Monday, February 21, 2011

Cheese Mousse Cake

A few weekends ago, I had a Saturday morning brunch for Hubby's birthday. We were 16 people which meant a fair amount of food to prepare and of course the desserts were my specialty. In the midst of all the preparations, I didn't manage to get any photos of the table set up or the other things I made- I always remember after the last bite has been taken! But just BEFORE the last bite was taken on this cake, I  whipped out my camera - so at least it can be seen half eaten!
Also made homemade bagels, which I love, champagne cupcakes with a champagne frosting from the wonderful Sprinkle Bakes and chocolate bread rolls  ( which I can never decide if I want them during my meal or after- slathered with cream cheese!) I'll share the recipe for those sometime soon.

Anyhoo, the Cheese Mousse Cake was the finale and it was amazing, if I say so myself! I love anything with a cinnamon crumble top and even though it is called a cheese "mousse" , it is really just a version of a cheesecake.

The crust is the same as the  crumble topping, just baked in a ring form in advance.

                                        Crumbs before being baked.

                                The final result shortly before it disappeared!

If you'd like to give it a try, here's the how-to:

Ingredients ( for a 24 cm. ring)
Base and crumble topping:
250 grams flour
5 grams baking powder
2 grams cinnamon
100 grams demarra sugar
200 grams cold unsalted butter
1 egg

Make the crumble and base:
1. Heat oven to 180 C ( 350 F).
2. In a food processor with the sharp blade, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and butter to a crumbly mixture.
3. Add the egg and continue processiing until you get a dough that has large, moist crumbs.
4. Take 2/3 of the dough and roll into a leaf  the size of the ring. You can roll it a bit larger and then use the ring to cut the exact size. Place the dough with the ring around it on a baking sheet and pierce holes in it with a fork.
5. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
6. Place the remainder of the crumb dough on a baking sheet and bake together with the base for 15-20 minutes. Cool

Cheese Filling:
300 ml milk
teaspoon vanilla paste
4 egg yolks mixed together with 100 grams sugar
15 grams flour
25 grams cornflour
4 gelatin leaves ( or 16 grams of gelatin powder)
500 grams cream cheese

500 ml. heavy cream
150 grams sugar

Prepare a cream patisserie with all the ingredients except the cheese:
Soak the gelatin in cold water.
Heat the milk to boiling.
Add the cornflour and flour to the egg yolks mixed with the sugar.
Add a small amount of the milk to the egg and stir constantly to even the temperatures, return to pot to thicken.
It's very important to stir it all the time. When you see three or four bubbles, add the softened gelatin and mix to melt.
Pour the mix into a  stand mixer bowl and stir to cool slowly.
When cooled , add the cheese and continue mixing until incorporated.
In a separte bowl, whip 500 ml. of heavy cream with 150 grams of sugar until very thick. Fold the whipped cream into the cheese mixture until fully incorporated.
Pour the mix into the ring with the crumb base.
Cover the top with the remaining crumbs and  press down firmly.
Place in freezer to set for at least 6 hours.
2-3 hours before serving, place in the refrigerator.
Dust with powdered sugar right before serving. Cut with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.

Sounds a bit complicated, but it's really not- just a few steps and worth the effort!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Day Cookies

 Here are some Valentine's day cookies I made just for practice. I'll give them to family and friends. One of these days I'll get myself organized and start to sell them, but until then, I just look for opportunities to bake and decorate!

    pink tinted heart meringues
(had so many leftover egg whites and I refuse to throw them away!)