Christmas cheer begins to bubble up in my home, well before the calendar flips to December. I had bought some pressies already, and not wrap up yet.
Also, had my small glass Christmas tree shape table light brought out from the basement, dusted and washed clean, fitting each different colour bulbs, before sitting on the bench top of my living room, illuminating a breathtaking night time landscape.
It’s difficult to turn anywhere without seeing evident of Christmas spirit or at least seasonal marketing. Some people love lavish displays. Others take a more cynical view.
But the crucial question isn’t how others observe Christmas. Rather, we each need to consider what the celebration means to us. A little more than thirty years after Jesus birth, He asked His disciple, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”. Many will celebrate Christmas without a thought about who the Baby really is.
Is Christmas just a heartwarming story about a baby born in a stable? Or did our Creator visit His creation and become one of us?
By seeing Jesus in the whole story of the Bible I appreciate how Christmas is so much more than just a seasonal festive celebration. It’s accepting God into our lives by trusting Him.
This Christmas season, consider God’s goodness as you reflect on the year. In doing so, you may create a mosaic of great beauty with Praise and Thankfulness.
God allow us to experience in life such as food and drink, clothing and perfume and work diligently. So take the advantage in the opportunities God gives us,
My opportunity is to bake cake. Love all my cake to be creative in term of flavour, texture, design and the method of baking it. This cake is a twist of cheesecake by adding eggnog, ricotta cheese, sour cream, double cream and blueberries.
I use Bain Marie method. Why? Cheesecake batter is basically a rich creamy batter, and it’s delicate. Without the moist heat of Bain Marie, creamy batter can become rubbery texture, so using a water bath is a way to prevent this.
Cheesecake need to be bake slowly and evenly without browning the top. According to bakers in Google: when bake in Bain Maire, “the water will never get hotter than 212 degrees, no matter how hot the oven is. The hot water insulates the outer ring of the spring form pan and keeps the oven moist”.
This method allowed the center of cheesecake time to cook, because the outer edge cheesecake won’t bake faster than the center. Uneven cooking can cause a cheesecake to puff up, sink, or crack.
Phew!!! my cake didn’t crack. Also to keeps cheesecake from browning suddenly, which is not a desired thing when it comes to baking cheesecakes. The eggnog blueberries cheesecake is moist and with each bite of blueberries mixing with cream cheese balance of the flavour-uniqueness after heavy meal of Turkey and Ham. Serve with tea or dessert wine.
Let’s be creative use the opportunity God had given and share it with family that you are Thankful to have and given to you by God.
200 g graham cracker crumbs
100 g unsalted butter, melted
15 ml olive oil
3 Tbsp caster sugar
500g cream cheese, room temperature
375 g ricotta cheese, room temperature
150 ml sour cream
150 ml double cream
180-200g caster sugar
200 g plain flour
1 cup eggnog
250 g blueberries, wash and dry
4 large eggs, room temperature
A handful of blueberries, wash and dry
8-12 strawberries, wash, dry ,remove stems and cut in halves
1/2 zest of each lemon and orange for sprinkling
Chocolate powder sprinkles for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line a 23 cm spring form pan with baking paper on the greased base and grease the sides. Wrap a couple of foil around the outside to prevent water flowing in.
Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Cover the outsides of the pan with 4 aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in. Set prepared pan aside.
Cheesecake filling and decorations
Reduce oven to 150°C. In mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, ricotta, sour cream, double cream, sugar until well combined on low speed. (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the eggnog and flour spoon by spoon; mix on low speed until well combined.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Next mix in the blueberries. Pour the cheesecake filling into crust and spread evenly.
Place spring form pan inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough boiling water till about halfway up of the spring form pan. Bake for 2 hour and 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, overnight or 2 days. Remove cheesecake from the pan, then decorate with blueberries and strawberries. Sprinkle with zest of lemon, orange and chocolate powder sprinkles. Refrigerate the cheesecake until ready to serve.
Note: Oven temperature may vary; you might need less time or more say 1 hour 30-40 minutes. You might want to turn off oven with door close 30 minutes and crack open a bit with wooden spoon in between door and leave cheesecake for a further 30 minutes as told by most recipes. I didn’t crack door open and just turn oven off and leave in for 1 hour.
You might not need a lot of plain flour. Adjust the consistency of the batter. If too runny add more flour.
You may like to decorate with whipping cream or any decorations you like. As my family are healthy conscious so I omitted the whipping cream topping as I already have sour cream, double cream and ricotta cheese in the filling.