Hello Everyone! Firstly, I would like to apologise if this ends up all over the place in terms of the written content, and if there will be a lot of typos and grammatical errors. I was up at 3:45am this morning to get ready to be out of the house at 5:30am for an early Visita Iglesia Pilgrimage with the ladies from our neighbourhood association. Visita Iglesia, or known as the Seven Churches Visitation is a pious Roman Catholic Lenten tradition to visit seven churches on the evening of Maundy Thursday or Good Friday and recite the Stations of the Cross. Until the 1970s, pilgrims recited all fourteen stations in every church, but the more recent form is to pay two stations per church visited. We visited seven churches in the province of Batangas and Tagaytay. This was the very first time I’ve ever been on a Visita Iglesia Pilgrimage and the beautiful churches that we have in the Philippines astounded me.
Moving forwards, yes I am well aware that it is only a Tuesday but today is a very special day for Amcarmen’s Kitchen! I asked my followers over on Instagram to guess why it is a special day, and shared some throwback pictures that were posted on this day from the past as clues. Unfortunately, no one took part in guessing what day it is today *sad face*
AMCARMEN’S KITCHEN TURNS 5 TODAY!
I say this every year, but I will forever be thankful for all the support from my family and friends. Thank you to the friends who have encouraged and praised my dishes ever since before Amcarmen’s Kitchen was born. Thank you to that one specific person who gave me that push I needed to actually start up my own blog. We don’t talk anymore just because we saw too many things differently, and thus unfortunately are not friends anymore. Thank you to my family and friends who have been there to gobble up the results of my cooking adventures. Of course, a very big thank you to my Mom as well for many things. The main being for teaching me how to cook the basics; it was from here that I developed my skills and techniques in cooking, and expanding my knowledge of various cuisines across the globe. And of course, for (sometimes) being the one that actually preps and cooks the food!
One day, can’t remember when anymore, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across this recipe for a Pineapple & Passionfruit Cheesecake by Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz on SBS Food. I immediately knew that this was the cake that I was going to whip up for the 5th anniversary of Amcarmen’s Kitchen. I changed the recipe up a bit, firstly by incorporating the spice-roasted pineapples that I experimented with at the beginning of the month for my nice cream. I really loved the flavour profile of it and so I decided to use that into the cheesecake. I’ve left the passionfruit out only because I could not find any at the markets or supermarkets around my area. If you have passionfruit on hand then by all means add it to the recipe. For the base, I’ve swapped out the Anzac mix and just crushed up some ginger nut biscuits. The fiery, gingery flavour works super well with the spice-roasted pineapple.
PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 20 MINS | SERVES 8-12
For the spice-roasted pineapple
- 1 large pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 5 pcs whole cloves
- 3 pcs star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp Tequila or Vodka (optional)
For the crumb base
- 300g Ginger Nut Biscuits, crushed
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp salt
For the cheesecake mixture
- Spice-roasted pineapple purée
- 500g cream cheese, softened
- 200ml cream
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
- Spice-roasted Pineapple: Preheat oven to 220C (425F or gas mark 7).
- Toss the pineapple, sugar, spices, and everything nice (liquor) in an oven-safe baking dish. Sorry, I could not resist not say that!
- Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Once done, set aside to completely cool down before puréeing the pineapple. Set some pineapple chunks aside for decoration later.
- Crumb Base: Meanwhile, add the crushed ginger nut biscuits, salt, and melted butter together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix together until well combined.
- Grease an 8-inch spring-form cake pan 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.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 130C (250F or gas mark 1).
- Cheesecake Mixture: Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat, on medium speed, the cream cheese and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
- With the mixer running, add in the eggs and cream, mixing for a further 2 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared spring-form cake pan, evenly covering the biscuit base, then drizzle over the spice-roasted pineapple purée. Use a skewer to gently swirl the purée 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 an hour before serving.
- Decorate: Just before serving, top the cheesecake with the crown of a pineapple, and with the remaining spice-roasted pineapple chunks.
- Serve and enjoy!
– Ally xx