Sunday, 25 March 2012

Chocolate Marzipan Cheesecake - Random Recipes 14

When Dom of Belleau Kitchen asked me to pick a number for his always exciting Random Recipes challenge, I was away from home and unable to follow his exact instructions - that's my excuse anyway. So instead of counting my books, I picked my lucky number 17 instead. It seems that any blame for what you get sits on my shoulders this month - nice one Dom!

As Dom had honoured me by getting to pick the special number, I thought I really ought to try and do this challenge without cheating. NOT, I hasten to add, that I normally cheat; I've just interpreted the challenge to refer to my chocolate cook books only. But not this time, I was going to be intrepid and include all of my many cookbooks scattered around the house, open a page randomly and then take the first chocolate recipe that followed from the page I landed on. If, I reasoned, I got a book that had, god forbid, no chocolate recipes, I would move on to the next book.

Hoist by my own petard. No. 17 for me was Low-Carb Vegetarian by Celia Brooks Brown. Being a bit of a carb junkie, this book has been languishing on my shelves for many years largely unused. And what I got was something that sounded really quite strange - chocolate marzipan cheesecake. It doesn't seem like an obvious match made in heaven, but I love marzipan, I love cheesecake, so why not?

CT also loves cheesecake and as he is going through a particularly tough time of it, I was hoping that this would be a welcome treat for him.

Reading through the recipe, I was rather dubious about a couple of things, both revolving around a loose-based cake tin. As some of you know, I'm a big fan of silcone moulds which has really made baking life sooooo much easier. I used to be put off by having to line tins, it just seemed one step too far. Now I don't even think about it - not very often anyway. Cheesecake I felt really couldn't be done in a silicone mould so I'd have to chance it using the stated tin. Firstly it didn't say anything about greasing or lining the tin, so I hoped that only greasing it would be OK. Secondly, I was worried that the butter would just melt and leak out all over the oven. I did prepare for this eventuality by putting the tin on a baking tray just in case.

This is how I made my first ever baked cheesecake:
  • Melted 50g unsalted butter in a medium sized pan.
  • Added 100g ground almonds, 2 tbsp Rapadura (my chosen sweetener), a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and a couple of drops of almond extract.
  • Mixed together than pressed down into a buttered 20" round loose-based cake tin.
  • Placed in the fridge to set.
  • Melted 150g Green&Black's dark 72% cooks' chocolate in a bowl over hot water and left to cool a little.
  • Threw 250g mascarpone, 250g cream cheese, 2 duck eggs and 6 level tbsp of Rapadura (my chosen sweetener) into a bowl and beat with electric beaters until all combined.
  • Beat in the melted chocolate.
  • Spooned the mixture over the marzipan and levelled the top.
  • Baked at 150C for 50 minutes.
I was quite right, the butter leaked out all over the baking sheet. The top also cracked, not nice delicate cracks, but great fissures that really didn't look very attractive. But it did come out of the tin without sticking too much and it was really quite delicious, in fact very delicious. The filling was smooth, creamy and comfortingly chocolatey. The base was chewy, slightly almondy and really rather nice. The two made for quite a delightful contrast and certainly didn't detract from each other's flavours. CT was very well pleased with it and it kept him going for some time.

Having heard so many horror stories about baked cheesecakes, I am really thrilled how well this turned out - what are a few fissures between friends anyway?

And as this is the month of mad March baking and contains Marzipan and Mascarpone as main ingredients I am also submitting this to the second ever Alpha Bakes where the letter is M. This is hosted by Caroline Makes this month, but alternates with Ros of The more than occasional baker.

33 comments:

  1. Wow. Chocolate marzipan cheesecake is a new one on me but it sounds incredible. Those cracks have always appeared on baked cheesecakes I've made so don't worry too much. I'm glad it cheered CT up. A good cheesecake should always cheer people up. Glad you got to use a rarely used book and I'm loving your random picking style... Whatever works eh? Thanks again for always taking part with such gusto!

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    1. Gusto girl, that's me - especially when it comes to eating!!! Very pleased to hear that crack are perfectly acceptable :)

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  2. Your cheesecake looks lovely - I haven't had baked cheesecake for ages but I would love a piece of yours - just to break the drought, you know! I am also a fan of silicone and using chocolate to cheer myself or anyone else up!

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    1. Thank you Johanna - great minds and all that ;-)

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  3. Thank you so much for entering this to AlphaBakes. Marzipan is a great unusual 'M'. Your cheesecake looks delicious and I would love to have some but I don't like marzipan. I think fissures are a sign of a great baked cheesecake... well that's what I tell myself anyway! :) I have not dared to count my books yet as I'm running out of time for random recipes but if I do I definitely know who to blame ;)

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    1. Thanks Ros for the vote of confidence in my cheesecake and then the vote of blame ;-)

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    2. I really do have to lay blame on your shoulders as I picked my dreaded nemesis ... macarons! Luckily they weren't as disastrous as last time so thank you :)

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  4. Wow that looks gorgeous. I've never thought of using marzipan in a cheesecake, but I adore marzipan so will have to give this a go. I loved baked cheesecakes, they are so much more fudgey. Yours looks a treat, you'll have to experiment some more!

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    1. Thanks Katie, it really was rather good - very different to an unbaked one, though I like those too.

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  5. I've only made baked cheesecakes a couple of times, but oh yum! A chocolate version sounds lovely and all I'd have to do would be to find a different base :-) It looks deliciously fudgy.

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    1. Now I know it's ok to have cracks, I will be more than happy to make this again, it was scrumilicious.And yes, this would be really good on a normal biscuit base.

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  6. I think it looks absolutely delicious, cracked or not ;-) Ive made baked cheesecakes a few times and not a fan, but anything with 70% chocolate could convince me. This one certainly sounds like a persuader. Have also awarded you with the ABC - Awesome Blogger Award because you're blog is quite awesome!
    http://wp.me/p10xG5-lA

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    1. Oh thank you Sheelagh that is very kind - cheesecake and award comments both. I shall have to start thinking seriously about X now!!!

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  7. YUM! Looks heavenly & a very interesting recipe using marzipan. I preferred using silicone moulds too but for both my cheesecake I've used spring form pan. Don't really have a choice actually. But anyway these chocolate marzipan cheesecake looks great & I'm sure it taste heavenly too. Have a nice day! :)

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    1. Thanks Kit - hmmm, not sure how, be we need some sort of a silicone spring form pan!!!

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  8. Mmmmmm - looks fab. I love the sound of the marzipan in there.

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    1. I was a bit dubious about marzipan to begin with, even though I love it, but it worked much better than I thought it would.

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  9. well..i adore cheesecake..i think it's well overdue for a comeback..and i adore marzipan..what a great combo..

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    1. Oh dear Hazel, am I a little behind the times? Hadn't realised cheesecake had gone away!

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  10. I can't believe anyone named Celia would write a low carb cookbook.. :D

    I get big cracks on the top of my ricotta cakes as well, and I think it makes them even tastier. I'm sure your baked cheesecake was the same, Choc!

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    1. You're quite right Celia, I was a little shocked! And now I know cracks are perfectly respectable, i can stop worrying about it ;-) Really like the idea of trying a ricotta one.

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  11. When I saw the title of this post I thought I might not like it because of the marzipan...but it just sounds like delicious chocolaty almondy goodness. I find cooking cheesecake in a water bath usually helps to prevent cracking, but unless you're working as a pastry chef it doesn't really matter - they still taste as good!

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    1. Oh littleloaf, are you not a fan of marzipan? Thanks for your words of encouragement. I don't think I'd ever have the patience to be a pastry chef!

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  12. Well, you have sold me, as you know I am a big fan of both chocolate and marzipan. It sounds absolutely delicious. I hope things get better for CT soon. x

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    1. Kath, we could have sliced it up between the two of us, but I don't think that would have helped CT. Thanks for the good wishes. His pain should be over soon (lots of crossing fingers going on)!

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  13. The cracks would not bother me in the least, after all it's the flout that counts. This is my kind of cheesecake, loving the sound of the marzipan base topped with lots of chocolate richness. Also, like Celia Brooks Brown as I have tried lots of her recipes from the "Books For Cooks" recipe books! xx

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    1. Thanks Laura. it's funny since making this, I keep coming across CBB's name all over the place. Interesting you have one of her books too.

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  14. I'm so glad it turned out for you and what a unique recipe - you're right, I never would have put chocolate and marzipan together... As for cheesecakes, I love them but I've never managed to bake one that did NOT crack ;) And really, who does care? The best part is eating it!

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    1. Yay JW, I'm getting into the idea that cracks are good ;-)

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  15. Wow, this sounds (and looks) like the most delicious cake ever! I love marzipan and chocolate and cheesecake! yum! I think I'll have to make this!

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    1. Thanks Clare. Do let me know what you think if you do make it.

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  16. I know baked cheesecakes are not suppose to crack but I love it when they do...its one of little things, so cracks is good in my book. An unusual recipe here that looks very tempting. x

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    1. Susan, you've all convinced me that cracks are GOOD - hooray!

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