The Cheesecake Factory cheesecake

While casually shopping in Costco, I walked past the freezer section that I don’t often venture past only to find myself slowly reversing and pressing my face up to the glass. Do my eyes deceive me? Was that really what I thought it was?

Yes ladies and gentlemen. Costco Canberra (for now) is selling The Cheesecake Factory original cheesecake ($21.89), complete with graham cracker crust and the smooth cheesecake filling that we all know and love. Upside: it is all pre-cut and equally portioned for your convenience with a paper dividers; it’s the original cheesecake so you can dress it up however you like it (I had mine with berries, passionfruit, my friend added Nutella) and it tasted like I never left Hawaii.

Downside: the serving suggestion was to thaw it in the fridge for 8-12 hours (ain’t no body got time for that, I just left it on the counter until I was ready to eat it); our pineapple isn’t as sweet so I can’t replicate my favourite flavour.I take no responsibility with what you do with this information.

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The Cheesecake Factory – Hawaiian series 

When you enter a restaurant that has over 35 types of cheesecake, you try to decide what you want for dessert and work your way backwards. It was after 9:30pm and the wait for a table for four was still 20 minutes, The Cheesecake Factory is a very popular place to be!There is a takeaway counter for all those who choose to take a cheesecake to go.Don’t be tempted by their complimentary bread, it was unusually sweet but it takes up important cheesecake stomach space.Fried macaroni and cheese crispy crumbed coated macaroni and cheese balls, served over a creamy marinara sauce ($12.50). This was rather quite underwhelming and was rather bland, I wouldn’t bother ordering this again.Old fashioned burger charbroiled on a toasted brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayonnaise served with french fries or green salad ($12.95). It is interesting that they add their salad separately because that is exactly how I prefer it. The thick beef patty was super juicy, the bread was just sweet enough and fries were served hot- all in all, a fabulous burger.Spicy chicken chipotle pasta honey glazed chicken, asparagus, red and yellow peppers, peas, garlic and onion in a spicy chipotle parmesan cream sauce. This was delicious! The perfect amount of spiciness and generous serve of ingredients but man, it was huge portion! Between the four of us we could not finish this.Quesadilla grilled flour tortilla filled with melted cheese, green onions and chillies, garnished with guacamole, salsa and sour cream with chicken. A tasty appetizer that we was nice and light, a good choice if you want dessert afterwards.The menu was HUGE, it contained an extensive list of everything from glamburgers to pasta to tacos and seafood. We all got a bit excited with ordering our mains and instead of getting four cheesecakes for dessert like we intended, we could only fit in a few mouthfuls of one slice that we all shared.

We weren’t going to be defeated again, so our subsequent visits resulted in just getting take away cheesecake. We were able to try 9 flavours in total, which included the fresh pineapple cheesecake that is only available in Hawaii.

  1. Key lime cheesecake
  2. Dutch apple caramel streusel cheesecake
  3. Fresh pineapple cheesecake
  4. Snickers bar chunks and cheesecake
  5. Ultimate red velvet cake cheesecake
  6. Mango key lime cheesecake
  7. Toasted marshmallow s’m0res galore
  8. Chocolate tuxedo cream cheesecake
  9. Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake

Out of all the cheesecakes I had the pleasure of tasting, I really enjoyed the fresh pineapple and Dutch apple caramel streusel. I found that the less sweet flavours work best as it wasn’t OTT.This is a very busy restaurant all the time (there was a 45 minute wait at 10:30pm one time we stopped by) but it didn’t stop the service being friendly, efficient and attentive. For a place called ‘The Cheesecake Factory’ I was surprised that the main meals were rather good and that there were so many choices. If you do come here for a meal, remember to leave room for cheesecake.

Venue– The Cheesecake Factory

Address– Royal Hawaiian Center, 2301 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA

The Cheesecake Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Uncle Tetsu

If you some how haven’t heard, Uncle Tetsu opened up their first Australian flagship store in Sydney earlier this year and the lines are notoriously long, you’re only allowed to buy one cake per person (yes you read that right) and they only have four items on the menu.

Uncle Tetsu’s menu.I was lucky enough to go during an obscure time while waiting for a restaurant reservation (around 7:20pm on a Sunday night) and basically walked right in but not long after a queue started forming out of no where!

As I was outside taking  photos of my goodies, all these people started queuing.Signature Japanese cheesecake world famous soft and fluffy light cheesecake ($17.99). We took it home to enjoy and we had it both ‘cool’ and ‘warm’ (microwave a slice for 10 seconds) but we both preferred it warm because it seem to have more flavour. I really enjoyed the light fluffy texture that is unique to Japanese cheesecakes but I wish it a stronger flavour.You can easily finish a whole cheesecake by yourself because Japanese cheesecakes are light and fluffy. Here is an obligatory cross sectional photo.Honey Madeleine nostalgic Japanese honey cupcakes (4 pack $15.00). These we dense cakes that had a subtle honey aftertaste. Nothing particularly special and I wouldn’t get them again.My verdict? I wouldn’t line up for this but if someone brought some to share, I wouldn’t say no. If you have never had a Japanese cheesecake, you must go out and get one now!

Venue: Uncle Tetsu

Address501 George Street, Sydney, Australia

Opening hours: 7 days 11:00am – 11:00pm
Uncle Tetsu’s Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas (in July!)

——-20/07/2012——-

My friend was nice enough to organise a Christmas in July with a Turducken and all the trimmings at his house this year. We don’t get cold Christmases in Canberra, but logically July is the best time to eat lots of hearty food, a big roast and be merry with friends and alcohol. He offered my help in the kitchen before hand (how nice of him ), but lucky for him I wanted before and after pictures of the beast that is the Turducken

Proving that Christmas decorations are useful more than once a year.

The supplier recommended that an average 4.5kg turducken will feed 17-22 people, we weren’t going to believe that for a second, even for 12 people I was iffy if it a 4kg sized Turducken was going to fill all of us. 

Let the 4.5hours of cooking begin! A 4kg Turducken with apricot and hazelnut stuffing ($100).

Going from snacks to getting ready for dinner.

A cross-section photo of the layered roast. I could tell what was duck meat but wasn’t quite sure where the turkey ended and the chicken began. The stuffing was really nice but I was surprised we didn’t choose the apple and bacon rasher stuffing albeit we didn’t really need to throw another animal in the mix. The 4kg roast fed all of us (admittedly not everyone there was keen on trying it-here’s looking at you Mrs. Gordo) with a little bit to spare.

A lovely variety of sides, vegetables and salads- a delicious golden brown potato and sweet potato bake with bacon(!), pan roasted vegetables, roast potato with garlic, lemon and thyme, roast pumpkin, fetta, pumpkin and almond salad and a rocket and parmesan salad.

I had to try one of everything and hoped it all fit on one plate (eventually everything was drizzled with gravy). Everything was really nice and I ate it all but when I got home I thought to myself, did I eat any duck? I might not have tried all the layers of the Turducken, proving once again that great company comes before good food. We were all having such a fabulous time that I forgot about eating all of the most important guest of the evening.

Desserts~

Sticky date pudding- The perfect cold weather dessert, drizzled in a delectable caramel sauce. If I didn’t eat so much pastry and chips before hand I would have had a bigger slice!

Blueberry cheesecake – I was so impressed by the non cracked, high walled biscuit crumb baked cheesecake using fresh blueberries that I began salivating over it before dinner. Made more impressive by that fact that a guy made it all by himself. Sorry ladies, he is taken.  The cheesecake was very very smooth with the perfect amount of base. I am torn whether to ask for a recipe or just get him to make it over and over again. 

Vanilla slice- presentation wise, this didn’t compare to the other desserts, but it was full of vanilla beans and who doesn’t enjoy velvety smooth warm custard with pastry.

I was impressed that we were able to oven rotate between so many things- the turducken, bread rolls, pastries, nibbles, vegetables and potato bake and that everything came out on time.

Our turducken was already made and prepared with a variety of stuffings available from Jordo’s Chop Shop. Ordering was made very simple by the fact that if you spend over $75 delivery is free! I want to try the POLAMBEF next!

Turducken supplierhttp://www.jordoschopshop.com/

From their website:

Jordo’s Chop Shop is the official home of the turducken in Canberra!

What All Is This Nonsense? A turducken is a mystical Christmas turkey (available year round) that is stuffed with a duck, the duck is then stuffed with a chicken and the chicken is stuffed with your choice of either our most popular apple and bacon rasher stuffing, our apricot and hazelnut stuffing or our new gluten-free traditional sage and onion stuffing. 

Note: We only use free-range birds to make our turduckens. The whole turducken is boneless with the exception of the turkey’s legs and wings that remain bone-in for aesthetic purposes. Available all year round (not just Christmas week).

Now also available: POLAMBEF! pork, lamb and beef roll, the new frontier in roasting madness.

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

In keeping with all things German and delicious, I thought it was fitting to post this next (several months late- sorry!). A lovely German scientist bought in an awesome cheese cake for his birthday. When he cut me a piece, I spent the next 15 minutes sniffing it, it smelt oh so amazing! It was only when my office room mate threatened to eat it if I didn’t did I start digging my fork in! 

It was so delicious and had the perfect texture for a cheesecake, I just had to ask him for the recipe. He has kindly translated it and let me share it with you. He has also substituted the traditional quark for low fat Philadelphia (the version which I ate) as it is more readily available here.

I told him that he should have his birthday more often! 

  Russischer Zupfkuchen or “Russian pulling cake”                                                                             for a spring form with a diameter of 28 cm

Dough:
375 g Wheat Flour
40 g Cocoa Powder
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
200 g Sugar
Vanilla Essence
1 Egg
200 g Soft Butter

Filling:
250 g Butter
500 g Low Fat Quark/Curd Cheese (in Australia we use Low Fat Philadelphia)
200 g Sugar
Vanilla Essence
3 Eggs
40 g Vanilla Custard Powder

Preparation of dough:
Mix flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in a bowl. Then add all other ingredients and mix with dough hook, first on low setting, later on higher. (If it is way too dry and powdery, add just a teeny bit of water, but take care that it does not get moist either.) Form the dough to a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for 30 min. Grease the bottom of the spring form with some butter. Use nearly half of the dough ball for the base of the cake and another quarter to make a wall around the sides of the spring form approximately 2 cm high.

Preparation of filling:
Warm the butter so that it is soft but not hot. Homogenize all ingredients with an egg beater in a bowl. Put the filling onto the cake base and smooth it on top.

Pluck pieces out of the remaining quarter of the dough and place them on top of the filling. Put the cake into a pre-heated oven for approximately 65 minutes, at 180°C no fan/160°C fan forced.

Thanks Alexander!  Happy belated birthday!