August is a busy month for me. 3 family members are celebrating their birthdays this month. First, it will be sis, J's birthday. Well, for birthday cakes, I need something more presentable. I can't possibly give her a 'naked' cake. However, I do have a problem. I sucked at piping cream on cakes. This is my second decorated cake. My first was done in last November.
I tried out Florence's Chilled Mango Cheesecake last year. Her recipes are clear and a breeze to use. Since I wanted to make Lemon Curd, I planned incorporate it in the cheesecake. The curd's consistency is not unlike mango puree so it is easy for substitution. Also, I followed her suggestion of adding an extra 1/2 tsp of gelatin as I would like to replace half the cheese used with yoghurt. This resulted a lighter version of cheesecake, refreshing and easy on the calories. However, you have to use plain set yoghurt which is thicker and more tangy.
It was a crazy Saturday as I had to make the lemon curd in the morning. Spent some family time, shop for groceries at the supermarket. Rushed back to prepare the cake and cook dinner. I had to let the cake set for at least 3 hours before I could remove it for dressing up. The moment of truth. Half way through piping, I almost wanted to give up. Prior to this, I did a research of different piping techniques from this site. I thought the site was informative and should be relatively easy to re-create what was demonstrated there. I didn't have time to practise so I just went ahead with it. I did a shell border for the bottom. While it looked passable but I didn't use the method taught. Hey, anything as long as I get there. Hmm.. promising. So I tried with the reverse shell. It was hideous, I had to scrape the cream off. Star border didn't work out either. At last, I settled with something suspiciously, looking somewhat like a zig-zag border. I didn't follow the instructions. I figured if I scrape and re-do the cream again, the cake would melt. Verdict : I still sucked at piping cream. I used some coloured dragees to liven up the cake. Perhaps using silver dragees would be better. The cake had this ivory shade which in my opinion, looked really elegant. Pity it was already close to 9 p.m. when I took this shot. Verdict : I sucked at photography and food styling too.
Lemon Curd Cheesecake
120g Digestive Biscuits, crushed finely
40g Softened butter
100g Cream Cheese, bring to room temperature
100g Yoghurt (Paul's set yoghurt)
60g Fine Sugar
1 Tbsp + 1/2 Tsp Gelatin
3 Tbsp Boiling Water
*make sure the gelatin is melted and kept warm
200g Lemon Curd
200ml Non Dairy Whip Cream, whipped to mousse state and chilled
Topping : (Optional)
100ml Non Dairy Whip Cream, whipped stiff and chilled
3 to 4 Tbsp Lemon Curd
1) Prepare a 7 inch loose base round tin. Mix the crushed biscuits and butter in a bowl. Transfer to the cake tin, using a small spoon to press the base evenly. Chill in the fridge for later use.
2) In a mixing bowl, using a electric whisk, whisk cream cheese, yoghurt and sugar till mixture is creamy and no lumps. Pour in the gelatin mixture, using a hand whisk to incorporate well. Add in lemon curd and whipped cream, stir well.
3) Pour into the prepared cake tin, using a spatula to level the surface. Leave to chill for at least 3 hours. Remove from tin.
4) Choose your desired piping tip and pipe the whipped cream along the edges of the cake. Spoon and spread the curd on top of the cake. Decorate with dragees.
*Note : Decorating is optional. Eating it without the extra curd is fine too. However, I would recommend it.
Have to go brainstorm for the other 2 cakes.