And we are finished. Thesis handed up as of yesterday morning. Finished. Finito. Doneski. No more thesis writing... you get the drift! And it has all been a bit overwhelming the last few days but hey that's how life rolls.. ups and downs, in and outs and all that's in between.
On to cake.. because lets face it, that's what you like to come here for, and not my simple meanderings! This month with the Cakeslice Bakers was an easy peasy, no brainer. The minute I saw the choices, I knew I was picking this cheesecake. Aaaannddd eh... as excited as I was to get started, I don't know what to say about this cheesecake now that it's finished.
- First up, it broke my food processor. So there was that. From then on, I held a bit a of a grudge. Now to be honest my processor was on it's last legs, but this bake was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak and well yeah.. Grudge.
- Second, I didn't have the scotch the bake called for so made the executive decision to swap it out for whiskey. Not that big a deal.
- Third, it calls for frozen blackberries. Which we can't buy here, that I know of, so I had to buy fresh and then freeze them as they are not quite in season just yet.
Once I had gotten over the processor break down and popped that shortbread crust in the oven, I started to get happy. The smell was yum, but I over baked the crust by about 5 minutes. Uuggghhh... Moving swiftly on, I made the filling and dropped in those purple pops of yum and was really beginning to warm up to this bake.
I baked it up, delighted with the result and 100% believed I had turned this whole exchange around... But then... Then came the sour cream, waste of ingredients topping. There was no need for it. What it did was cover a once pretty cheesecake with sour cream gloop.
Not all doom and gloom however.. I called in a tasting party because I was clearly not impartial at this stage. Husband and I flitted between.. "its umm... yeah, there's um.." and "I'm not sure if it's um... or if it's am..." but the tasting party.. they liked it. And I mean LIKED it liked it.
"I thought the whiskey would over power it but, no its really good", "I'm going to take just another slice to be sure I like it." "No Haze, this is pretty much all sorts of good."
So I know nothing about cake in this instance clearly.. I am missing something. I like ALL cake.. Or you know maybe, folk can indeed like something I don't... You decide for yourself!
Blackberry with Whiskey Cheesecake
adapted from Maida Heatter's Cake Pg 155
180g sifted self-raising flour
55g granulated sugar
125g cold, butter
Preheat your oven to 190C/375F or Gas Mark 5.
Wrap the outside bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with tinfoil and set to one side.
Chop your butter into smallish squares and put all the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor. Pulse the mixture until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Run the crumbs through your fingers a few times to make even finer crumbs and then toss out into the prepared pan.
Squash the crumbs down to the bottom of the pan so they form a compact crust, on the bottom only.
Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven, but the crust will be dark brown around the edges, leading to golden on top. ***While it's baking, make the filling***
Take it out and reduce the oven to 180C/375F or Gas Mark 4.
Leave to cool for a few moments on the counter once you take it out.
Butter the sides of the pan with some melted butter, all the way to the crust. The pan may still be hot, so be careful.
538g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 tbsp of whiskey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
150g granulated sugar
226g frozen blackberries
Beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add the vanilla, whiskey, cinnamon and sugar and beat until combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time beating until smooth after each addition.
Once you have buttered you pan, pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust. Then plop the frozen blackberries all over the mixture leaving little spaces in between. Push them softly into the mixture, covering only some of the berry.
Bake at 180C/375F or Gas Mark 4 for 35-40 minutes until the sides of the cake have risen and slightly browned, and the centre will be dry to touch but still squidgy on the inside.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it stand for 20 minutes. (Start pre-heating your oven again about the 15 min mark.)
Now to be honest I wouldn't bother with this next part... Once cooled, I'd just shove that beauty of a cheesecake into the fridge to firm up for a few hours and bobs your uncle.. you're a star... BUT if you do want to proceed.. here you go!
Sour Cream Topping
450g sour cream
1tbsp granulated sugar
1ts vanilla extract
In a bowl, combine the three ingredients.
Once the cheesecake has cooled for 20 minutes, pour the sour cream topping over the cheesecake and and with the back of a spoon, spread it all out.
Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the foil and let stand until cool.
When the cake is cooled, release it from it's pan by running a sharp knife around the edges and clipping the side off. Pop the whole thing in the fridge to set up for a couple of hours, but over night is best.
Now I betcha some of the other bakers made this... and I betcha they loved it. It wasn't for me personally but it sure pleased some folk!