Balance | Strawberry Cheesecake

Hello,

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It’s been a week over a month since I’ve posted on Bakering. But, it’s been a very longtime since I’ve came up with this ideology, unresolvable question, *I actually can’t quite put my finger on it at the moment but let’s call it a theme for now*, which I plan to share with you today.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been speaking French crazily due to the fact that I had my French orals which by the way, went pretty well despite the fact that I felt as if I didn’t put enough effort to prepare. Being the worry wuss that I am, after the orals, I felt as if I had achieved my grade by scoring just a few marks above the grade boundary.  Therefore, knowing that I could have secured my grade better if I had put a little bit more of effort made me feel slightly guilty. Moreover, it made me recall a motif (that’s the word that I was thinking of!) which had always bugged me as I struggled with it right from the beginning of my childhood up till now. It is…

Balance.

Balance is currently and will continue to be something that I will struggle with for the rest of my life. Finding balance comes in many different shapes and forms whether it is in the common saying “work hard, play hard”, balancing the time you spend with your family and friends or even something as simple as getting the correct ratio of biscuit base to cheesecake filling, it is immeasurable in the majority of situations that I have encountered.

As a diehard perfectionist, I, alike many teenagers in this world struggle to find the balance between procrastinating on social media and working or even going out to do sports -#whatisoutside #istayindoors247. Honestly, how do we ever find “balance”? Is it attainable? What is the perfect balance of working (on my french orals) and relaxing (stalking food blogs like a food-psychopath)? It seems like I will never know, regardless of how many Time Magazine articles I read on psychology and good time management.

With that being said, my orals cannot be changed as I completed them last week. However, I still have a chance of redemption in balancing the juggling balls of responsibility that are thrown at me each day. Hence, I decided to finally make my friend’s belated birthday “mini-cake”, in hopes of achieving a cheesecake that didn’t burn like the one I made on my 14th birthday…

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*comment below if you would like to hear the embarrassing story of my burnt cheesecake in a future post, but if I were to be honest with you, I’d like to keep that little shred of dignity so that I won’t scare you all away with my disastrous kitchen experience*

Cheesecakes are one of all time favourite desserts but if I remember correctly, this is the first time I’ve ever posted a cheesecake recipe. Whether it is the flavourful American Cheesecake or the lighter and fluffier Japanese-style cheesecake, I’ve always loved eating cheesecake. Although now, as a food technology student who understands more about the science behind baking different cakes, I’ve learnt to love cheesecake even more for its independence from flour and its faith in coagulating due to the humble egg. I am proud to say that the recipe below is not a recipe that I adapted but one that I formulated myself by comparing the proportions of ingredients in various recipes in order to find the perfect balance of ingredients to make this cheesecake. For me, this is the type of balance I love in my cheesecake, but the question I have for you to muse over as you make and bake this cheesecake is:

“How do you achieve balance in your life, whether it’s cooking or work, etc.?”

In finality, Thank you and a mini shoutout to Shannon who this cake was for:

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ilysm… *not really* :’)

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!

Voila, c’est le gâteau d’anniversaire pour ma meilleure amie!

Strawberry Cheesecake
Time: 2-3 hours (not including chilling over night)
Servings: Makes 2 mini cheesecakes for approx. 3-4 people

Ingredients
Homemade Base:
30g Almond Flour
80g Plain Flour
40g Caster Sugar
75g Butter (slightly softened)
Cheesecake:
500g Cream Cheese (softened)
90g Caster Sugar
3 Small Eggs (Room temperature)
1 large lemon
10-15 Strawberries

Method
Preheat your oven to 150ºC
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, plain flour and caster sugar with a whisk to remove lumps.
Chop 70g butter into cubes and add to the mixing bowl to rub with the flour mixture till a dough is formed.
Grease two mini springform pans with the remaining 5g of butter and press the rough dough mixture into the tins in an even layer
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and set aside to cool and change the temperature to 160ºC
Meanwhile, using a stand mixer/hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and fluffy
Gradually add the sugar whilst beating and when fully combined, add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
Grate the zest of one lemon into the cake and add the juice of the whole lemon into the batter.
Mix well and pour the batter over the cheesecake bases in an even layer*
In a bain-marie, bake the cake for 25-30 minutes until the cheesecakes have a slight wobble in the centre when you shake them.
Take out and leave them to cool for 20 minutes on your kitchen counter before chilling for a minimum of 4 hours. Best to leave them overnight.
When ready to serve, top with strawberries, whipped cream, or any coulis of your choice. Enjoy!

*The batter will seem rather runny but this is normal, I assure you.

~Flora

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