Daada…da…..da…. I’m so excited so far about this coming week! It’s going to be an awesome week I must say! Today is mummy and daddy’s 27th year anniversary! Oh my god, cannot believe that they’ve been together for so long and are still a lovely little couple! ❤ ❤ Now that I’m getting married soon myself, I am definitely not so prepared… but I have faith in IK, he’s a lovely hubby to have just because he ❤ me as much as I ❤ him! 🙂 And that’s all it matters, love is simple and love is sweet! 🙂
To add to this, 4 couples (my friends) are also typing their knots together in the upcoming 5 months.. It’s amazing to see that so many of my friends are finding their other love-bird 🙂 The first one that I’ll be attending will be on this coming Saturday (and that’s my birthday!) Oh yes!!! How could I not remember Merry’s wedding anniversary – it falls directly on my birthday date! I can’t wait to see her in the beautiful dress on the day.. And on my birthday, I think I’ll be enjoying a lot at her wedding 🙂 *I can’t wait to see her wedding cake too!*
And to celebrate my birthday, which I probably couldn’t on the ‘real’ date, I’ve decided to get myself a “PRE-BIRTHDAY” cake,.. no..no..no.. bake myself a cake! I’m a chai latte fans, so are cheesecake and Nutella.. To fulfil all my wishes in a cake, it can be challenging, as both chai latte and Nutella have strong flavours and they will clash if I didn’t think thoroughly how I wanted to do it! I wanted to keep it simple but I think I didn’t really end up doing it that simple, considered that I’m making 4 different layers! I wanted something tangy to balance off the sweetness of cheese and Nutella, so grabbing a packet of ginger nut biscuits for my crust is absolutely the right choice! And let me tell you, it balance it very well, ginger nut biscuit has this really nice crunch to it which gives another kick to the cake! Spreading Nutella over layers of cakes are the best! 🙂 And let me tell you, this cake is absolutely amazing and completely different to the ones I’ve done in the past, check them out here, here and here.
By the way, be warned that this post will be full of photos, my soon-to-be father-in-law gave me a new lens which I have never been able to try practising it, until I made this cake, I think it is the time to really give it a try! So forgive me if you think this post was too “picture-y! *I hope not! 😛 I did try to give it a different style considered that I wanted a rustic look in my photo.. I didn’t know if I really achieved it, but I like the way these photos have turned out! Being the first time using a new lens and trying to be practical with the zooms and apertures… I think it’s not too bad leh? So enjoy, my chai latte cheesecake with nutella sponge and meringues!
You’ll need (Makes 8″ inch cake):
For the base
- 250 grams ginger nut biscuit
- 80 grams of unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
For the Sponge cake
- 60 grams cake flour
- 60 grams caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar
- 2 tablespoons nutella spread
- 2 eggs, separate white and yolks (at room temperature)
- extra nutella for spreading between layers
For the cheese layer
- 250 grams of cream cheese
- 60 grams caster sugar
- 220 ml of pure cream
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
- 2 tablespoons grounded cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon grounded nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon grounded ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
- 6 grams gelatine
- 30 ml cold water
For the meringue
- 3 large egg white (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 150 grams of sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper to the bottom of a 8 inch spring-form cake pan.
- Start with the biscuit base; process all the ingredient except for the butter in a food processor and blend until it is fully combined and turn into crumbs.
- Pour melted butter and biscuit mixture into a glass heat proof bowl, use a spoon, mix until fully incorporated. The mixture should be sticky and wet.
- Leave 1/3 of the mixture in a separate bowl and press rest of the mixture over the base of prepared tin and use a spoon to push firm so the base will stick.
- Place in the fridge for 15 minutes to harden, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- Leave aside to cool in the tin, and move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the sponge cake, prepare another 8 inch spring form pan and lay a sheet of parchment paper to the bottom, secured.
- Sift cake flour twice and leave aside.
- In a bowl, whisk egg whites with 45 grams of sugar (in 3 additionals), until egg white turns soft peak form.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining sugar with egg yolk until colour turns into pale yellow.
- Combine egg yolk mixture with egg white mixture, fold slightly (to allow air in).
- Add nutella, cinnamon sugar and half of the sifted flour. Fold until fully incorporated.
- Add the remaining flour and fold again until it forms a nice puffy batter.
- Pour batter into the prepared tin and into the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove cake from the oven, and move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the cheesecake layer, mix water and gelatine in a bowl, on a hot water bath (do not let hot water touch the gelatine). Mix consistently to ensure a nice watery texture and gelatine fully dissolved.
- In a bowl, whisk cream cheese and caster sugar until a smooth texture is formed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk cream until visible ribbons formed. (To test this out, use a finger and draw a line in the cream, if it stay in shape, it is ready).
- Pour cream into cream cheese and mix until incorporate.
- Add the rest of the spices, vanilla essence and gelatine mixture into the cream cheese. Fold and mix quickly so gelatine does not solidate.
- To assemble the cake, place the biscuit crust into a 8 inch tin, spread an even layer of nutella onto the crust. Lay the sponge cake over the top, ensure to leave 1cm border around the cake (trim the cake accordingly to get 1cm border). Spread another thick layer of nutella over the top of the sponge cake.
- Pour cream cheese mixture over the cake and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
- Place cake into the fridge for 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the meringue. Reduce oven to 100°C.
- Lay 2 sheets of parchment paper onto baking tray.
- In a bowl, whisk egg white until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue whisking until soft peak has formed.
- Add caster sugar in 3 additions, until egg mixture turns into thick glossy peak form.
- Pour mixture into piping bag with a 1″ star tip, pipe desired shapes onto baking tray.
- Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Once done, remove from heat onto a cooling rack until completely cooled.
- Once the cake has been nicely refrigerated, remove cake pan.
- Arrange meringue on the cake and sprinkle left-over biscuit crumbs around the edge.
- You may end up making more meringue than you need to decorate, leave the rest in an airtight container and serve with cream and passionfruit sauce! – Or simply half the ingredients.
- Cake is best serve in room temperature. Leave cake in room temperature 15 minutes before serving.
- I don’t particularly like using the base of the spring form tin because the cake get stuck onto it. I often remove the base and wrap the base with parchment paper and then aluminium foil to secure – and act as a base.
- Never mix cake batter in clockwise direction, this is remove all the air within the cake, and it will loose the spongy effect. Use the folding technique instead.
- Cream of Tartar is used as a stabiliser when added to beaten egg white to increase its stability and volume.
- Ensure gelatine is warm when mixing with cold water so it does not turn into solid lumps which will effect the cheesecake.