I've been dreaming about going to the United States since I was, if I remember correctly, 10 years old. At 14, I finally got the chance to go on a trip, for ten days, and see LA, Las Vegas, Miami, Key West and Orlando. But as soon as I was home, I knew I wanted to go back.
It's not that easy, planning a trip from Europe to the United States. First, you need a few years' worth of pocket money and working your butt off. Then finding the flight. The cheapest one, the one everyone is telling you about, that costs 300€ round-trip, of course, doesn't exist. Neither does the one for 500€! At the time when you want to go, the cheapest ticket will probably cost 1500€ and the trip will start somewhere 10 hours away from your home. You also need to get a ticket and the hotel reservation six months before the departure, so it's ''cheaper''. When you don't even know if you'll make it through all the exams at school.
You also need that +1 and they are not easy to find. One has no money, one has a boyfriend, another doesn't have time when you do. To go alone? Well, that's just boring. And I'm not the kind of person to just start talking to people on the street.
And there is no way, that after all this preparation and money, you will experience the true US the way that people that live there do.
That's why I just moved to the United States.
I live in New Hampshire and I work in a small bakery. Dream job, anyone? I will be staying here for four months. Working, working, working, with an occasional day off. Earning my own money for food... and everything else. Buying food. Washing clothes. Watching hockey games (which I don't really understand!). Cashing paychecks. And a lot more.
I've been intrigued by the thought of making a cheesecake for a long time. I did make some small cupcake-cheesecakes, but that's not quite the same. Is there a better opportunity than the one when you're leaving home for a long time?
So I made a cheesecake. Not just a regular cheesecake, but a nine-layer cheesecake. Because I CAN! I bookmarked the recipe that I found on What the Fruitcake?! and I knew it was perfect. I mean, it combines three kinds of chocolate in one cake. How could it possibly be better?
200 g digestive biscuits (I used Leibniz butter cookies)
1/4 cup brown sugar
115 g unsalted butter
2 tbsp cocoa
- Blend the biscuits to a fine crumb.
- Melt butter and combine with sugar and cocoa. Mix with cookie crumbs.
- Press into the bottom of the pan.
900 g (32 oz) cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup double cream
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 g 70% dark chocolate
100 g milk chocolate
100 g white chocolate
1/2 tsp salt
dark, milk and white chocolate for garnish
- Preheat oven to 165°C/330°F (145°C/290°F fan forced).
- Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
- Wrap the bottom of the pan with two layers of tinfoil (at least 2'' high up the sides). Line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.
- With mixer on low speed, cream the cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next.
- Add the double cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt. Mix until well combined and smooth.
- Divide the mixture equally into three bowls.
- Melt 100 grams of each dark, milk and white chocolate. Allow to cool slightly.
- Mix the dark chocolate into one of the cheesecake batter mixtures and repeat with other two chocolates.
- After you have pressed the crust into the bottom of the pan, pour one cup of the dark chocolate mixture into the centre of the pan.
- Pour one cup of the milk chocolate mixture directly into the center of the dark chocolate mixture.
- Pour one cup of the white chocolate mixture directly into the center of the milk chocolate mixture.
- Repeat, alternating the colors in the same order, until all the batter has been poured into the pan.
- Place the springform pan into a larger ovenproof pan or dish and place in the preheated oven.
- Pour enough hot water into the larger pan to come about 1 1/2'' up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
- Bake for about 75 to 90 minutes until it is almost done (firm around the outside but still jiggly in the center when you gently shake the pan).
- Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door shut for about an hour.
- Remove the cake from the oven and carefully lift it out of the waterbath. Leave it to cool on the countertop.
- After cooling, put it in the fridge to chill for a few hours, preferably overnight.
- Garnish with chocolate curls.
For a ton of tips and more information about the recipe, go to What the Fruitcake?! - Mandy Mortimer's blog. It is awesome.
I loved this cake. I wasn't a big fan of cheesecake before, but this cake converted me. I ate five pieces, one with each of my guests (just to be polite...) and the last one (at 7 in the morning) was my last meal at home before I flew away. It wasn't really a 9-layer cheesecake, but it was close to that. Probably, if I made more batter and if I warmed it up a little before pouring it into the pan, it would've looked perfect. But I didn't. Lesson learned. It's a very heavy cake, so don't expect to lose weight eating it. :)
Approximate cost: 15 €