Week 174: White chocolate and Brie cheesecake

Funny story: During my Malta trip, I was invited to a friend’s place for a barbecue, Malta style. Meaning, lots of food, beer and wine, and lots of laugh throughout the evening. One of the memorable thing we ate was this chunk of Brie, which was so creamy! My friend was raving about it and said that this is the only Brie he eats, which was from the French brand, Président.

So, while I was doing my grocery shopping, I picked up a few chunks of Président Brie to bring back to Singapore. The joke was that, when I got back home, and went to the nearby grocers to pick up some milk, I saw the exact same Président Brie, sitting at the dairy shelf!

Sure, it was probably half the price in Malta, but still. 😂 Anyway, since I have extra Brie in the pantry, I thought I’d give this old favourite a go. This time with a little twist.

Makes 5 x 7.5cm petit gâteau

For the Brie cheesecake

28g white chocolate couverture, chopped

170g cream cheese, at room temperature

85g Brie cheese, weighed after the rind is removed

38g granulated sugar

1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

a generous pinch of salt

1 large egg, at room temperature

1) Prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment and placing 5 x 7cm cake rings on it. Preheat oven to 180C fan.

2) Melt the white chocolate on a water bath. Stir until just evenly smooth then allow to cool.

3) In a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

4) In the same mixing bowl using the same paddle attachment (no washing necessary), on medium-high speed beat the Brie until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. It is crucial to beat the cheeses separately until smooth, and only then combine them in one bowl.

5) With the machine on medium speed, add the cream cheese to the Brie in 3 parts. Blend the cheeses together until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl.

6) Reduce speed to low and slowly add the sugar. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla extract, beat until combined.

7) At medium-low speed, add the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

8) At low speed, pour the melted chocolate into the middle of the bowl. Mix until well blended, smooth, and creamy. The batter will be quite runny.

9) Divide batter into prepared cake rings, 74g per portion. Baked at 180C fan for 18 mins and then lower the temperature to 90C fan and bake for a further 12 mins.

For the praline center

30g white chocolate couverture, melted

75g praline paste

1) Divide melted white chocolate evenly between 5 cavities of a mini dome mold.

2) Allow to set for 5 minutes in the refrigerator.

3) Pour 15g of praline paste into each chocolate covered cavity and allow to set in the freezer under required.

For the cheesecake base

150g pâté sucrée beurrée

30g unsalted butter, melted

1) Preheat oven to 175C fan.

2) Roll out the pâté sucrée beurrée to the thickness of approximately 2mm.

3) Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly browned.

4) Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

5) Preheat oven to 150C fan.

6) Processed the baked sable in a food processor fitted with a blade until very fine and powdery.

7) Add melted butter and process until butter is evenly distributed.

8) Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place 5 x 7.5cm cake ring on the tray.

9) Divide the powdered sable evenly between the cake rings and press down tightly.

10) Baked in preheated oven for 12 minutes.

11) Remove from oven, cool to room temperature then freeze.

For the cream cheese mousse

2 gelatine leaves

150g cream cheese

17g granulated sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

180g whipped cream

1) Soak gelatine leaves in cold water.

2) Whisk cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract over a water bath until it is completely smooth.

3) Squeeze extra liquid from gelatine leaves and add it to the warm cream cheese mixture. Stir until it is completely melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.

4) When cream cheese mixture has cooled, gently fold in the whipped cream. Use immediately.

To assemble

125g toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Pinch of fleur de sel

1) Place the cake rings with the Brie cheesecake and set them on a baking tray.

2) Place a frozen praline center onto the center of each cheesecake.

3) Pour over the cream cheese mousse to cover the praline center and smooth it along the top of the cake ring. You will need approximately 62g to 65g of mousse for each portion.

4) Allow to freeze overnight.

5) The next day, remove from freezer. Warm the rings slightly by rolling it between your hands to remove the frozen cheesecake.

6) Spread the warm chopped hazelnuts in a tray and sprinkle the fleur de sel.

7) Roll the cheesecake to cover it with the hazelnuts then place each cheesecake on a prepared base.

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