Yesterday I decided to bake a cake. I had a slab of Philly cream cheese that had been sitting in the fridge for more than two months and I thought since we weren’t going out, why not bake? And bake I did. I consulted my trustworthy Chef -Chef Wan’s Sweet Treats and turned to the cheesecake section. Now, as a busy mom, my main focus when choosing a recipe to cook depends on only two things – #1 the list of ingredients (the shorter the better) #2 availability of ingredients in my larder (ha! what an archaic word but I did grow up with Enid Blyton. ‘s books.) So the simplest was his Orange and Chocolate Cheesecake. 

I gathered all my barang-barangs and when I wanted to put the cream cheese into the bowl I realised that one packet was only 250g. I needed 500g so off to the nearby NTUC I trudged. I bought oranges for the recipe too (initially I intended to substitute oranges with my readily available lime juice). So, I managed to follow his recipe for the filling but I noticed that although his recipe was called Orange and Chocolate Cheesecake, there was no chocolate at all. The chocolate bit was simply the crust – made up of crushed chocolate chip cookies mixed with toasted hazelnuts and melted butter. I felt that it was simply wrong to use ‘chocolate’ that way and so I tossed in half a packet of Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips into the filling. Now, for the crust. I didn’t have chocolate chip cookies but what I did have was cream crackers and so I, with the help of my useful daughter, hammered them crackers and mixed it with melted butter.

Into the oven it went. It was supposed to be baked for ’40 minutes or until the mixture was set’. I couldn’t tell if the mixture was set or not so 40 minutes later, I took it out of the oven and it looked brown enough. I cooled it for as long as I could wait but being the greedy glutton that I am, I cut a slice to try. The minute I felt the knife go through the cake like softened butter, I knew that maybe, it wasn’t baked long enough. The cheesecake filling was very very good. Warm and very soft (in fact, I wouldn’t even call it a cake, more like a mouse) and the melted chocolate bits that go down your throat like warm velvety…chocolate. Oh well. I am no Pulitzer Prize winner.  Anyway, when the cake was left in the fridge, it did set and tasted more like cake but because it was cold, the warm chocolate chip bits hardened. And so for today’s tea, the cheesecake tasted fine but it wasn’t fantastic as when it was half-cooked. Ironic. 

My Cheesecake in the oven

 

The top bits look burnt; they're actually the melted chocolate chips.

 

Sliced after one day in the fridge

 

I learnt from a show telecast on the Asian Food Channel, that if you change three ingredients in a recipe, that recipe is then yours. So I reckon, this is a Shasha Original. However, I strongly advise you to try out Chef Wan’s recipes to the T. 

Learning points:

#1 Chocolate chips harden when cooled!