I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.
About expectations of women in this culture.
About how I am a concoction of all the experiences I've been through and circumstances I've been in. It's like I'm a mash up of strict parenting, rebellious streaks (oh trust me I was very naughty), expectations of being a preacher's daughter, awesome girlfriends who each brought a different lesson to my life, a few low paying jobs, bittersweet experiences like dealing with Ashraf's cancer scare and good experiences like skydiving and travelling.
Then while thinking about good experiences, it got me thinking about all the reeeeaaallly good desserts I've eaten and what flavours I love. I really love cheesecake. Rich, creamy, decadent goodness! And creme brûlée. That crackly sugar, that sound when you initially crack your spoon into the bowl. And when the custard is just set and not too eggy. Wowwww. Oh god. It's making me hungry. It's really godsent when I get both cheesecake and creme brûlée all mashed into one!
And not forgetting how I love to play with torches. If I have a choice I will want to torch everything I make, just so I get to torch things. I have the inclination to think that it's because when I was younger, my mom said not to play with fire because it's dangerous. So naturally I want to do whatever she said NOT to! Haha!
If you live in Singapore, you can get small baking torches at Phoon Huat/ TOTT/ good departmental stores like Tangs, amongst other places.
So here you go, a dessert that incorporates both elements of these desserts that I love!
CREME BRÛLÉE CHEESECAKE BARS
You need: 7" X 10" rectangle pan
Yield: 6 square bars
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed digestive/graham cookies
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
113g unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
16 oz cream cheese, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
sugar, for torching
1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. grease and line your pan with grease proof paper, making side the sides are overhanging on the longer sides
2) In a small bowl, mix together crushed cookies, flour and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter until combined. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan with the back or a spoon or spatula and bake for 10 mins. Set aside. Keep oven on at the same temperature.
3) With a stand mixer and a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar till smooth and fluffy.
4) Add in eggs and vanilla and beat for a minute on low speed or till combined.
5) Pour the cheesecake mixture over the baked crust. Bake for 20 mins till filling is just set. Let cool completely before refrigerating until completely chilled. (3 hrs is good, but best chilled overnight!)
6) Using a hot knife (torched or dipped in hot water and wiped dry), cut into square bars. Sprinkle sugar over the bars and torch them to perfection. ENJOY!