When some days get rough, and you still want cheesecake


I remember the June of 2011. It had been two months since the office gave us the shutting down surprise. Two months since I was out of work. Two months since shaping up this blog. Suffice it to say, I was broke. But that didn't stop me from not wanting to eat cheesecake. What do you say, life is tough. 


This is a very simple cheesecake. And it isn't rich at all. It's what I'd call the cheesecake for the broke and lazy. Not much of work or cream cheese. If you don't want to blitz the biscuits, just mix up the dough and butter. No, we don't have a cheesecake where you can just say presto chango to a block of cream cheese and make it turn into a cheesecake. This does involve some work, but then not too much.  


It's a simple plain ol' cheesecake with some strawberries thrown in for pleasure. I specially love the edges of cheesecakes and I think they themselves are pieces of art. And I don't have to say, but delicious too! 


Okay so, this cheesecake here has a big story behind it. I think I made this to commemorate my job loss. I was excited to spend my midnights tending to my cheesecakes and not worry about waking up. For me, 4 in the morning up until 8 is the best time to sleep. That was the power I was craving for. Although it also meant I no longer had the power to spend on buying up cute Emile Henry stuff for my kitchen. 


So here is the 'broke-days' special cheesecake. With a gorgeous strawberries-in-brown sugar syrup. I describe this as a dismantling of all your senses. When you see the strawberry syrup drip down the rims and edges of the cheesecake, you will know exactly what I mean. 


Have you ever been aroused by the sight of a cheesecake dripping with luscious brown sugar syrup? Almost, at least? I think I need to change my blog's reader settings to 18+.

While you sit helpless thinking what to do about the 'arousal' dilemma, shall I play you my cheesy cheesecake song? No, I don't think it will help. We got Hues Corporation 78 disco hit 'Rock the Boat'. Certainly one of my favourites!

RECIPE: Strawberry Cheesecake with Vanilla pastry base

The vanilla pastry base is from Martha Stewart Living

  • 113g unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 160 Degrees C

To make the vanilla pastry base: Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy; about 3-4 minutes. Mix in egg yolk and vanilla then add flour and salt, mix until just combined. Place dough on the cheesecake tin and using your fingers, spread the dough over the base of the tin. Make sure it’s even. Chill [the pan] while you make the filling.

For the filling, I used

  • 250g or 1 block of cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar [You can control this part depending on how sweet you like your cheesecake to be]
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To bake it:

1. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and free of lumps. Even if you have lumps, don't worry. We are going to sieve the batter before it goes into the pan. But don't use that as an excuse for being careless.

2. Add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add the egg. If you are using 2 small eggs, do it one at a time. Beat slowly just until well combined.

4. Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla.

5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters at intervals. The batter should be well-mixed but not over-beaten. Pour the filling onto the crust and smoothen the top with a spatula.

6. Bake for 50 minutes. When the centre is still a bit wobbly, it's done. Let cool in the pan with the oven door ajar for 30 minutes. Take it out, run a knife around the inside of the rim of the pan, and let it sit for another 20 minutes. Chill overnight.

Strawberries in Brown Sugar Syrup

Get some Strawberries [washed], slice the tops off. Cut them into halves and then slice into thirds. Place them in a bowl with 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/4 cup brown sugar. You could add a pinch of salt too. Set it aside while the cheesecake is cooling. Stir occasionally while you impatiently wait for the cheesecake to cool down [or while you wickedly bite off a piece of the very warm cheesecake, that's how I do it]. The juices will be released and it will make the syrup. I have to say I did the cooked version.