Monday, January 30, 2012

Celebrating his 49th with a Chocolate Cheesecake

Yesterday was my hubby's birthday.  His 49th. This might sound strange, but I am proud of his age.  He is 18 years my senior.  Everyone gets all surprised when they discover our age difference, and I get a kick out of it.  Right from the start I've always described our relationship as surreal, and for me, it's sort of a fairytale that we ended up together (Alright, don't roll your eyeballs..  I know I'm no Princess Diana).  I think the beauty of our marriage is that we are so different, and yet, so similar, at the same time.

I love that we are both from two different generations.  It's always interesting when he recounts his childhood days, a world which I will never ever get to experience.   I find it funny when he gets all exasperated teaching me how to do things (I admit I'm a pampered brat) and telling me to put all my things back in place after using them (Yep, I have a tendency to leave all my stuff lying around the house.  Over the years, I kind of gathered that I'll be terrible at committing crime cos I'll probably leave a trail of evidence from the crime scene right to my doorstep.).  There are times when I wished I was 10 years older and met him earlier.  But then again, due to the unpredictability of human nature, I might not be attracted to the younger him.   I convince myself again and again during those times that things are perfect as they are now.


This is (if I recall correctly) the 5th birthday I'm spending with him and the first time (this is definite) that I baked a birthday cake for him.  Had a go with Nigella's chocolate cheesecake which I baked late Saturday night.. Both of us had to stay up past midnight.. and I had to bring the cheesecake into our air-conditioned room to spend the night with us as it didn't cool fast enough to be placed in the refrigerator.. Talk about bad-planning. 

Verdict for this 1st baked birthday cake.. The texture of the cake was great.. but it wasn't sweet enough for the both of us.  I realised that it was my mistake (I can never find fault with Nigella!).  I used chocolate with 70% cocoa. So that probably made the cake more bitter than desired. 

Well.. he was kind enough to finish his slice without much complaints.. and encouraged me to try baking it again..

To my life partner and best friend.. 
Happy Birthday! 
Looking forward to spending many more birthdays with you. 

Chocolate Cheesecake (adapted from Nigella)

Cheesecake base:
125g graham cracker crumbs
60g butter
1 tbsp cocoa

Cheesecake filling:
175g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped small
2 1/2 cups cream cheese
1 tablespoon custard powder
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cocoa, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon dark corn syrup
Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the base, process the graham crackers to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into the pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling.

Put a kettle on to boil.

Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly.

Beat the cream cheese to soften it, then add the sugar and custard power, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and melted chocolate and mix to a smooth batter.
Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling wrap, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.

Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just boiled water to come about half way up the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.

Peel away the foil and cling film wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the refrigerator once it is no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with plastic overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.

To make the chocolate sauce: very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and pour it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate.


  1. Yum! What a way to celebrate a birthday. This chocolate cheesecake looks scrumptious!

  2. Thanks, Russell.. It would have been perfect if it was a little sweeter :)

  3. Just to say " I love your photos"
    regards from Tuscany
    Cata :)

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Cata! Your comment made my day :)

  4. haha that's similar to me - i like to leave stuff all over the place too! that cheesecake looks divine! look on the bright side - less sweet is prob better than too sweet. and i love love love your wire rimmed cake stand! mad gorgeous!!!

    1. Hi Michelle! We bought the cake stand from tangs. It's available at both vivo and orchard. Yeah, we couldn't resist ourselves when we saw it! It's a little pricey (ard $50), but it's just so pretty we had to get it!

    2. ooo! thanks for the great tip - i dropped by the other day. it was $45...and there was a 20% gg on...and i had my credit card rebate...end up i paid like $24 for it!!! what a steal! thanks so much!!! :D

    3. wow!! what a steal! dang.. i should have waited for the 20%.. hahahha. :P