grams gelatin sheets 
10 grams drinking water 
150 grams ( whipping ) cream 
155 grams cream cheese , softened at room temperature 
40 grams condensed milk 
150 grams mango purée 

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

* Whip cream until stiff peaks form , do not over mix , chill in the fridge until needed . 

* Beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth and fluffy , add in mango purée and beat until just combined . 

* Squeeze off excess water from softened gelatin , combine with water in a bowl and place bowl in a prepared hot water bath or a pan of barely simmering water . Stir until gelatin is melted completely . Pour melted gelatin immediately into the cream cheese mixture , mix thoroughly . Fold in the whipped cream until well combined . 

* Pour batter into crust and gently shake mousse ring to smoothen the top . Chill for at least 4 hours before adding in the mango balls and pouring in the wine jelly . 

* Chill cheesecake overnight . 

To unmould cheesecake , ran a hairdryer around the sides of the mousse ring so as the top . Gently shake the mousse ring as you lift it , the cake will easily pop out . Chill again for another 30 minutes before serving . 

Mango balls topping : 

6 ( depending on size ) ripe and sweet mangoes , scoop out as many mango ( half ) balls as you can using a melon baller . Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before using . 

*  When cheesecake is stable enough , arrange the 1st circle of mango balls around the edge of the cheesecake then stacking the 2nd circle slightly over the first circle , do so with the next until surface / top is completely covered with mango balls . 

* Gently pour in the wine jelly on top of mango balls , making sure each piece is sprinkle with jelly so that mango balls will ( mostly ) stay in place when you cut the cheesecake . 

Wine jelly topping , recipe adapted here

25 grams white wine 
25 grams drinking water 
1 teaspoon lime juice 
10 grams sugar 
1 gram gelatin sheet , soak until softened 

* Combine ingredients above in a small bowl and place it over a pan of barely simmering water . Stir until gelatin is completely melted . Let cool slightly before pouring in on top of mango balls . 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

No-bake matcha mini cheesecakes

So many cheesecakes , so little time .

No-bake cheesecake is probably the easiest dessert one can make , with just few ingredients and a bit of time , you can dress it up or down and voila ! From my Nutella cheesecakes , Matcha Oreo cheesecakes , Baked cheesecakes , Strawberry cheesecakes , Lemon cheesecakes with homemade lemon curd topping , Cherry-lemon cheesecakes to name a few , these unhealthy desserts are worth the extra calories 😁 

So , here's another simple yet delightful minis . You'll probably know about Matcha by now , if not just click that link .

This is a flexible / forgiving recipe , original is actually an Earl grey cheesecake but I don't like the taste of it . You can add a bit more cream cheese to my tweaked recipe , more or less sugar according to preference , you can double the recipe if you want . My toppings are ( canned ) adzuki / Japanese sweet red beans and some sliced figs but you can use either homemade strawberry sauce or fresh strawberries , yeah , think color contrast heh ! 

The moulds that I used are all the same in my previous mini bakes , they're individual and aluminium loose-bottom ones ( check the last photo ) . I only used 6 moulds instead of 8 because I can't find the rest ugh ! No moulds ? You can use muffin liners but as this is a no-baked cheesecake , maybe some of it will stick at the liners .

Recipe inspiration from 2人免焗小蛋糕 / 芝芝[著] by 芝芝 , original recipe , Earl grey cheese cake is listed below 

Makes 8 minis 

Crumb base : 

115 grams Biscoff / speculoos biscuits
25 grams melted butter 

* Prepare eight  2 1/4 x1 1/4-inch loose-bottom tins , lightly-butter the bottom part of the tins , set aside .

* Place both biscuits and butter in a small food processor and whizz until it resembles a fine crumbs  . Or place biscuits into a ( food-grade ) plastic bag and bash it with a rolling pin until finely crushed , combine with melted butter and mix well . 

* Transfer crumbs into the prepared tins at about 18 grams each . Use a straight-sided rolling pin or a teaspoon ( cutlery ) to press and smoothen crumbs at the bottom of the tin . Freeze for 20 minutes . 

Matcha cheesecake batter : 

5 grams gelatin sheets 
100 grams whipping cream 
100 grams cream cheese , softened 
35 grams caster sugar
5 grams matcha powder , sift 3 times 
60 grams milk 

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

* In a mixing bowl , beat cream until firm peaks form , do not over beat . Chill in the fridge until needed .

* In another bowl , beat cream cheese until smooth , add in sugar in 3 additions and mix until light and fluffy . Or you can beat cream cheese and sugar together , make sure that the sugar is thoroughly absorbed . 

* In a small bowl , combine milk and matcha powder , place bowl inside the pan with barely simmering water , whisk until matcha is well absorbed . Squeeze out excess water from the softened gelatin , add it into the hot matcha milk mixture and stir until melted . Take out bowl from the pan and pour immediately into the cream cheese mixture , whisk until well combined . Lightly fold in the whipped cream . Pour batter into the prepared tins . Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight . 

* To unmould the cheesecakes , ran the hair / blowdryer around the sides of the tin for few seconds , pop out the cake and chill for 20 minutes before removing the bottom part of the tin . 

* Some adzuki / Japanese sweet red beans ( canned ) and sliced figs for toppings . Serve chilled . 

Earl grey cheesecake , makes one 3.5-inch cake 

Crumb base :

15 grams digestive biscuits , finely crushed 
7 grams melted butter 

Cheesecake batter :

40 grams cheesecake 
15 grams caster sugar 
1 Earl grey tea bag 
3 tbsp hot water
3 grams gelatin sheets
a little hot water
40 grams whipping cream