Lofty plans! I think I have achieved mastery in this category. I have these ideas, seemingly brilliant at first. Then I do some research to see if others have had similar ideas and whether these ideas ever became reality. People talk about their stories. What went right, what went wrong. And then someone posts this oh so simple solution to the problem. But they also add a rider, "I am not sure if this will work in reality". And then I decide that I must be the one to check. Simply because the thread stopped right there.
The plan was to make a layer cake. Pound cake, cheesecake and jelly on top. It turned out to be a mosaic cake as I simply couldn't wait for the jelly to set before adding the cheesecake mixture, could I? The next time I attempt something like this, I will bake the cake, then set the cheesecake over it and then pour the jelly topping on top. But here's how I made it this time.
The cake recipe makes two 8" cakes. I used just one for this recipe.
For the pound cake:
1 1/2 cups Cake Flour/Plain Flour
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups Ricotta Cheese
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Strawberry Essence
6 Strawberries, pureedA few drops Red Colour (optional)
Butter and Flour/Spray for preparing the cake tin
For the Cheesecake:
1/2 tin Condensed Milk (400g tin)
250g Cream Cheese
1/2 tbsp Gelatin
2 tbsp boiling hot Water
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
6 Strawberries, pureed
For the Jelly Topping:
1 Packet Strawberry Jelly, prepared as per instructions on the pack
To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Prepare two 8" round tins.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt.
Cream the butter with the sugar and ricotta until the mixture is fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the strawberry essence and strawberry puree and beat well. Add the food colour, if using. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the batter, adding a little at a time.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool.
Line a Springform 8" pan base with cling film and then fit the sides portion. Pour the jelly liquid over the base and allow it to set in the refrigerator.
For the cheesecake:
Beat the cream cheese and the condensed milk until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the lime juice and the strawberry puree and beat well again.
Dissolve the gelatin in the hot water. Add this to the mixture and pour it over the the jelly. (At this point, my jelly hadn't entirely set and so began to break. I quickly mixed the two layers to get the mosaic effect.)
Place the cooled cake over the the cheesecake jelly mixture and allow the cheesecake and jelly to set completely.
When set, place a plate on top of the cake, turn it over and remove the springform tin. Slowly remove the base of the tin and peel off the cling film. Cut into squares.
That is what I call a bite sized piece of happiness. And as I have done every year in the years before today, I come back here to share this little piece of happiness with all of you. After all, Sachin's birthday comes just once every year.
Happy Birthday Sachin! Happiness Always.