Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rum & Raisin Cheesecake

Rum & Raisin Cheesecake - needs more work to make it taste as great as it sounds.

It's CS' birthday. I mulled over for weeks what to buy him. Would I throw him a party? Every year he insists he doesn't want any kind of party. “It's just another day” says he. So, to honour his wishes, I keep it low key. We do, however, throw in a present, a special dinner (pizza!) and a specially made cake. Looking back the past few years, there's always a specially made cake for birthdays. Did we just 'slide' into this tradition? I'd like to think that I made an effort on these 4 very special days in the year and it will be a family tradition. In the years to come, I hope my children will have memories of the tastes and scents of a very special birthday cake, and pass that on to their kids.

On to the cake. Rum & Raisin Cheesecake – an 'adult' cake and had decadence written all over it. Perfect for CS' birthday and if it turned out as well as it sounded, he'd be bowled over. He admires a well made cheesecake. Ingredients were simple, easy to make and took much less time than I had anticipated.

Rum & Raisin Cheesecake (adapted from Ultimate Cheesecakes)

1 cup oats
¼ cup chopped nuts (I used macadamia)
3 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp packed brown sugar

2 packages Philly cream cheesecake
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp rum (increase to 3 tbsp if not serving children!)
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup minus 2 tbsp flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins
¼ chopped nuts (again, macadamia)
2 tb oats

Combine base ingredients and press onto bottom of a 9” springform pan. Bake at 180C for 10 minutes.

Combine cream cheese, granulated sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium till well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Blend in rum. Pour over base.

Cut butter into flour till it resembles coarse oatmeal. Add in sugar and stir. Stir in raisins, nuts and oats. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture. Bake at 180C for 45 minutes. Loosen cake from pan and cool completely in pan. Chill overnight (or at least a few hours) before serving.

The result, to be honest, was good, but certainly below expectation. Next time, I shall make the following changes :

Soak the raisins in the rum and dump the whole lot in the cheesecake batter. By sprinkling over the cake, the raisins dried out.

Use 3 tbsp rum!!!

Chop up the nuts into finer pieces, or grind them. The chunkier nuts got a little bit more burnt than I would've liked. Would probably change from macadamia to almonds or walnuts. The high oil content in macadamia's could've been another reason why they got burnt.

And definitely chill the cake before serving. Tastes so much better.

And so, even after all that technical discussion on how to make the cheesecake better, Etienne gave it a thumbs up and the birthday boy ate every last morsel on his plate. Happy Birthday darling. I love you!

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