The Perfect New York Cheesecake

I’ve made a few cheesecakes in my life. Some of them dry and heavy, others too sweet and tangy. Yesterday, I made the perfect New York Cheesecake. It came out with a beautiful flat top, no cracks and a perfect height for my liking. I was almost in tears.

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I realised the secret was a lot of patience. All in all, a cheesecake is very easy to make. It is how you bake it that makes a difference. I’ve tried making cheesecakes with and without a water bath, and at different temperatures. After watching a few YouTube videos, I finally found the perfect method. I was jittery throughout the 2 hours the cake was in the oven so I had to force myself to keep calm and watch an episode or two of Orange is the New Black on my laptop. But trust me. It was worth it.

This is probably the only recipe I know by hard because it’s actually my sister’s recipe. Hehe perks of being bullied into helping them I suppose.

New York Cheesecake

200g chocolate digestives (I used the ones from Marks and Spencers)

80g melted butter

3 packs of Philadelphia cream cheese (softened to room temperature)

200ml Bulla Premium Sour Cream (you can use light sour cream too)

1 cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

juice from half a lemon

3 eggs

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
  2. Blitz the digestives in a food processor. Add the melted butter and mix well. Press the biscuit base into the base of the spring-form pan to form a crust of about 1 centimetres. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar till fluffy, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in vanilla essence and lemon juice.
  4. Gradually add eggs, one at a time and be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to mix everything well.
  5. Add in sour cream and give the batter one last mix.
  6. Before pouring the batter into the spring form pan, wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminium foil. This will prevent any leakages or any water from the water bath leaking into the pan.
  7. Place the spring form pan in a bigger baking pan. Fill the bigger pan with hot water.
  8. Pour the cheesecake batter into the spring form pan. Make the top as neat and smooth as possible. Cover the top with a piece of aluminium foil.
  9. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for an hour. After an hour, continue to bake but remove the aluminium foil on top. Bake for another 30-40 minutes, until the top has a nice brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  10. DO NOT TAKE THE CAKE OUT OF THE OVEN. Switch off the oven, and leave the door of your oven slightly ajar by placing a wooden spoon to keep it open. Leave it in the oven for another 45 minutes. This will prevent the cake from cracking due to the sudden change in temperature.
  11. Take the cake out and remove from water bath and let it cool for another 2 hours before placing in the fridge overnight.
  12. Cake is best served chill with coffee on the side. Enjoy!

Cafe Hopping: Max Brenners

I finally have my weekends back, although it’s only this week that I can happily go out and recharge myself after a whole month of working every day. I still need to edit the photos of 2 weddings and a graduation shoot, though. But I did manage to steal some time off earlier today to catch up with a fellow Temasekian junior. The last time we met was 6 years ago, and I still remember him as the small cute little 13 year-old. He’s now taller than me. Sigh.

It all started when he instgrammed asking his followers if anyone would like to accompany him to Max Brenner. Me, being shameless and with no plans for the weekend (okay I lied I had my friends over last night), messaged him on Facebook and voila, Max Brenner here we come!

I knew what I wanted right from the start. I order the churros fondue after much hype over it all over social media. The churros were delicious and not too sweet, but I don’t recommend eating this as your lunch. We were there at 1pm, and it was quite empty, only to realise the crowd came in at 2pm, AFTER lunch. It kinda makes sense, just that we were two greedy idiots who wanted all the chocolate in the world for lunch.

He had the crepes (we debated on the actual pronunciation, and decided to pronounce it as craps, as in shit crap) which were divine. Caramel sauce was not too overpowering and the bananas and strawberries let you pretend you’re eating healthy.

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Churros. Simply perfect.

ImageHe had the kangaroo cup thingy which is actually a macchiato.

Lesson learnt for my friend – put sugar in the macchiato.

Overall, the service was so-so (I had to keep asking for refills of iced water), but the ambience is cosy. Although try to come before the crowd comes in, which means eat chocolate for lunch.

Max Brenner’s I12 Katong

Phone: 63450616
Hours: Sun – Thu: 10:00 – 23:30, Fri – Sat: 10:00 – 01:00

Cafe Hopping: Strangers Reunion

The thing about not being a student anymore is I now have the spending power. I don’t mind going somewhere a little bit more expensive to read and chill over coffee with my girlfriends. Since last Friday was Teachers’ Day, I met up with my other teacher friends to talk over coffee. I wanted to bring them to Strangers Reunion since everyone has been raving about it. Also, I wanted to start on the 20 cafes I should be visiting in Singapore. Might as well explore my own country as well, right?

The place was cosy, not too posh or fancy. In fact, it was a bit rustic. I liked that they made use of natural lighting as much as possible. Netizens have been talking about the coffee, but I didn’t feel like having any that day. Hannah and Izzati did get some caffeine so I shared some with them.

ImageThe menu

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Hannah’s Piccolo LatteImage

Izzati’s Flat White

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My Buttermilk Waffles with Strawberry Maceration!Image

Hannah’s Apple Pie
ImageAnd Izzati’s Strawberry Almond Flan

We enjoyed the coffee as much as we loved the desserts. Their buttermilk waffles deserved two thumbs up! I love love love the soft and buttery waffles. Plus the strawberries were sweet and juicy! Would I come back here? Hell yes! I should try other things on their menu too, like the matcha cake. YUM.

Strangers Reunion

Address: 37 Kampong Bahru Rd, 169356
Phone: 9368 3610
Opens daily: 9:00 am–10:00 pm