Cheesecake for Mehdi (aka “I am sexy and I know it”)

Okay okay, the annual AC garden BBQ is up tomorrow. The past years, I always made various deserts and one was Mehdi’s favourite: my cheesecake.
This year, I thought I have enough to do with all the preparations for the evening and asked my team to bring salads and desserts. Well, I did not expect Mehdi’s reaction….whaaaaat? No isi-cheesecake? No way! So here I am, baking a cheesecake just for him!

Ingredients for a springform pan of 18cm diameter

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150 g cookies (me: K├Ągi Fret Toggenburgerli)
100 g melted butter
50 g grated almonds
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Vanilla seeds

150g creamy quark
1 pack Philly Balance Cream Cheese
400 g Mascarpone (me: Galbani)
2 eggs
120g sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
A handful of blueberries, fresh if available

Preheat oven to 160c

Crush the cookies until they are as fine as breadcrumbs. I used a plastic bag and a dipper, then chopped the cookies gently in order that the bag doesn’t burst. If you have a blender, tant mieux!
Melt the butter. Meanwhile add the almonds, cocoa powder and vanilla seeds to the cookiecrumbs. Mix well. Then, add butter and stir well until you get a kind of dough. Put it in the pan, distribute it evenly and press onto bottom of the pan. Bake in the oven for 15mins, take it out and let chill for another 10-15 mins in the fridge (don’t put it in the fridge right away, wait a few minutes until it has cooled a bit, else, your stuff in the fridge won’t be happy if it heats up in there).

In my Kenwood Chef, I mixed the two eggs with sugar, orange zest and corn starch until I got a white creamy texture. Then, I added the quark and let the Chef stir for a few minutes. Next in line: Philly Balance, again a few minutes of stirring. Last but not least, I added the Mascarpone. This meant for my Chef: Another at least 5 minutes of stirring in order to get a very creamy mix.

If you do not have a fancy Kenwood Chef, use an electric mixer, or, if you feel like doing something for your muscles, use a egg whisk:-)

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Take the pan with the crust from the fridge, increase oven temperature to 175c.
Then distribute the blueberries evenly on the crust. You can use other berries too. Don’t add sugar nor warm them before, else the crispy crust becomes a stodge.
Now top the crust/berries with the cream. Put into oven and bake for 47 mins. Then, turn off the oven, crack open the door 2-3cm and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 60 mins. Then, take it out and let it cool at room temperature. Only once it is cold you can put it in the fridge for at least 12hrs.

Serving: take the cheesecake out of the fridge 30 mins before serving, remove the cheesecake from the pan and cut it in 6 pieces…or 2, or in my case, since Mehdi will eat it alone, no need to cut it at all!

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White Espresso Ice Cream

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Here’s the disclosure of my secret: the reason why I produced invert sugar is my ice cream production. Its ability for controlling crystallization and creating a smoother mouth feel in these products is the main reason why it is used in the first place. Invert sugar gives ice cream a very smooth, creamy texture. It can be used to produce ice cream and sorbets with or without eggs. The following recipe is based on a combination of various recipes I read plus adding my own ideas.

Ingredients:
2 handfull of very strong espresso beans
70ml invert sugar (else 140g caster sugar)
250ml milk
500ml cream ( not the diet stuff)
4 egg yolks
Vanilla bean

Roast the beans in a pan for a few minutes, add the milk and 250 ml of the cream and heat to approx. 90c. Add the vanilla. Let cool, put in fridge over night.
The next day, stir the mixture, add the remaining cream and heat again to 90c. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar for about 10mins until you get a white creamy foam.
Let the milk/cream mix cool down a bit. Use a sieve to separate the beans from the liquid, pour the liquid into the egg/sugar mix, stir well. Heat this mixture to 80c until it becomes a creamy texture, don’t overcook, else you get scrambled eggs!
Let cool completely, best is to put the mixture back in the fridge once it is not steaming hot anymore. Now, sieve that mixture again before pouring it into the ice maker to make sure no lumps make it into the ice cream. My ice maker took about 40mins until I got a nice, creamy, soft, frozen ice cream. I put it in a bowl and into the freezer.

The ice cream remains almost white as in this recipe, because I used just the coffee beans and no liquid coffee.

Served with fruit and chocolate covered coffee bean.