Hello Everyone and Happy Independence Day Philippines! So to begin with a ‘long story short’ scenario, I initially made this cake for my Mom’s birthday last month and let’s just say things did not go according to plan. It was a total kitchen disaster. I beat myself up quite harshly for it, because it meant that my Mom never got cake made by me for her birthday. I compensated though and got her a limited time only Ube Custard Cake from Conti’s Restaurant and Bakeshop when we celebrated Mother’s Day last month. That cake by the way – the bomb dot com. Anyway, I’ve saved the disaster details for last, so feel free to read the short summary of what went down at the end of the recipe.
Please bear with me for I’m currently having a bit of a writer’s block at the moment, and I’ve been sitting on this for more than an hour now thinking of what I can write. I don’t really have much, or anything for that matter, to say about the dish/recipe other than it tastes AMAZING – so I’ll just feed your knowledge on some (fun) facts on dragon fruits!
Fact #1: Dragon fruit is also known as a Strawberry Pear.
Fact #2: Eating too much red-fleshed dragon fruit can give rise to a harmless condition called pseudohematuria, which can turn urine reddish in colour.
(Fun) Fact #3: A concoction made of dragon fruit, honey, and cucumber juice can moisturize and soothe sunburned skin.
Fact #4: The cactus flower that produces dragon fruits only survives a single night. It blooms in the evening, ready for pollination, and then wilts the very next day. However, the very brief pollination period is sufficient for the plant to bear fruits.
Fact #5: The best time to pick dragon fruits are when they are mature as they are at their height of their sweetness. Mature fruits that are not harvested will continue to grow larger, but not sweeter.
And there you have it. There are plenty more (fun) facts about dragon fruits, especially where health benefits are concerned, but these are the ones that I didn’t know about and found most interesting!
PREP TIME 15-20 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | MAKES 2 MINI CAKES
For the cheesecake mixture
- 1 small red dragon fruit, mashed*
- 250g cream cheese
- 100ml cream
- 1 large free-range egg
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
For the crumb base
- 150g Digestive Biscuits, crushed
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp salt
*As I mentioned in last week’s post, the grocer that I bought them from only had gigantic dragon fruits, where the one I bought and pictured for this recipe was about 800g! In this case, I only used half of the fruit for the recipe.
- Preheat oven to 130C (250F or gas mark 1).
- Crumb Base: Add the crushed digestive biscuits, salt, and melted butter together in a small mixing bowl. Mix together until well combined.
- Grease two mini spring-form pans (about 4” in diameter) and line it with parchment paper. Cover the outside of the pan with tin foil. Press the crumb into the base of the cake pan. Set aside in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set.
- Cheesecake Mixture: Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat, on medium speed, the cream cheese and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl until smooth.
- With the mixer running, add in the egg and cream, mixing for a further 2 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared spring-form cake pan, evenly covering the biscuit base, and then add about a tablespoon of the mashed dragon fruit atop. Use a skewer to gently swirl the mashed dragon fruit through the cheesecake mixture.
- Place the cake pan in a water bath and bake for 1 hour, or until just set.
- Allow to cool down to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for about half an hour before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!
You may top the cheesecake with extra mashed dragon fruit if you still have some lying around.
So in all honesty, I initially made a cake-sized (8.5” round) version of this dragon fruit cheesecake. It was a no-bake cheesecake and all the things that could go wrong with it, went absolutely wrong *facepalm*.
Firstly, I bought unflavoured gelatin to incorporate into the cheesecake mixture to help it set in the fridge since it is a no-bake cheesecake. The supposedly ‘unflavoured’ gelatin advertised on the package had a certain flavour to it that I could not put my finger on. In addition, it was diabetically sweet. Not only did it ruin the taste of the cheesecake, it also caused the cheesecake mixture to split when added, causing little white specks to appear. So instead of having a smooth pink colour to the dragon fruit cheesecake, it looked like it had little white lice eggs in it – *barfs* Okay that description definitely went too far, but that’s what it looked like to me!
I didn’t know how I could salvage this cake, so I ended up chucking it in the bin. I don’t like chucking food into the bin because not only is it such a waste of beautiful ingredients, they’re also expensive ingredients. There was no point trying to salvage it though, because it honestly tasted gross because of the gelatin that I used.
After the mishap, I went back and tried the recipe again, but this time followed the recipe I tackled for a baked cheesecake from April – Spice-roasted Pineapple Cheesecake. As you can see, the end result was so much better! I was over the moon with the turn out and from now on, I’m never EVER going back to no-bake cheesecakes.
– Ally xx