As if it wasn't already obvious enough, cheesecakes are one of my favourite things to bake (and eat!!).
Going to a local university has introduced me to many people from all parts of Singapore - not that Singapore is very big (it really isn't) - but I guess it has made me realise how much of a protected little bubble sjii was. And I kinda miss it. In fact, I've been missing it a lot more than usual in the past few weeks. We're three weeks into the semester, and I'm still trying to find my footing. Maybe I just miss the comfort and familiarity of a place I spent most of my days in for three and a half years. But one needs to remember to keep looking forward.
I am awfully tired, having spent a good part of last week doing (or rushing) my email assignment. Starting it from scratch definitely contributed to my growing eyebags. Anyway, I need to learn to manage my time better, but that's probably the story of every law student's life. Celebrated the completion of my assignment with a great brunch with mommy and my first ever IFG tennis game, which turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. Don't we all love pleasant surprises. I also received a (not-so-pleasant) surprise in the form of a broken shoe during the warm-up period of my first match. I had to borrow shoes for that match, and the subsequent one.
On a whole, most of the people I've met so far have been pretty open and friendly. But due to the nature of uni, it feels like most of these friendships are mere hi-bye ones, as everyone is literally everywhere, all the time. You do get to meet a lot of people though. Anyway, it was my friend Mel's birthday this Tuesday, and our OG got together to throw a little birthday surprise in the summit for her and Gen, whose birthday fell on Thursday. I didn't have enough time to bake for Gen, so our friend Belle made a delicious (and huge) tiramisu for her, and it propelled tiramisu towards the top of my to-bake list! Anyhow, it was a successful surprise, and it was nice to have everyone together again, even if it was just for a short while :-)
During Matriculation Week, I remember being rather bored in one of the talks, and Mel and I started talking about cakes. Mel's favourite cakes are both cheesecakes and carrot cakes; and we tossed around the idea of having a carrot cake cheesecake come into existence - and that's how the idea of baking this carrot cake cheesecake for her was born! I initially struggled with deciding how to go about making this - I thought about baking a layer of carrot cake followed by a layer of cheesecake, but that felt a bit boring. I wanted to infuse the flavour of carrot cake into the cheesecake, but I didn't think that all those spices would go well in a good old new york cheesecake.
I finally decided on baking a carrot cake and then folding the pieces into a cheesecake, firmly crossing my fingers that the carrot cake pieces would not overbake in the cheesecake. I believe it was the moisture from the cream cheese that kept the chunks moist; a piece of wisdom imparted from a fellow baker on Insta! The result was a creamy, albeit slightly dense, cheesecake that Mel (thankfully) liked! My only gripe was that the crust was kind of soggy, and thinner than. I will adjust the recipe for it accordingly, and update if necessary hehe.
The carrot cake recipe was adapted from Jamie Oliver's, while the cheesecake recipe was adapted from my cookie butter cheesecake's.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake
For the Carrot Cake
✿ 250g softened buter
✿ 50g brown sugar
✿ 5 large eggs, separated
✿ 1 tsp lemon juice
✿ 1 tsp vanilla extract
✿ 170g self-raising flour, sifted
✿ 1 heaped tsp baking powder
✿ 100g ground almonds
✿ 100g walnuts
✿ 1 tsp cinnamon
✿ 250g peeled, grated carrots
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan.
Stir the sifted flour and baking powder together.
Beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high until pale and fluffy, followed by the egg yolks, one by one. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Next add the flour and baking powder mixture on low, followed by the ground almonds, walnuts and cinnamon on the same low speed. Mix until just combined.
Whisk your egg whites until stiff peaks form, and fold them into the cake mix. Pour your batter into your baking pan and bake for about 45-50 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean/the cake is springy to the touch. Let it cool before cutting it into tiny pieces.
For the Cheesecake
✿ 200g digestive biscuits
✿ 45g melted butter
✿ 400g cream cheese, softened
✿ 50g granulated sugar
✿ 100ml sour cream
✿ 1 tsp vanilla extract
✿ a dash of lemon juice
✿ 2 eggs
✿ carrot cake pieces
✿ walnuts/pecans/caramel/wtv for toppings!!!!!
Preheat your oven to 162 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 8-inch cake pan. (I didn't have my springform pan back yet). Crush your digestives and mix them with the melted butter. Press into the base of your pan and pre-bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.
On medium-high speed, cream the cream cheese and sugar together for about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, sour cream and lemon juice, followed by the eggs, one at a time. Fold the pieces of carrot cake into the cake. You can also crumble them in!
Bake cheesecake in a water bath for about 55 minutes. Let it cool in the oven for about 10-15 minutes before taking it out to let it cool to room temperature. Decorate with your toppings (if desired)! I toasted some walnuts and put them atop the cake with a drizzle of caramel sauce and crumbled carrot cake. When done, transfer it to the fridge to let it cool some more :-)