Thursday, November 15, 2012

The weather is now very convincingly autumn - the naked, leaf-less trees, the dark sky that looms overhead more often than not, the random gusts of wind that make you wish you had put on an extra layer before you left the house...

And what better way to welcome this autumn than to bake? I've always felt like cheesecake was made to be eaten during chilly/cold seasons, and the cheesecake that I will show you how to make today (because I said that I would do so last week), is a combination of the autumn-est flavours: which I will tell you later when you read more. 

I took too many pictures with this cardboard cut-out. Thank you, best friend/girlfriend for being a patient photographer. :)

Before I get to the point, I'd like you to know that I've watched 007! Apparently I watched it on the opening day (the 9th), but I swear it was supposed to be on the 7th (007, right?). *Checked on Google just now, and it really is on the 9th.*, which explains why there was an amazing line-up, and also why I ended up sitting on the fourth row from the front, and ended up having my neck straining from having to stare at the movie screen. 

I was never really fond of Daniel Craig as the new 007, but maybe because in my mind Pierce Brosnan was the ideal 007. Anyway, it was still a very good movie if you're looking for action and whatnot. The screen time of sexy ladies were rather disappointing though.

Roasted mushroom salad, with feta, roasted sweet peppers, tangy vinaigrette, croutons.

And what is a movie without a dinner? My friends and I went over to Casey's or Kelsey's: I still don't really remember which, but I remember that I shared a roasted mushroom salad with the best friend/girlfriend (because we had 2 baked rices and French toast at Phoenix just a couple of hours prior). 
The rest had this appetizer and a rack of ribs and wings...

Some cheesy dip with pita bread and chips. 

I didn't have any of this - I was eyeing the coleslaw the entire time, though.

Let me tell you now that I don't really know the measurements for the cheesecake, I just kind of put everything in, tasted it a few times in between, and hoped for the best (and it turned out to be pretty close to the best). My taste preference tends to lean over to the less-sweet side, so if you like your desserts sweeter, please add more condensed milk or sugar accordingly. 

You can see the apples inside!

Did you want to eat some of this cheesecake? Now you can - if you follow these (simple?) steps:

~ Ingredients ~

7-8 crushed cream crackers
handful of crushed hazelnuts/pecans/walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 c butter, melted

[apple filling]
2-3 cored, peeled, chopped apples
2 tsp pumpkin spice
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter

[cheese filling]
250 g room temperature cream cheese (1 block)
1/2 c condensed milk
1/4 c sour cream
2 tbsp flour
3 room temperature eggs

~ This is how to make the crust (if you want to make the crust) ~

My mom's and my favourite afternoon snack, paired with coffee or milk tea.

Thank goodness no one complained about the loud banging noise from crushing the hazelnuts.

1. Mix everything together in a bowl.

2. Press it onto the bottom of your lined baking pan.

Tip: use a plastic glove (or a bag as a glove) to press it down with your hand.

3. Bake for 15 minutes at 375F

~ For the apple pie-like filling ~

I used Cortland apples, but feel free to use any apple you have handy.

I added an extra apple in last minute. :)

1. Mix everthing together

This is how mine looked like after I pan fried it.

2. Pan fry in the pan at medium high heat until it apples are soft but still intact.

~ Now, the cream cheese filling ~

You'll want an electric beater for this.

1. Beat the cream cheese until really soft.

Plop, plop: I don't think I used anything to measure this...

See those lumps? You want to beat it until there are no more lumps - after each step.

2. Add the condensed milk and sour cream and beat until smooth.

3. Add flour and beat until smooth.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth.

5. Spread a layer of cheesecake filling onto your crust, then place the apples, and lastly, cover the apples with more cheesecake filling.

6. Bake at 300F for 45 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with small crumbs.

I really like the nutty aroma of the crust. Maybe you don't like nuts - just don't put any in.

Let it cool when you're done, then you can cut it with a knife that's been dipped in hot water (for clean cuts).

I named this an autumn cheesecake because of the apples - which are fall fruits -, and the pumpkin spice. I love eating pumpkin -anything: cake, cheesecake, soup, pudding/flan, latte, plain steamed... So when I saw pumpkin spice at bulk barn, I had to buy it and attempt to incorporate it somehow into my baked goods.

That is all for the cheesecake. I hope you feel tempted to make some now :)
Here is some more food from my previous week:

Warm buttery croissant with caramelized onions and medium boiled egg.

I was craving for croissants last week and ended up buying a dozen (which I shared with my lovely European friend who never gets fat despite eating food constantly all throughout the day - and night).

Mango konnyaku with goji and chrysanthemum.

Konnyaku is a type of jelly made from a plant called konjac, and you probably are more familiar to it as the jelly in lychee cups:

The lychee cups that all Chinese children eat.

The konnyaku I bought was in the form of a powder, and it was mango flavoured. I like to buy this because you have to add in your own sugar (thus I can adjust the sweetness to my liking). I took the chrysanthemums from my stash of various teas, and softened the goji berries in water before adding them in.

Making konnyaku is almost like making jell-o, but you just have to boil the jelly instead of simply putting hot water. 

A piece of persimmon in the background.

Canada has become slightly more awesome because now 20$s come in the nice new bills :) I can't wait until there are new ones for tens and fives. 

And I can't wait for you to read my blog in the future. 



It was best friend/girlfriend's birthday recently, and we went to an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant for lunch. What we ate shall be discussed later, as the point is what happened after the lunch:

I met the white Mitsubishi of my friend's friend. 
One of the few big goals I have in life is to own a more than decent car, so I can look cool, like this:

I want to be cool because cool people sparkle

Right now I have a white R34 GT-R as my desktop background - since staring at it everyday helps me cope with the fact that I'll never have a real one.

But - you don't have to have an awesome car to be cool,

You're already cool because you're reading this awesome blog :)