Happy Page Update #18-46

This week on The Happy Page: The holiday is almost here. The oven is full. And you’re already sick of pumpkin.

This video is ASMR, meaning there is no talking and no music, just the sounds of cooking. The recipe is also egg-free, grain-free, and mostly cooking-free. And it is in metric measurements, so I’ve taken the liberty of translating that into American measurements for you after the tag, along with providing some explanatory notes and instructions.

The Happy Page is updated every Sunday with a video that is cute or yummy or funny or inspiring or something.
Content is always relatively cheery, but not guaranteed to be safe for work – slack at your own risk!


NOTES:

  1. European and Asian chocolate are not usually quite as sweet as American chocolate, so if you prefer a less-sweet dessert you may want to use semi-sweet (or just get some Asian/European chocolate) instead of regular milk chocolate for this recipe.
  2. Gelatin can be found in the jello section of the grocery store, most likely on the top shelf where the not-pudding tapioca lives. It is not jello, and it is not flavored. Once you get the hang of using gelatin, though, you can commit all sorts of interesting culinary atrocities with it – check any women’s magazine from the 1950s or 60s for details.
  3. For your reference, a standard loaf pan is 8 or 9 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide; the one used in the video is a mini loaf pan approximately 6 inches by 3 inches. You can also use a 6-inch round pan, get creative and make individual cheesecakes in muffin tins, or refer to the recipe conversions for larger pan sizes which are listed at the bottom of the video’s Show More section on YouTube.
  4. About decorating with cocoa powder: Lots of food-people do this because it looks pretty and they like the bitter contrast the unsweetened cocoa provides to the sweet chocolate. But if you’ve never had a dessert decorated that way before, sprinkle some cocoa powder on a bit of glaze and try it first! There’s about a 50/50 chance you’re going to think it’s too bitter and/or find the sensation of dry powder sticking to the inside of your mouth unpleasant, which means you’ll want to pick a different way to decorate your dessert.

For the Cheesecake:
120g milk chocolate (4.5 oz or approximately 1/4 lb), chopped or grated
50ml heavy cream (1/4 c)
~
200g cream cheese (8 oz block), at room temperature
15g sugar (1 heaping tbsp)
~
30ml milk (2 tbsp)
5g gelatin (1 tsp)
~
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
~
105ml heavy cream (1/2 c)
15g sugar (1 heaping tbsp)

For the Chocolate Glaze:
30g chocolate (1 oz)
1 tsp water
1g gelatin (1/8 tsp)
10g cocoa (1.5 tbsp)
25g sugar (2 tbsp)
45ml heavy cream (3 tbsp)

  • First, the cheesecake. Chop or grate the chocolate. Microwave the cream in a heat-proof bowl for about 1 minute or until hot but not quite boiling (approx. 60°C/140°F) and add to the chocolate all at once. Stir until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  • Add sugar to cream cheese in a separate bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Set this one aside too.
  • Mix gelatin into milk in a small bowl and warm over hot water in a slightly larger bowl, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir gelatin mixture into cream cheese mixture. Stir in lemon juice.
  • In yet another bowl (yes, that’s 5 now – real cooking is like this), beat the 1/2 c of cream and 1 heaping tbsp of sugar with a mixer until soft peaks form. GENTLY fold this whipped-cream mixture into your cream cheese mixture.
  • Line a mini loaf pan or 6-inch round pan with parchment paper or, if you don’t have that, plastic wrap. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture into the pan; tap gently on the counter to remove air bubbles. Pop into the freezer for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Stir half of your chocolate mixture into the remaining cream cheese mixture. Add half of that to the pan, tap for bubbles, and put pan back in the freezer for another 10 minutes.
  • Stir remaining chocolate into remaining cream cheese mixture and add to pan. No need to tap this time, just use your spatula to make sure it’s somewhat level on top. Cover pan with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator to chill.
  • Now, it’s time to make the glaze. Break up the chocolate into a bowl. In a very small bowl (just rinse the original gelatin bowl out), mix 1/8 tsp gelatin with 1 tsp water and stir smooth. Put cocoa powder and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, stirring until there are no lumps. Stir in heavy cream. Bring mixture to a boil over medium to medium-low heat and stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and continue stirring until mixture reaches 60°C/140°F. Stir in gelatin. Pour mixture into chocolate and stir until chocolate has been completely incorporated – you don’t have to pour it through a fine sieve if you don’t care to, that’s just to catch any unsightly lumps which might be hiding in the glaze.
  • Take your cheesecake out of the refrigerator and remove it from the pan. If you’re doing this for company or you’re just a foodie perfectionist, follow the directions in the video for making it presentation-perfect. Otherwise, turn the cheesecake upside down onto a serving plate and remove the parchment paper. Pour on the glaze, spreading it out with a spatula so that the whole cheesecake is covered. Add decoration if you so desire – in the video it was sprinkled with cocoa powder and chopped pistachio nuts. Slice and serve immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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