Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Durian Cheesecake (Baked Version)

Posted by Quinn at Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My friend got me a pack of seedless durian and I can't think of anything else to do with it besides durian puff or durian cheesecake. I choose the later one. I always wanna know the difference between a baked cheesecake vs. a non-baked cheesecake. I've tried making a non-baked cheesecake multiple times and they never fail me, both look and taste wise. The only exception is when you encounter people who tend to avoid eating raw eggs in their food. They're afraid of the infection of salmonella and so on and so forth. To me, I see this as unaviodable. I used raw eggs in tiramisu, in making chocolate mousse and etc. Infection of salmonella can't come in if you use raw eggs in non-baked cheesecakes and do it the right way.

They say non-baked cheesecakes are 100% pure, you can totally taste the cheesesiness out of it. Baked plain cheesecakes tend to be dry and the cheesecake tend to shrink and crack at the surface after baking. Not many knows though that a tablespoon or two of cornflour/custard powder does the trick in preventing cracks from forming. Also, pour the batter from centre outwards prior to baking and using a spatula, push the batter towards the centre so it could form a dome shape at the centre. I've tried this technique a number of times and they never fail me. However, when we encounter really thin batter, we can't do anything about it. It will not crack but will shrink a little. What are whipped creams and ganache for then? Yes, to cover the shrinkage for those who dislike the look of it. I'm one of those who dislike shrinkage. Finally, a water bath does help in moderating the oven temperature, making baking process more even for delicate things such as cheesecakes.

I was about to bake a durian cheesecake by manipulating a New York Cheesecake recipe when I remembered a page I bookmarked sometime back. I followed the recipe completely except that I used 320g durian meat for the filling and only 80g durian meat for the topping. I don't like how the surface shrinked a little after being left overnight in the fridge. So I topped it with another layer of chocolate using this recipe. I wanted to use Ellena's Chocolate Fudge but while preparing I came to realize I finish off the last bit of cream for my gnocchi sauce for lunch.

This one here cooling on wire rack waiting to be chilled in the fridge. Just look at how nice the durian custard turn out to be. Mmmmmm.....

It almost reaches the height of my springform pan. Really can't wait to sink my teeth into them. Just so that everyone knows, I've tried using 2 layers of aluminium foil before but water still seeps in. I took upon Nigella Lawson's method to wrap it with a layer of cling film first, then another layer with the aluminium foil. Turns out beautifully!

The next day, I covered it with a chocolate fudge topping. You'll probably be thinking what a waste to cover such lovely beautiful yellow custard layer with chocolate. But I tell you here, it sorta sink a little. It sink as much as the one Aunty Yochana showed you in her blog. That is considered really really little sinking. It's really no big deal but I just don't feel comfortable seeing it.

I tried showing you guys there are in fact 3 layers and it's pretty obvious with naked eyes. Not really obvious from camera though, Too bad!

The verdict?

It came out really good. The durian cheesy layer was so creamy and they love the fact that it wasn't durian puree being used. They loved to bite on bits of durian meat, feels more real. However, one major flaw though.

Upon cutting, the chocolate fudge layer didn't hold it's position. The moment I took a slice out, the chocolate layer slip down. It sorta made a mess but it was a terrific goodness ooeey-gooeey mess. No one really mind though. However, I shall spare you people the mess. I would however sift cocoa powder on it upon cooling like what the inventor of this recipe, Aunty Yochana did or use Ellena's Chocolate Fudge. It's just too bad I didn't have any cream to spare.

If you were to ask me now which one taste better, hmmm, I would still say BOTH! This baked cheesecake is not dry at all! But I do notice the non-baked cheesecake has a stringer cheese taste rather than baked ones. You judge it for yourself.

Happy baking people!

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