It’s not quite usual that I make two cakes in the span of a month- what more a week- but it’s also not every month that two of my dearest friends have birthdays just a day apart.
With this particular birthday cake though, there was no humming and hawwing over what kind of cake the birthday girl (incidentally the same darling I ran amok in Italy with earlier this year) was gonna get, given how much she adores green tea and cheesecake.
As it turns out, deciding what flavour the cake was gonna be was the easy part. What I didn’t really anticipate however was how much trouble I was gonna have actually making the cake.
You see, as it also turns out, white chocolate and I have a complicated past- complicated in that white chocolate has never melted the way I’ve wanted to. And really, why should this time- just because I was making a birthday cake- be any different?
So yes, my white chocolate seized on me. Twice. And at nine at night, patience was something I clearly didn’t have an abundance of. So I did what I do best- I winged it. I added some cream to the seized white chocolate, warmed it all up a little, stirred and viola- at long last and a little improvisation, I got my damned white chocolate melted.
Luckily for me, the cake turned out pretty damned good, even if I do say so myself. Despite not being a fan of cheesecake, this had me inwardly swooning at the modest slices we all had after dinner. (Okay, inwardly swooning is a little of an understatement. The unthinkable actually happened with this cheesecake- I was actually dreaming about this cake for days after.)
So now with cheesecake off the list, I need to (quite happily) start dreaming up of all the ways I can incorporate green tea powder into baked goods before her next birthday!
Green Tea & White Chocolate Cheesecake [loosely adapted from Carole Bloom’s The Essential Baker]
10 digestives biscuits
50g butter, softened
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
250g white chocolate, melted and cooled
3 tsp green tea powder, plus more for dusting
- Line the base of a 6″ round springform pan with aluminum foil. Grease the base and inner sides of the pan with softened butter. Wrap the outside of the cake pan in aluminum foil and set aside.
- To make the base Place the digestive biscuits and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the crumbs resemble coarse, damp sand- they should hold together when pressed together loosely. Add more butter, if necessary.
- Pour the crumbs into the prepared cake pan and press the crumbs evenly into the base of the pan. Refrigerate the base while you get on with the batter.
- Preheat the oven to 160C. Set a kettle of water to boil.
- To make the batter Beat the cream cheese and caster sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs in, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add the cooled melted white chocolate and green tea powder. Stir till smooth.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan over the base. Place the cake pan into a larger pan. Pour the boiling water into the larger pan, until the water level reaches half the height of the cake pan.
- Bake the cake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the sides are set but the center still slightly jiggly.
- Cool the cake completely before refrigerating overnight. Unmould the cake when completely chilled and dust the top of the cake with green tea powder before serving. Serves 6