My running partner, Mister Spensley is currently working on Hansel and Gretel at the Brisbane Arts Theatre and somehow between the lines of Facebook banter, a bake off arose. I've always kept to the straight and narrow of baking, as after all: cooking is an art, whilst baking is a science. But dare I create a brand new concoction, put family name and my chef born blood on the line to defeat a mouthy upstart baking whelp? The answer is yes and I code named my project 'Bernard I ate your Bees (I am unashamed Black Books fan girl).' To complete my vision I procured two beautiful, loose base, miniature cheesecake pans from Wheel and Barrow and set about bring a two toned cake decorated with toffee and marzipan bees.
To begin I greased the pans (I didn't do this, but I highly recommend that you line the sides of the tins with greaseproof paper), preheated the oven to 180°c and blitzed 250g of plain chocolate biscuits and half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon in a food processor. When the mixture was fine I then combined it with 125g of melted butter until I had a wet sand consistency. I then even distributed this across both pans and popped them into the fridge to set for half an hour. While they were setting, I melted 125gms of dark chocolate in the microwave. Then beat two eggs and 75g of caster sugar in the mix master until they were creamy. I then added 375g of cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence and the melted chocolate into the mix master. I then evenly distributed this mixture across the pan. The chocolate mixture should reach no higher than the half way mark of the mould. Clean all the equipment and prepare for the vanilla layer.
To create the vanilla layer, beat 500g cream cheese, 2/3 cup caster sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Add two eggs, one at a time and then 1/2 cup of sour cream and distribute across the pans. Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, remove and allow the cheesecakes to cool. In the meantime prepare the sour cream topping by mixing 3/4 cup of sour cream and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar. Ladle the mixture on top of the cheesecakes and bake for a further 5 minutes and allow them to cool in the oven with the door ajar. Refridgerate overnight and remove from the pan. They look pretty good as is but to add that special touch make toffee shards (3/4 cup of caster sugar and 1/4 cup of water) and mazipan bees (dye mazipan yellow and use melted chocolate and flaked almonds to create the bees).
So did I win the bake off? I honestly don't know as I'm yet to receive my girlish tears of defeat from Spensley. But he did leave me with a parting shot, "the result doesn't matter as I get to eat anyway." Blast! I'll get you next time Spensley!