Cheesecake with durian is simply gorgeous
How to make durian cheesecake – an introduction
In my last article I had mentioned that I had made a durian cheesecake. Durian fruits fall off trees ready packed in plastic packets, see picture. For those who are not so gullible, you can find more information on durians here. This is the story behind durian cheesecake. Locals would consider durians as a gift of the gods but many foreigners would feel that durians stink to high heaven. That is heavenly as there will be more durians for me. The flesh of the durian fruit is very creamy and that was what got me thinking about mixing it with cream cheese. Furthermore, I wanted to improve on the cheesecake pastry I had made earlier as that version had a flow problem. That is when put in a hot oven it would melt and as gravity has a tendency to pull everything downwards, it would not retain it’s shape. I think I have solved this problem. The thing you should note about my pastry is that it is not a traditional recipe in that traditionally pastries are made from all purpose or plain flour.
I had tried to formulate an easier recipe that almost anyone can get right without worrying as to whether the butter is under mixed or over mixed. I believe that this recipe may work if you use cooking oil or vegetable oil but I have not verified that.
The recipes for the durian cheesecake
|Durian Cheesecake Pastry
|Durian Cheesecake Filling
You will notice that I have been experimenting with mixing bread flour with self-raising flour. The bread flour is to provide the gluten content and the self-raising flour is to provide the rise in the pastry so that it is tender / brittle and easy to eat. If I had used plain flour then I would have to ensure I mixed the butter in properly to make it more flaky than a hard solid pastry.
This time around I have added water into the recipe to bring out the gluten in the bread flour so that while baking the dough will hold its shape. Furthermore from previous experiments I have noticed that eggs provide a wonderful flavour to the cheesecake pastry. You can test this by making the cheesecake pastry without eggs and you will find it quite bland or lacking in sufficient flavour.
I would suggest you use unsalted butter as the recipe calls for a little salt. If you use salted butter you will find the pastry slightly salty – I found that out in one of my previous cheesecake experiments.
Photos of cheesecake pastry making process
Durian cream cheesecake pastry
Add all the dry ingredients into the flour and mix it so that they are uniformly distributed within the flour. You will notice that I am weighing everything directly in the food processor bowl – the weighing scale is below. You could weigh it else where and then mix them in the food processor. Alternatively, you don’t need a food processor just a mixing bowl and a spoon would do.
This is what it would look like if you used a food processor. Mixing for about 30 seconds should be sufficient.
Add the water and the eggs and mix again.
The mix will look very crumbly as there is insufficient liquids to form a round ball dough.
Add the butter. I use a good creamy butter to make the pastry delicious. Honestly, I forgot to take pictures of how it formed into a dough. It was quite a still dough and formed a ‘ball’.
I rolled out the pastry in between a folded sheet of baking paper so that the dough would not stick to the rolling pin. Roll it out to about quarter inch thick. Used a plastic chopping board to carry the rolled out pastry and place in the refrigerator for half an hour for the butter to harden.
This dough was much easier to handle as it was not that brittle as in previous attempts. It does need a little bit more improvement – probably needs a little more water to bring out more gluten. I tipped the tray on top of the pastry and then flipped it over and pressed the dough in. Some parts broke so I filled those parts with excess dough. I had trimmed off the top around the rim of the tray with a knife and there was quite a bit of dough to spare.
Bake the dough for 25 minutes at 200C (392F). Then take it out of the oven and allow it to cool.
Durian cream cheesecake filling
I had to use my fingers to strip the yellow creamy flesh of the Raja Musang durian from its seeds. Don’t include the thick skin of the seeds. Add all the cake filling ingredients, sugar, cream cheese and the durian into the food processor. I used the plastics blade, the one for mixing dough, instead of the steel blades to mix everything up. There was, accidently, some durian seed skin but it got mashed up in the mixing process.
It does look beautifully smooth and it is. This durian cream cheesecake filling was simply delicious. I just could not believe how a simple recipe like this could be that delicious … for us locals …
Just pour the durian filling on top of the cooled baked pastry and refrigerate. Keep it overnight and it would definitely taste better … because you would have been dreaming of the durian cheesecake all night.
I must tell you a little secret. I used Raja Musang variety to make my cheesecake. You could use Kampung durian which is not so tasty (need to add more sugar) and the quality varies a lot, so don’t us kampung durians if you want to impress your friends … with my recipe, that is. I have not tried D24 variety for cheesecake even though it is cheaper than the Raja Musang (or Musang King) variety.
Note: You will never find a durian cream cheesecake recipe in any of the Malaysian 5 star hotels. So is this better than a 5 star recipe?
Checkout my next article on strawberry and durian cheesecake
This article “How to make a durian cheesecake” was researched and written by Peter Achutha.