And I'm back to baking! I'm still coughing from the last of the renovation dust but happily admiring my new accoutrements. I just love the way my place looks so clean and new, at least temporarily. I did think I might be able to keep baking during the works, but that turned out to be overly optimistic given the ever-present dust and the dragging tiredness from dancing my furniture from room to room, out of the way of the various 'tradies'.
I'll have to catch up on the two weeks I've missed at some stage but this week the Alpha Baker project is the awfully named (sorry Rose) Mango Bango Cheesecake (it just sounds a bit rude to me). It wasn't difficult to make although that didn't stop me from making mistakes :) It was still delicious.
This cheesecake caused me to ask deep, dark questions of myself, such as: 'who is Alphonso?' (apparently a mango variety which I haven't heard of) and 'why didn't I cut the sponge fingers in half?' (why, why?) and even 'should I buy a smaller springform tin?' (yes, of course). So not that difficult to answer really. I made a couple of decisions while I was baking, including halving the recipe and using frozen mango, which affected the final product.
Sponge fingers are offered as an option for the base of this cheesecake and, having learnt my lesson with a previous cheesecake, I found myself shamelessly scooting down the supermarket biscuit aisle before you could say biscuit base. The thing about sponge fingers is that they're not very dainty, in fact they're great hulking pieces of biscuit. They even come in a great hulking package of about 24 - no other biscuit comes in such an enormous amount.
I had a fleeting thought as I played sponge finger Tetris that they were going to be a bit thick. Unfortunately I didn't stop what I was doing and cut them in half sideways which would have resulted in a much thinner 'crust'. You can see in the picture above that the cheesecake was almost half crust, half cheesecake. It made it a bit drier than desirable.
What you see beneath is not mango puree and I don't think it's even distantly related to Alphonso. The recipe calls for Alphonso mango puree but instead of searching around I went to the closest supermarket and bought some frozen mango. Unfortunately it turned out to be a bit flavourless (although it looks pretty). The main mango variety here is Kensington Pride which is my favourite but sadly out of season at the moment.
It was surprisingly easy to make a soft mango jelly which is spread through the cheesecake in little clumps. Mine was so sticky I think I could have successfully added it to the batter in the mixer.
Although I halved the recipe, the smallest springform I had was a 20cm which made the cheesecake a bit flat (hence the 'need' for a new tin).
Despite my couple of missteps, the cheesecake was creamy and delicious, not to mention incredibly cheery-looking with its sunny doona of mango gel. I'd definitely like to make this again with better mango favour and more cheesecake.
Next week we're making Molasses Sugar Butter Cookies.