No Bake Dates Cheesecake – for 3 years of blogging and 100,000 hits

Dates Cheesecake

3 years of blogging !!!  I had started this blog  on a whim . A gentle prodding from a couple of friends and relatives .. and I entered into the world of blogging.. It definitely helped me learn new things – be it decorating cakes, baking breads or food photography.  And it has helped me connect with people who share a passion for food .

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There were times when I was not happy with my photography and kept away from posting because of the poor quality of the snaps.  Submitting photos to the food sites, foodgawker and tastespotting , and the photos getting rejected many a time. During those times, my friends and family would keep pushing me. Thanks to all you wonderful people who kept inspiring and encouraging me

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We’ve got one more reason to celebrate – the blog has crossed 1 lakh hits  !! Definintely something sweet , for this double celebration !!   I got this recipe from hubby’s aunt  (Elemma) who is a superb cook. I have been making this dates cheesecake for the last 10 years and it has never failed to get the wow feedback .And it is a fairly easy recipe too .
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It is better to prepare this  about a day in advance so that the flavour of dates is well absorbed by the cheesecake layer . Here is the step by step procedure. You can find the full recipe at the end of the post.

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Heat a pan. Add 2 tbsp of butter . When it melts add 6 tbsp of sugar. Let the sugar caramalise on medium flame. step1

Add the chopped dates to the caramalised sugar . Stir and mix in the dates. Add abt 1/4 cup of water and continue to mix till the water evaporates and you get a soft paste of dates. Spoon the dates paste to the pudding dish or individual glasses

step2

To make the cheesecake layer – Mix 200ml fresh cream and 2 tins of Nestle cream and 2 tbsp sugar .Soak 1 tbsp of gelatin in 5 tbsp of cold water for about 10 minutes. Double boil the gelatin till it is completely dissolved. Add the gelatin to the cream mixture. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence.

step3

Pour the cream over the dates layer and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.step4

Beat 1 sachet of dreamwhip powder with 1/2 cup of milk and few drops of vanilla essence using an egg beater for 5-8 minutes. Pour the whipping cream over the cheesecake layer.

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NO BAKE DATES CHEESECAKE

Recipe Source – Elemma

NO BAKE DATES CHEESECAKE

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE DATES LAYER

  • Dates, deseeded and chopped – 400 gm
  • Butter – 2tbsp
  • Sugar – 6 tbsp
  • Water – 1/4 cup

FOR THE CHEESECAKE  LAYER

  • Fresh cream – 200 ml
  • Nestle cream – 2 tins
  • Gelatin – 1 tbsp
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM LAYER

  • Dreamwhip  – 1 sachet
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

METHOD

FOR THE DATES LAYER

  1. Heat a pan. Add 2 tbsp of butter .
  2. When it melts add 6 tbsp of sugar. Let the sugar caramalise on medium flame.
  3. Add the chopped dates to the caramalised sugar . Stir and mix in the dates.
  4.  Add about 1/4 cup of water and continue to mix till the water evaporates and you get a soft paste of dates.
  5. Spoon the dates paste to the pudding dish or individual glasses

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER

  1. Mix 200ml fresh cream and 2 tins of Nestle cream and 2 tbsp sugar .
  2. Soak 1 tbsp of gelatin in 5 tbsp of cold water for about 10 minutes.
  3. Double boil the gelatin till it is completely dissolved.
  4. Add the gelatin to the cream mixture. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  5. Pour the cream over the dates layer and refrigerate it for 3-4 hours.

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM LAYER

  1. Beat 1 sachet of dreamwhip powder with 1/2 cup of milk and few drops of vanilla essence using an egg beater for 5-8 minutes.
  2. Pour the whipping cream over the cheesecake layer and refrigerate for 2 hours

Note:  The cheesecake tastes best the next day, as it gives enough time for the dates flavour to be well absorbed by the cheesecake layer.

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Yeasted Filled Meringue Coffee Cake

This was my first Daring Baker challenge. To be honest I was nervous as I read through the challenge , unsure whether it would come out well…  For a few days I kept on going through the recipe and the discussion forum where the fellow Daring Bakers had posted their successful results…  Well , after a few days I summoned up the courage to get going.. The filling for the coffee cake could be anything of our choice and I decided it would be pistachios for mine , as they would complement the chocochips in taste and visual appeal 🙂 …

As I was rolling out the first meringue, I thought of adding dates to the second coffee cake along with  the pista and nuts… again I was not sure how it would turn out, but went ahead with my instinct..

Apart from the  minor mishap of filling the meringue till the end of the rolled dough which made it a bit difficult in joining the ends together and keeping away the over enthusiastic kids from the chocolate filled dough kept for rising 🙂  the rest of the process went smoothly …

And the coffee cakes looked beautiful and was soft in texture :)… The kids loved the pista and chocochips version… I loved the dates with the chocolate…Hubby dear thought it was from the bakery 🙂 .. hmm all in all, it was worth the effort .. Thank you Daring Bakers for giving this wonderful challenge… and to my bro once again for the beautiful snaps in this post…

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

Makes 2 round coffee cakes, each approximately 10 inches in diameter
The recipe can easily be halved to make one round coffee cake

Ingredients
For the yeast coffee cake dough:

4 cups (600 g / 1.5 lbs.) flour
¼ cup (55 g / 2 oz.) sugar
¾ teaspoon (5 g / ¼ oz.) salt
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons / 7 g / less than an ounce) active dried yeast
¾ cup (180 ml / 6 fl. oz.) whole milk
¼ cup (60 ml / 2 fl. oz. water (doesn’t matter what temperature)
½ cup (135 g / 4.75 oz.) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup (110 g / 4 oz.) sugar

For the filling:

1 cup (110 g / 4 oz.) chopped pistachios
2 Tablespoons (30 g / 1 oz.) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (170 g / 6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips or coarsely chopped chocolate

For the dates paste in filling : (for 1 coffee cake)

10 dates pitted and chopped
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup water
1-2 tbsp sugar

Egg wash: 1 beaten egg
Cocoa powder (optional) and confectioner’s sugar (powdered/icing sugar) for dusting cakes

Directions:

Prepare the dough:

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups (230 g) of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast.

In a saucepan, combine the milk, water and butter and heat over medium heat until warm and the butter is just melted. Ria’s version: add the 10 saffron threads to the warmed liquid and allow to steep off of the heat for 10 minutes. This will give the mixture a distinct aroma and flavor and a yellowish-orange hue.

With an electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the warm liquid to the flour/yeast mixture, beating until well blended. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes. Add the eggs and 1 cup (150 g) flour and beat for 2 more minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that holds together. Turn out onto a floured surface (use any of the 1 ½ cups of flour remaining) and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft, smooth, sexy and elastic, keeping the work surface floured and adding extra flour as needed.

Place the dough in a lightly greased (I use vegetable oil) bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise until double in bulk, 45 – 60 minutes. The rising time will depend on the type of yeast you use.

Prepare your filling:In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar for the filling .

For the dates paste : Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp of butter. When it melts add the pitted and chopped dates. Add 1/4 cup water and let it boil. Stir till the dates get mashed. Add 1-2 tbsp of sugar depending on your taste.

Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue:
In a clean mixing bowl – ideally a plastic or metal bowl so the egg whites adhere to the side (they slip on glass) and you don’t end up with liquid remaining in the bottom – beat the egg whites with the salt, first on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high and continue beating until foamy and opaque. Add the vanilla then start adding the ½ cup sugar, a tablespoon at a time as you beat, until very stiff, glossy peaks form.

Assemble the Coffee Cakes:

Line 2 baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, working one piece of the dough at a time (keep the other half of the dough wrapped in plastic), roll out the dough into a 20 x 10-inch (about 51 x 25 ½ cm) rectangle. Spread half of the meringue evenly over the rectangle up to about 1/2-inch (3/4 cm) from the edges. Sprinkle half of  the chopped pistachios and half of the chocolate chips of the filling of choice evenly over the meringue

Now, roll up the dough jellyroll style, from the long side. Pinch the seam closed to seal. Very carefully transfer the filled log to one of the lined cookie sheets, seam side down. Bring the ends of the log around and seal the ends together, forming a ring, tucking one end into the other and pinching to seal.

Using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife (although scissors are easier), make cuts along the outside edge at 1-inch (2 ½ cm) intervals. Make them as shallow or as deep as desired but don’t be afraid to cut deep into the ring.

Repeat with the remaining dough, meringue and fillings.

Cover the 2 coffee cakes with plastic wrap and allow them to rise again for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Brush the tops of the coffee cakes with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden brown. The dough should sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheets onto the table. Very gently loosen the coffee cakes from the paper with a large spatula and carefully slide the cakes off onto cooling racks. Allow to cool.

Just before serving, dust the tops of the coffee cakes with confectioner’s sugar as well as cocoa powder if using chocolate in the filling. These are best eaten fresh, the same day or the next day.