Daylight savings clock time ended this morning. Despite the additional hour in bed, it doesn't excite me much as the days are getting shorter and definitely very depressing to see the night already falling in around 4.30pm everyday with biting cold air creeping in and skin cracking due to dryness. What is a person who loathe cold weather like me to do in this time of the year? Well, easy, bake, eat and hibernate till there are more important things to attend to!
Cheesecakes have always been my favorite besides mousse cakes but knowing that I will pile on tonnes of dairy fat in my system with every delish piece brings me back to my health consciences! Sometimes I really admire those lucky devils out there who can really eat and not put on a single ounce when all I can do is count my calories and eat with guilt! Life can be so unfair isn't it?
Cheesecake is the type of cake that you have to eat one big slice to satisfy the cravings. Whether it is steam baked, non-bake or wholly baked, I welcome them anytime. The big chunk of creamy cream cheese in the New York style cheesecake was a bit too much for me to make today and I opted for a baked cheesecake instead, where the cheese is all baked into the cake and out of sight.
My initial plan was to bake this cheesecake with pistachio which gives a very nice green color together with the lingonberry preserve. I thought I saw it yesterday somewhere in the pantry and after a mad 10 mins search, I asked Curry. "Oh.... I cracked up everything and ate them last night"! Hmm..... John McCain must have been very funny on Saturday Night Live last night to make him stayed up that late and finished all my pistachio! And so, I threw in chopped walnuts instead. When comes to baking, I can be more Drama Queen than Sarah Palin on stage and I was ready to get the keys to the grocery store to get the pistachio if I didn't locate the walnuts.
Perhaps the Neufchatel Cheese that I used was a generic one from my grocery store or the amount I added was not enough , this cake was actually light in taste and the cheese flavor was very subtle. The addition of butter made the texture of this cake very nice, not too moist and not too dry, easy to cut and rose up nicely in the mini angel tube pans. The walnuts gave a nice chunky bite while the lingonberry preserve added a touch of tartness. Infact, I think I made a nice butter cake instead of a cheesecake. The most important thing in making this cheesecake was to have all the ingredients at room temperature and the eggs were beaten before adding to the cream cheese and butter mixture. For all types of cake, I always use cake flour and never all purpose flour. The texture is just more softer. I only think the transferring of the batter into the tube pans was a bit of a hassle as they measured approximately 4 inches and the batter was not creamy consistency but rather like butter cake batter which needs spooning and spreading with the spatula and of course, a good tapping of the baking pans on the countertop to make sure there are no bubble pockets. I set the oven at 350F and baked 3 mini angel tube cheesecakes for 35 mins. As always, I was not keen to use the fancy decorating tips and the piping bag and I simply spooned lingonberry preserve straight from the jar on top of the cakes. With the magic of confectioner sugar, the cakes look pretty enough to adorn any cake shops or cafe table! And of course, the taste is homemade as always and I find this the easiest cheesecake to make anytime. It took me 15 minutes to prepare the batter and 35 minutes to bake. For a lazy Sunday, this is all I want with a cup of hot tea.