This Chennai pastry chef's Mandarin cheesecake recipe is to die for!
Chef Gabriel Rajan has a passion for confectionery. The pastry chef who works at the Park Hyatt Chennai shares that he likes to combine his love for art and colour with innovations in the kitchen. He elaborates, “The science (of baking) and creative side really motivate me and keep me going, even in a fast-paced environment.”
His Mandarin Cheese Cake is a classic example of art on a plate, that is almost too pretty to slice!
Mandarin squash cheesecake:
(For 10 portions)
Graham and oats crust for base:
250 gm Graham crumbs | 80 gm roasted oats | 20 gm granulated sugar | 100 gm clarified butter
| 25 gm refined flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Process
graham crackers, oats, sugar, flour and butter in a food processor until finely ground. Add milk; pulse until completely moistened. Transfer the graham cracker mixture to the
prepared pan and evenly pat into the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
Preparation for home-made squash (the vegetable) purée:
■ Cut into half, remove seeds from the centre. Place the cut half squash on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven until soft, for about 50 minutes. Cool, and then scrape out the flesh with a fork.
■ Then blend the squash into purée.
30 gm unsalted butter | 45 ml milk | 450 gm cream cheese (room
temperature) | 80 gm castor sugar | 3 gm salt | 2 no eggs | 10 ml vanilla extract | 10 gm cinnamon powder | 200 gm squash purée | 35 gm flour | 100 gm canned mandarin segments.
■ Beat both cream cheese and the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, scraping down the sides occasionally. Beat in squash purée until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Finally, beat in vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and the flour. Scrape the filling into the pan, spreading evenly over the crust.
■ Bake until set and the edges are light brown, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least one hour.
■ Then cut and serve with mandarin segments garnished on top.
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