Tall, light and soft as feather Japanese cheesecake. I love it so much that I baked it again the very next day!
I had a busy day in the kitchen baking Valentine's cookies in the morning and had a birthday dinner to attend. So instead of making a sponge cake base for the cheesecake, I used crushed Oreo biscuits for a quick and easy base. I wanted to use Digestive biscuits, but somehow it has run out of stock at my nearby supermarket. Initially, I was half-expecting the base to be hard or crumbly after baking. Surprisingly, the base turned out to be soft and goes very nicely with the cheesecake.
This is how the mini cheesecake looks like before the chocolate coating:
(adapted from Kitchen Corner)
(A) Cake Base
120g digestive biscuits or Oreo biscuits (finely crushed)
50g butter (melted)
160g cream cheese
50ml whipping cream
60g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
30g corn flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp Nutella spread
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
(F): Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting (optional)
(Use equal parts of cream cheese, Nutella and icing sugar)
65g cream cheese
65g Nutella spread
65g icing sugar
*For chocolate coating, use equal parts of chocolate chips to whipping cream. Heat whipping cream, pour over chocolate chips and stir till smooth.
(G) Glaze (optional): Mix together the following:
1/2 tsp gelatine powder
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp hot water
1) Combine ingredients (A) and press onto the base of an 8 inch spring form baking pan, lined with baking paper. Chill in the fridge for the base to harden while you prepare the fillings [Note: Omit this step if you are preparing the mini cheesecake].
2) Place all the ingredients (B) in a bowl and place over a small pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
3) Stir in (C) and mix well to combine.
4) In another clean bowl, whisk egg whites and salt till foamy. Add cream of tartar and gradually add in the sugar from (D). Continue whisking till stiff peaks.
5) Gently fold whisked egg foam into the cheese mixture till well incorporated.
6) In a small bowl, mix ingredients (E) with 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture. Add two more tablespoon of cheese mixture and mix to combine [Note: Omit this step if you are making plain vanilla cheese cake].
7) Pour vanilla cheese mixture from step (5) into prepared biscuit base. Drizzle cocoa cheese mixture from step 6 on the surface. Gently run a knife or chopstick through the batter for the marble effect.
8) Bake at preheated oven of 140C for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 120C and bake for another 30 minutes. For mini cheese cakes, bake in small paper cupcakes at preheated oven of 140C for 25 minutes, then 120C for another 20 minutes.
[Preferably, you should set your baking pan in a larger tray, half-filled with hot water. My oven is not big enough to accommodate a bigger tray, so I filled three soufflé cups with hot water and placed them at the bottom of oven for the steam effect]
9) Remove from oven, cool and chill in the fridge overnight.
10) For frosting, beat cream cheese and Nutella till smooth. Add icing sugar and mix well.
11) Brush glaze over the surface of cheesecake. Decorate the cheese cake with Nutella frosting and strawberries. Brush some glaze on the strawberries.