How fortunate I am to be able to do some product testing and recipe experiments! It's a whole lot of fun (when stuff turns out beautifully delicious!) and quite hilarious when it doesn't too. My colleagues at work have been more than willing to taste-test my recipes and they are on the whole, quite honest. There are those that will hoover up anything and everything I give them, but they're just being kind I know because they don't want the stream of food to stop. They gave this cheesecake the thumbs up, and I think it's quite good too.
For this test recipe, incorporating "The Product"...an instant Black Sesame Dessert mix (it's a dessert soup), I decided to go the cheesecake route. The chiffon cake I made was a flop because the dessert mix threw off the delicately precise proportions of ingredients required to produce a proper cake. So, having a sort of black sesame epiphany, instead of cake, I made no-bake mini black sesame cheesecakes with oreo crumb crusts. They were smooth, creamy and delicious.
I began by pressing my cookie crumb crusts into my cheesecake molds
This is the product I have been testing. It makes my mom's favourite convenient dessert soup! What a coincidence...she's been buying it forever! If you're not Asian, you may not be familiar with dessert soups. It's somewhat akin to instant jello pudding mix. Except it isn't.
I looked on the side of the package to try to figure out the proportions of "other ingredients" aside from the black sesame. The starches and sugar that were in the mix were problematic for baked cakes, but should be okay for some of my other ideas...
Here's the cream cheese and sesame batter...
...and the whipped cream that'll lighten the texture of the cheesecake. The cheesecake is "Asian" in flavour and in it's tendency to be lighter in texture and less sweet than western cheesecakes.
I decorated the mini cheesecakes with some toasted whole black sesame seeds to indicate the flavour of the cute little grey desserts (important if you don't want to explain why your cheesecake is grey!)
Ta-da! They popped out of their molds perfectly!
The oreo crumb crust can be substituted with a graham cracker crust or even a cake crust
The texture is smooth, silky and creamy. You are hit with the black sesame flavour first, and then you experience the creaminess and the contrasting chocolatey oreo crunch
I'll be developing another recipe with this product soon. Stay tuned!
Update: July 23, 2009 Recipe
MINI BLACK SESAME CHEESECAKES WITH OREO COOKIE CRUST
(recipe created by http://cakeonthebrain.blogspot.com/)
NB: this recipe can be easily adapted to make a Peanut-flavoured Cheesecake, using the Torto Peanut Dessert Mix.
Cream Cheese mixture:
250 g /1 cup/brick cream cheese, softened at room temperature [Philadelphia brand is best]
150 g/3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
50 g/1 pkg Torto brand black sesame dessert mix
61 g/1/3 cup milk
61 g/1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unflavoured powdered gelatine
53 g/1/4 cup water
Oreo Cookie crust mixture:
114 g/9 Oreo cookies, crushed (graham crackers or digestive biscuits could be used interchangeably with the Oreos)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Whole black sesame seeds
Have ready a mini cheesecake pan (Williams Sonoma) or a muffin tin lined with 12 foil liners. Alternately, 12 small ring molds lined with plastic wrap on a sheet pan may be used.
In a small bowl, combine the crushed cookies and melted butter. Divide the crust mixture evenly between the 12 molds. Press gently into the bottoms to make an even base. Refrigerate until needed.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatine over the ¼ cup water to soften. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and the milk over med-low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely. Do not boil. Add the black sesame dessert mix and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the softened gelatine. Stir completely to incorporate. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the beater attachment, beat the cream cheese until softened, smooth and free of lumps. Add the cooled black sesame mixture to the bowl and continue to beat on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Using a rubber spatula or large balloon whisk, stir in a quarter of the whipped cream. Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream until thoroughly mixed.
- Divide the cheesecake mixture evenly between the molds, spooning it onto the prepared refrigerated crusts. Gently tap the molds on a counter to level the mixture or release any air pockets.
- Decorate each mini cheesecake by sprinkling whole black sesame seeds on the surface. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
- Remove cheesecakes from the molds and serve with whipped cream.
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.